You may be assured

Friday November 11, 2005

We got to the station in good time and sat over coffee while waiting for the train. I’d skipped breakfast so I opted for a ‘cappuchino muffin’ which, while offending just about every element of my good food sense, satisfied the hole in my tummy remarkably well. It’s not a muffin, it’s a sponge cake with confectioner’s soft sugary icing on top. There was a vague element of milky coffee to it but if the label had not so informed me I’d have failed to identify the flavour. Thankfully there was none of that nasty chemical aftertaste, so I was happy enough.

When the train had come and gone, with much waving and take care’s and see you Tuesday’s, I walked back to the car debating the desirability of a trip to Costa Coffee for a real coffee and a small piece of real confectionery against the more practical option of proceeding straight to Tesco’s for a weekend provisioning and from thence home.

The practical option won but my timing was wrong.

When the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month strikes I prefer to be in a more suitable place than the aisle of a supermarket. I don’t care to analyse my feelings or my thinking on this too deeply but, to me, there’s something inherently silly about standing for the two minutes silence between the detergent and the toilet tissue, surrounded by grim-faced shoppers determined on a public show of mourning.

There’s an air of agressiveness about this annual ceremony, growing in intensity year by year, that I find disturbing. If you choose not to wear a poppy you get glared at. If you choose not to stand still for the two minutes you get cursed. Another year or so and the proponents of this public display of remembrance will be handing out white feathers to the nonconformists.

Seems to me that the fallen in all wars whom we very properly honour on this day at this time made their sacrifice for our freedom not just to conform but also and perhaps more importantly to dissent.

Normally I take myself off to some quiet spot where I can spend my two minutes in private, thinking my own, private thoughts. I don’t need to do that in public.

Hey ho. Home, unpacking of the provisions, and then on to Spilsby to pick up my monthly prescription and to make an appointment for a further ‘fasting lipids’ blood test. Seems the routine one I had a little over a week ago yielded odd results. My own feeling is that this new statin doesn’t suit me. If there’s any hint of a problem after the next blood test I shall assert my rights to a proper examination and consultation.

Then I quietened my seething spirits with a small bag of fish and chips which I enjoyed while sitting on a bench in the town square. Yummity scrummity.

Home again, a long afternoon nap, and I was set to face the weekend ahead. There will be no pseudo-muffins in it, you may be assured.


The supermarket of remembrance
At the eleventh hour
     of the eleventh day
     of the eleventh month
I placed a bottle
     of in-wash stain remover
     in my trolley
and stood quiet and still
for two minutes. It was all
rather embarrassing, really.
John Bailey
November 2005, Lincolnshire



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