Sunday, December 23

No room at the inn

The absence of Waitrose car parking spaces this morning was a good indicator of our community’s festive spirit: Mr &/or Mrs Grumpy. There’s a perfectly good car park adjacent to the store, but as you can’t validate the 70 pence fee at the till, people chose to fritter away a quid’s worth of four-stroke circling the block. Inside it looked like a re-run of last year’s parsnip wars, with punters of every stripe brandishing offensive weapons in the form of a shopping trolley. After dutifully ticking off my list I joined one of the checkout queues, the 12th trolley in line! I was beginning to realise I should have given the mince pies a miss this year, and from the look of my fellow shoppers I wasn’t alone. The tragic part was how sad we looked: a file of greying Simon Bates facsimiles, mit Clementines and Cava. I accept it as one of the quests set by the gods to test mans' resolve, and passed time reading the back of packets in the frozen foods cabinet. Who on earth pays good money for wild rice, lentil and pumpkin seed rissoles, au gratin? And what’s with ‘organic’ chicken chunks? Chicken nuggets are eaten by people who live in council houses and watch Eastenders, they don’t buy organic.

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