You know when you’re not quite with it when you misread fliers put through the door especially so spectacularly that I thought Harvey Nicholls were moving to Cardiff! The word Nicholls caught my eye as I opened the front door laden with shopping; another trip for a couple of items that somehow ends up pushing £80! Bloody cleaning products are to blame plus a randomly large number of chocolate bars. So many that the check out lady actually commented ‘fancied some chocolate did you love?’ Love? Curious as she is at least half my age. Of course I felt the need to explain, to confess some none existent crime to which I was apparently being held to account by someone in no position to act thus!
The truth of the matter is I wanted to send a bar of chocolate in the post to a friend with whom I’d been discussing the cocoa content of said delicacy. Along the lines of the higher the % the more intense the flavour experience and technically the smaller quantity needed in one sitting. Finding 70%, 85% and 90% versions I decided to buy all three and send with an accompanying witty comment that I has get to me! And then I thought about various other friends, colleagues and clients who equally deserved a treat –one thing led to another with the following finding themselves in my trolley:
1 bag Cadbury Twirl Bites, 1 bag Cadbury Wispa Bites, 1 multi pack Minstrels (3 bags), 4 bars Dairy Milk Bliss (3 variations), 3 bars Green and Blacks (Dark with Cherries (fruit content tick), Burnt Toffee(from Yorkshire apparently) and Butterscotch), 7 bars Lindt (70%, 85%, 90%, Chill, Intense Mint, Intense Orange and Hint of Salt (the aforementioned friend is suffering from cramp that we diagnosed as a salt deficiency associated with drinking too much water) and a multipack Galaxy Snacksize (10 twigs). Add in the Options White Chocolate drink and I have to admit the whole transaction did look a tad suspicious. In fact my response probably sounded like an elaborate ruse to conceal an addiction! In my defence I promise to ensure that 90, OK 80%, of the product of various South American and African economies will be dispatched to the Post Office tomorrow (or Saturday – any longer and I could be in danger of succumbing to a midnight snack or two). Perhaps the spinster needs to get out more or take up a handicraft to occupy her time.
Back to where this stream of consciousness started, the flier on the doormat. Sadly the Nicholls was Steve Nicholls a local estate agent; the nearest this Mr Nicholls gets to Harvey is the proximity to a high class (for Barry) boutique where one can browse London labels at South Wales prices. Hey ho there’s always House of Fraser disguised as department store in the Hayes (Cardiff City Centre) should I feel the need for an almost Harvey Nicholls shopping experience (which I seldom do)!
On my return from Edinburgh I opened the post to find details of the Speed Awareness Course that I had apparently agreed to attend. The letter begins ‘We would like to thank you for opting to attend a National Speed Awareness Course. The course lasts 4 hours, the cost of which is £85.00. Upon successful completion of this course you will not receive any penalty points or a fine.’ Frankly the last sentence is the clincher given the cost of car insurance these days plus the fact that the course does not include a test or examination so presumably successful completion simply requires one to sit through the 4 hours of passive reprogramming as one absorbs the flow of information delivered intravenously through Powerpoint presentation. I’m always interested in an innovative presentation from a fellow professional so I will reserve judgement at this point!
I wonder who else will be attending the course and whether we will have to go round the room confessing the nature of our speeding breach; mine was 35mph (going up Rhiwbina Hill) in a 30mph zone. Slightly irritating as I’ve been points free for a number of years so the Speed Awareness Course is a godsend given my reliance of vehicular transport coupled with the parlance state of my professional portfolio at present! I do wonder what you do if you haven’t got £85 although I understand you can enter into a payment arrangement i.e. debt which is a little ironic in austere times.