I went shopping this afternoon – a few groceries for Number One son as a hint that it was time to go back, and a few bits for the kitchen. And tea. By some oversight we had run out of tea, and I can’t settle knowing that Julia is likely to make that Indian spiced stuff that she likes and which I consider has no place in civilised society. I know that India has produced great philosophies and mathematics, and Mahatma Ghandi, but I’m sorry, I don’t consider them sound on matters of tea.
For those of you who are thinking of pointing out that India virtually invented tea may I just point out that the English invented football. It doesn’t mean we’re any good at it.
The car park was fuller than normal, a state of affairs which also applied to the shop.
Large numbers of resentful looking men were trailing round the shop muttering rude words at their partners whilst feral children stalked the aisles and trolley rage seemed to simmer, barely under control.
This did not bring out the best in me, and I was thinking evil thoughts, including wondering about the practicality of disemboweling a curly-haired tot with my reading glasses, when a wave of good humour rolled over me. This is not normal. It hardly ever happens, and certainly not at Christmas, when the spirit of Scrooge stalks the badly heated rooms of my draughty hill top domain.
I looked at the couple arguing over the wife’s choice of cheese and thought how lucky I was that we could afford all three of the varieties she was looking at. We would, of course only eat two of them before the third matured into a new variety of blue cheese (in our fridge even Stilton goes mouldy), but that, in a way. is even luckier, as we have lots of cheese and the thrill of playing botulism roulette.
After that I was on a roll, to the point of being quite charming and enjoying a laugh with several ladies in the checkout queue. When I mentioned this to Julia she muttered something about it not being the first time I’d provoked mirth in a woman.
There was something in her tone I couldn’t quite place…