All about the goats

I was at Talking Newspaper today. The last for 2011. Well, the last for 2011 for me at least. There’s a few more weeks yet. Actually I think it goes right up to Christmas week. But I am free until January.

As usual we had a jolly good laugh. Being close to Christmas, there was naturally quite a few stories featuring goats and a rather wonderful news story about a woman who suddenly gave birth in the back of her new car.

I had some great stories to read but one piece I didn’t get to read was my letter. The reason I didn’t get to read it was because time had run out by the time it was my time to read a letter. It was too good to ignore and so, as a sort of compensation, I’m going to include the gist of it here. I say ‘gist’…more like my reworking of someone else’s letter.

The letter came from someone called ‘S’ who lives in Castle Street. S wanted to tell the (local) world about a recent shopping experience. Here is the (reworked) story:

Last November S went to Elphick’s and purchased six four piece espresso cup and saucer sets. S liked the pattern and thought they’d make nice presents. Five of them did indeed make nice presents, the sixth set (for reasons I forget) did not get given away. S decided to put it away in the secret present store at the back of the house until a present was needed for some festivity or other when it could be called into play. A sort of reserve present, if you will.

It wasn’t used at all and so, S retrieved it in order to use it as a Christmas present, now a year later. Previously S hadn’t opened it (she had six identical sets so why should she?) and was astonished to discover that instead of the four cups and saucers there were only two. Oops. That’s a great way to ruin a four piece set.

S was now in a quandary. How could they be returned to Elphick’s? The receipt was long gone and who would believe this outrageous tale of woe. S decided to try; after all Elphick’s could, at worst, just laugh. S took the box into Elphick’s and started to explain the situation to a wide eyed shop assistant who was getting more confused by the second.

And then Sharon walked by. Sharon spotted the crockery and immediately sprung up, grabbing S and asking if a couple of cups and saucers were missing. S, shocked and surprised nodded. Sharon, a huge look of relief on her face told S to wait as she went and retrieved the missing items.

Apparently, Sharon had come across the odd items last year after S had purchased the sets. She couldn’t figure out who had bought them but assumed they’d be back. Sharon placed the cups and saucers in a secure part of the store room and left them there. And lo and behold, here was S, coming back for them.

Sharon wrapped the missing cups and saucers, packed them in the box with their long lost siblings and handed it all to S who was simply amazed at the wonderful Elphick’s service. S was so amazed that a letter to the local paper was immediately required and was duly written and despatched with all haste.

While I thought it was a wonderful letter with a very Christmas-like moral, it also told me something about Sharon. Not only the fact that she went out of her way for a complete stranger but also that she’s worked at Elphick’s for more than a year. I quite like the idea that we have a family department store in our town where the staff work there for periods measured in years rather than weeks.

Anyway, the rest of the recording went very well with many laughs at the expense of the Christmas goat stories (and Malcolm, the engineer’s story about carrying a sheep in a nativity when he was ten and worried it may relieve itself while in his arms) and various other weird and wonderful exploits one only gets in local newspapers. It was soon time to meander home and to a slowly improving Mirinda who is still in the grip of her cold.

It was a rubbish day, weatherwise, so Mirinda spent the day inside, keeping the dogs company and working. It also means I didn’t take any bird photos today. So here’s a green finch from the other day. He was hiding in the twisty tree but I managed to spot him.

I'm watching you, camera boy.

And, finally, something I spotted in Waitrose. For anyone who doesn’t know me…I ALWAYS make my own gravy. I think instant gravy granules are a crime against humanity. However, I know many people disagree with me and so they boil their water and pour it onto their Bisto (or Gravox in Australia) and make a very rich and (usually) quite thick pseudo gravy.

As far as I’m aware, this is a pretty fast way of making gravy. Possibly the fastest – though you do have to wait for the water to boil, I guess. However, it was with some surprise that I spotted these in Waitrose today.

More instant than instant

Instant gravy in a tube? What the hell is that? It’s not stock…it’s gravy. I can see it now. The family at Sunday lunch. Granny asks for gravy. A grandchild hands her the tube of Bisto. She squirts it all over her Yorkshire pud with the congealed distaste of someone who once took the extra three minutes to boil a kettle of water.

Humanity has no hope if this is the result of evolution.

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One Response to All about the goats

  1. mum cook says:

    You’re so funny Gary, and I do not pour hot water over gravox I always add an oxo cube. and everyone loves my gravy. We have white sauce like that 90sec in the microwave and its yummy
    love mum

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