This is a bit previous, but I think I have already decided what one of my new year resolutions should be: I must make more pronouncements, and make them confidently and without equivocation. I must be more like Julie Burchill or Jeanette Winterson. To incorporate both would be a challenge as they are at opposite ends of a spectrum, but they definitely have what it takes to pronounce for England (I wonder if it has something to do with their both being only children, this unshakeable self-belief).
“Shopping is what you do when you have stopped living,” says Winterson, though actually what she really thinks it that it is ok as long as you go to small, independent shops (and doesn’t she have one of her own called Verde’s?) and buy organic. Julie Burchill, on the other hand, says that if you don’t like Tesco’s you need to get a life and that shopping is brilliant and fun especially when you can whizz around and do it all in the one brightly-lit place.
Well there’s shopping and shopping, I suppose. Signs, Christmas 2007 (I told you I needed to make a resolution). The kind of shopping I almost never do is the clothes and accessories kind, and I was recently reminded of one of the reasons why when I ventured into shopping hell in the Brighton malls. Why anyone would choose to go there rather than all the interesting small shops in the Lanes perhaps Julie would understand: I thought I could do it all in one, stupid me, forgetting that mall shopping isn’t like that, especially not for the orthostatically challenged, as I most certainly was the other day, and feeling sick to boot. I got some wrapping paper, gift tags (why? I don’t use them), an item that I took back for refund half an hour after having bought it and four disgusting plastic painting set things for nieces and nephews that I never would have got if I’d been in my right mind.
But shopping for food is something I understand in my soul. Not so Mr. Signs who, on being asked to purchase a selection of interesting cheeses got a hunk of Cheshire. No disrespect to the good folk who live there, but really this is not a cheese that can by any stretch of the imagination be called interesting. Son of Signs complained about it and then I noticed a tub of duck fat smirking at me from the top shelf of the fridge. It is for roasting the potatoes, apparently. But I do not use duck fat for roasting potatoes, and neither do Jamie or Nigella, and actually I prefer your common vegetable oil. I have suggested to Mr. S that he should consider carefully before using his initiative in supermarkets and some very droll banter ensues – don’t be thinking that we are not entering into the Christmas spirit here. But sick or not, clearly it was time for me to make a move, so I did, to my favoured supermarket which was not quite as serene as this, but not far off. I bumped into several people I knew, well we nodded to each other and they gave me a wide berth – I looked awful, felt worse and had a near-death experience when trying to decide between a Duchy Original pudding or Waitrose’s own richly fruited. This may have had something to do with trying to do a spot of Process-inspired creative visualisation. There are moments when even my richly-fruited imagination fails me. It does so now, dear reader, as I try to come up with a fitting pronouncement to rival those of Jeanette and Julie.
Just give me time.