Monthly Archives: April 2008


No, not the crud that clogs up your inbox. The other type, that’s trademarked and might, for all I know, do horrible things to your innards instead.

I like food. But I’m not a foodie. Spare me all the fads and fripperies of fine dining. And I have nothing against fast food per se. But it’s not a proper chippie unless it has a jar of pickled eggs on the counter (Do they still exist? Or did Edwina Currie kill them off?).

I can also cook. Don’t be too shocked. Some men are remarkably self-sufficient. But I digress (though I’ll return to supermarkets later).

I was browsing the shelves in search of something for supper. I know how the marketing game is played. So when I see a “New” sticker on the shelf it’s a fairly safe bet that I, and everyone else, will check it out.

And this delectable delight was….

Spam Fritters.

So retro chip-shop food is suddenly metro hip? How long before we see a special offer? Buy two packs, get a mini-sized jar of pickled eggs free.

What really shocked me, though, wasn’t the idea. But the price. ¬£1.98 for four slices that looked like they could have been cut from one of those small cans (people of a certain age will know what size tins luncheon meat used to be sold in) with something to spare. Is Spam really that expensive these days? Or will metro hip folk really pay through the nose for anything (The packaging was miserable, without even the slightest reference to its retro roots)?

Were it not for the fact that I’m off to the provinces this weekend I might be watching the “reduced to clear” shelves to try to get a measure of how many people did succumb to the other Spam.


I like dogs. If circumstances allowed, I’d like to have a dog again. But since that isn’t practical I have to limit myself to admiring them from afar.

The route to work passes through a park (one of the few things the local council does well) which is understandably popular with two- and four-legged walkers.

An owner stands, tossing a well-chewed tennis ball from hand to hand. A black labrador watches, tail wagging expectantly. It’s obvious what’s going to happen next. Or is it?

The ball is hurled off into the distance. The tail wags a little faster. The labrador’s head moves slightly, following the ball’s arc through the air, looking for the exact spot it will land.

The ball bounces. Once, twice. Still the dog does not set off in pursuit. The ball trickles to a halt and at last the labrador moves. By all of a couple of steps to settle itself in the sun, stretching out to gnaw on the stick it had been carrying.

The owner looks bemused and then trudges off to retrieve the ball. This time it’s their turn to fetch.

Silver lining

If I walk to work it takes about 15 minutes longer than getting the train. It’s time well spent. Not only do I avoid the charms of commuting in a crowd, it also helps to keep me reasonably fit.

The only slight drawback is when, like last night, a sudden shower catches you mid-journey. It was fierce enough to force me to take shelter for a while. But the delay brought its own reward. Sighting a double rainbow made getting a little damp around the edges more than worthwhile.

And as the squall cleared as fast as it had arrived, the sunset was quite impressive as well. What’s that clich√© about every cloud…

The pictures were taken on my phone, so aren’t brilliant. But they’re a pleasant reminder that I must get into the habit of keeping my little digital camera in my jacket pocket.