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Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Oh for a closer walk with retailing

Know what this is? First, it’s a bad photo – a Tone Deaf speciality. Here the words coruscate, not the pix.

Give up? It’s a sweet onion. Thin slices of which were lain on my new lunchtime preference: toast with tuna paté. But sweet onions are rarish in Herefordshire and it’s proof we were elsewhere this morning. Waitrose.

For foreigners who browse at TD I need to explain. Waitrose is a supermarket chain, but then the moon’s a celestial body. A seven-minute walk from Ch. Robinson brings us to Tesco, another supermarket. We shop there to sustain life. We shop at Waitrose to enhance life. Waitrose is twenty-five miles away.

Other stuff bought this morning. Six bottles of dry oloroso, a dark, deep-flavoured sherry normally sweetish. This one’s like Christmas pudding for adults: dry enough for a subtle aperitif.

Pain au raisin made with Charente butter. Had I held mine in my fingers and blown on the pastry it would have eroded and drifted away like autumn leaves.

Chard, Charente carrots, Welsh new potatoes. Quilted toilet paper (on offer) – for we must not ignore the mundane.

Once, years ago at another Waitrose, we bought a Welsh lamb crown roast. It may have been the most intensely flavoured cut of meat I have ever eaten.

Right-wing Republicans in the USA who believe Obama is planting rampant Socialism there should be made to shop at Waitrose for a week. Proof not only that Socialism works but is desirable. All Waitrose employees are shareholders in their employer. They’re invariably pleasant to customers, as well they might; each gets a large bonus, annually.

One black mark. They used to sell Teisin Lap, a spicy Welsh cake. Now they’ve dropped it. As Joe E. Brown said: Nobody’s perfect.


  1. The Water Rat and I stopped off at our "enhancing" market on the way home. She placed a chocolate bar in my basket with a knowing look. A 55% dark cacao bar, it has in it ginger, wasabi, and black sesame seeds. My dear friend knows me well. My evening has been enhanced!

  2. We shop at British grocers here too when we want to enhance life through delicious sausages, thick bacon, Australian ginger beer and (for the children) smooth peanut butter.

    Are the onions labeled a name such as Vidalia or do they just go by "sweet onion"?

  3. Rw (zS): We need a German toast: Here's to enhancement! Far too clumsy as it stands in English but I can rely on your tweaking it to create something that is eminently bellowable - perhaps with a Bavarian accent.

    Julia: Just "sweet onions". Though that may be Waitrose policy; their shelf labelling aims at simplicity. Which I applaud.

  4. It has always seemed to me that the oownership of WItrose is closer to communism than socialism. The work off the Devil as far as Republicans are concerned.262

  5. If Waitrose pays good benefits it's definitely not Communist. A favorite phrase here about working during communism goes, "We pretended to work, and they pretended to pay us". Luckily most people are over that habit!