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More stick for walking

August 8, 2012

The walking stick debate has stirred up a hornets nest. Yesterday I mentioned that I have discovered a walking stick shop in Arundel and that I felt curiously drawn to owning one. On the one hand that nice lady decorator is determined that owning such an item is a statement of antiquity and as such I am not old enough to own such a thing, which in a small way is rather rewarding, but on the other hand there is the groundswell of opinion that owning a proper one gives one some gravitas.

Apparently ownership of a walking stick can be seen in some quarters as the mark of a gentlemen, which, given the slings and arrows of outrageous torment that have directed towards me by the coterie of public schoolboy friends I have collected over the past few years, may just prove too tempting for me. Anything that might suggest that I am a gentleman in their eyes will irritate them and amuse me in equal measure. I will go and have another look today. I wonder if they have anything with flashing neon lights saying “gentleman”? If not, then Brighton Rock stripes might be nice?

That nice lady decorator is in her element when spending time and money in any retail establishment, but her special favourite is off-licences hardware stores where she can indulge that DIY decorating gene that is so dominant. I have said before that I do not have any tools, she has tools and she knows how to use them. Thus whilst I spent the morning slouched in the corner of various stores, on the look out for customers for Currencies Direct, I watched her at work, arguing her case and putting some of the kitchen experts right. It is a very satisfying spectacle to see these macho sales assistants treating her like a girl who knows nothing. The phrase “you don’t want to do that” is the one that always gets the best reaction. I have seen many an “expert” suffering those laser beam stares that are set to “stun”. Anyway, she had loads of fun whilst I did not. Later, when watching the Olympic highlights when the men were attempting 2 metres 40 she was heard to say “that’s almost as long as my work surfaces I bought today”.

The Black Rabbit at Arundel, a fab pub by the river Arun

Today, my middle finger will be erect for much of the day and I will be hoarse from shouting obscenities as I am once again white van man, collecting furniture from Cadogan Tate in Wembley who took a mere two and a half weeks to ship our stuff from France after promising it would be done in 5 days. After my piece about the frozen wastes of Milton Keynes, my dear friend Paul “Slash And Burn” Thornton Allan, at whose northern outpost the dragons pot was stored,  has shipped it south to the relatively equable outpost of north London, Muswell Hill to be exact, thus allowing me to avoid having to make preparations for winter motoring. Just topping up the anti-freeze in the car should be enough to allow an expedition to north London. It may be that we shall stop for lunch but not overnight, too cold and dangerous.

I was in need of sustenance after a morning enduring do it yourself shopping so we popped into the Black Horse at Crymping or as it turned out it should perhaps have been called Skrimping? My “fresh dressed crab salad with new potatoes” was not fresh, not dressed, had no potatoes and the salad was similarly naked of any dressing. There was no olive oil, and no balsamic available, the only options being mustard, mayo and ketchup in plastic sachets. Welcome to the gourmet desert that is most of England.

Chris France

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 9, 2012 6:29 am

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