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Food scare in Chester

October 14, 2012

It had to come. Frost and ice on the windscreen. I had just breakfasted well at Oddfellows in Chester although the exact components of the black pudding are open to conjecture and I had no idea pigeon eggs were that colour on the inside. Despite the fact that there are only several hundred cars this far north they have parking restrictions and yellow lines so the car had to be unfrozen and moved. I think they like to pretend that this is a thriving metropolis and I am happy that they are happy with their delusion.

Like a latter-day Father Christmas at this time of the year, I am slaving away trying to complete that ultimate of Christmas presents, a copy of my second book. It could only be done by getting away from any distractions, my work as fat controller in Valbonne for Currencies Direct and especially from the mind numbing succession of little tasks that are set for me by that nice lady decorator on a daily basis. She was upset when I decided to go away for a few days. Yes, upset that it was not for longer. Kindly though, she told me that she would save up all the jobs not done for when I return, then I could catch up. Do other successful writers have to endure such conditions under which to create?

Whilst out with the anti-freeze and paint scraper and having got cold, I decided to take a brisk walk around the centre of the town where  I happened across a retail outlet calling itself The Olde Sweet Shoppe. Apart from the appalling spelling (do I hear someone saying something about pots and black kettles), I am concerned at the concept. Obviously food hygiene will not be so developed this far north, in fact I do not suppose the idea of food being left over must be a fleeting concept, but saving up and selling old sweets seems to be a very dangerous practice.

Olde sweet Shoppe

Out of date sweets?

So more literally slaving over a hot laptop was the feature of my morning. There are rewards (apart from the obvious financial riches that I shall not expect to receive following its publication). The Valbonne Monologues will have pictures, lots of pictures taken over the past few years and many are wonderful.  Many are also embarrassing and many of my friends and acquaintances should tremble when they read this. I have been looking through and selecting the best photographs to include and I must say there are a number of corkers that I had forgotten. Get your order in now, especially for the hardback!

On Friday night I was lucky enough to find the only TV in Chester. Black and white it may have been but it was a TV. Yesterday I found a radio. Not a transistor radio, these are still years from  discovery this far north, no, this was a good old valve radio. After it had warmed up I introduced some of the locals to the delights of what purported to be the BBC news. The very first story I heard was about the BBC itself setting up an enquiry into the allegedly rather unsavoury activities of the late Sir Jimmy Savile, an iconic figure with his roots in the north (although it could be argued that there is evidence to suggest that he may have been rooting in many different places). However it must have been a spoof because the report named the person to be put in charge of the investigation as a Mr Purves. Black comedy indeed.

Chris France
@Valbonne_News

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