bored of excitement – the griefjunkie blog 

Margarine Dreams

Dear Rachel

Whenever I think of supermarkets, I think of slow people with fat arms putting huge bags of crisps into trolleys, and I therefore avoid going into them whenever possible.   This means that until last Wednesday I had no idea that you can’t buy margarine anymore.   This in turn means that an austere speciality of my old dear’s and feature of my childhood – dry Weetabix with margarine on top – can sadly no longer be prepared.   It’s difficult to spread margarine on dry Weetabix, as they are fragile and break easily, with the result that the recipient of such bounty is often left sitting in front of Blue Peter with a joyless bowl of wheat dust and hydrogenated fat.   As I write this, it’s just come to mind that I also ate dripping as a child, which is revolting.   If you’ve never eaten dripping, think of things that drip, and then think about how hungry they make you feel.   It isn’t even an appetising word.   How my arteries survived adolescence continues to baffle the medical community.

Meanwhile, midwinter in the markets sees musicians shoved into the fray as gaps appear due to regular traders taking a bit of time off.   For some reason at Greenwich, it’s always folk singers, and I suppose because of the maritime connection they are usually doing sea shanties.  While I have nothing against the genre, I simply do not care about barrels of tobacco, or rigging, or what happened off the Cornish coast in 1847, or any of that stuff – I have an auntie in Plymouth, and that is as near as I get to the seafaring life.   This last happened on Sunday, an already commercially dismal day, which I coped with by downloading books about the Franco-Prussian War to my Kindle, shopping for dressing gowns at Liberty, and writing an entirely fictitious CV with which to apply to every single job in the Sunday Times Appointments section, every single Sunday, until I get one.   I’ve decided to do this as I have no education whatsoever beyond GCSE but do like having money to – as we have seen – shop for dressing gowns at Liberty on a quiet afternoon.   It’s a numbers game, as I see it, and as I am of absolutely no use, interest, or value to society, and am profoundly unlikely to find worthwhile employment unless I bluff my way into being a non executive director for the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS or chief safety regulator for Australian National Rail which, if I just keep applying often enough, is bound to happen.

Anyway.   Margarine covered Weetabix and dripping on toast aside, my old dear can still whip up a mean roast.   She had the opportunity to do so on Christmas Day for her new neighbours, who are Asian Christians.   I know they’re Asian Christians, because as my old dear herself said when excitedly informing me of such said ‘They’re Asian, Paul love, but they’re Christian.  They’re Asian Christians.   Asian, but Christian.   They’re Christian, but they’re also Asian.   Paul luvvey – they’re Asian Christians’.    My old dear is hardly unfamiliar with either Asians or Christians, what with being a churchgoer living in Slough, and was delighted to have them in for a Yule fest and, I should imagine, an extended discussion upon how funny it was that they were Christian, but also Asian – to all intents and purposes, Asian Christians.    I suppose it is because I have reached that point in life where your parents become your children that I found myself explaining that being Asian does not preclude you from being Christian, or indeed vice versa – Jesus was a very devout Christian, and would have been quite Middle Eastern looking, what with being from the Middle East and everything.   It’s not like her new neighbours have blacked up for a larf.   In any case, interrupting my old dear in full conversational flow is like trying to stop a runaway train by putting a bag of flour in front of it, and the combination of chattiness and faith – which she describes in the classic English fashion as ‘generally Christian, mainly’ – has provided all concerned with many hours of happy company.   I have instructed them to think of her as ‘bewildering, but a good source of cakes’, a description which should perhaps appear on her passport.

Photards: this weeks’ snapshots are -

Top: Marshall, Danny’s dog on Royal Wedding day.   I am unsure of Marshall’s views on constitutional monarchy, but Danny and Keith were for some time trying to train him to bite Communists.

Middle: The Goat Bag Man on the left and myself on the right, at the Duke of Wellington public house, Toynbee Street London E1.   I bought that wrist chain from a bloke fly-pitching in Soho on what I remember was the hottest day ever recorded in Britain – which having just looked it up, was August 11th 2003 – and I haven’t taken it off since.   The Goat Bag Man is laughing at something Chris said, but which as this picture was taken I have yet to understand.   Once everything had died down I suddenly understood it and spat a mouthful of snakebite over both of them.

Lower: Empty barrows on midweek Petticoat Lane. There is a tradition among Borough Market traders of wheeling their barrows from London Bridge to Brighton in the interests of charity.   East Yard catastrophe magnet Pikey Dave is strongly rumoured to have wheeled one of the Petticoat Lane trolleys from the here to Camden Lock in the interests of stealing it.

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