Every Christmas Eve’, my family would make pickled herring for what is meant to be the grandest meal of the year. Growing up, I had only a short list of things I wouldn’t eat, and herring was one of them. My argument was that herring is actually part of Norwegian cuisine, not German, and we should really be eating turkey. Clearly I’d watched one too many adaptations of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
During varsity English, one of our set works was The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by the Irish authour James Joyce. Unlike so many other students (including those who – unlike me – were majoring in English) I actually read the book, and I’m glad I did.