Archive for June, 2013

Flappity Jack

Oats by Ian Britton - courtesy FreeFoto.comI had my first whole flapjack yesterday. Yes, an entire square of the dense oaty snack. I know this doesn’t sound particularly momentous but, for a fussy eater like me, it was pretty significant. Okay, calling myself a fussy eater is a bit misleading. I’m just one of those people with a few peculiarities when it comes to the state of my food (no, it’s not the same thing as being fussy). For instance, I like porridge oats (thank God for microwavable packs), but cannot stand any other thing made with oats. Hobnobs, flapjacks (until yesterday), granola bars – no, thank you. There’s something about their texture and taste that makes it difficult for me to keep them down. Don’t ask why. I wish I knew the reason too.

Other weird ones? I don’t mind milk chocolates bars, but don’t mention chocolate cakes, cookies, brownies or most other chocolate desserts in my presence (especially if you throw in a healthy batch of peanuts). I’m terrible at restaurants because most chefs believe covering a menu with chocolate items will please everyone. I’ve had to order my fair share of vanilla ice-creams as I brave perplexed stares from other diners. My nuttiness even goes as far as fruits. Fresh fruits? Yes. Baked fruits? Urgh! So, apple/cherry pies and strawberry tarts are not for me but I will happily eat an entire bowl of the fruits in fresh form. The only reverse situation is with blueberries. Blubbery muffins? Heaven. Fresh blueberries? Gross! See my point? Inexplicable peculiarities.

So yesterday, when a work colleague asked why I wasn’t tucking into the batch of flapjacks and chocolate muffins he’d made, I refrained from wrinkling my nose as I politely declined. There’s nothing worse than taking food and wasting it if you know it’s something you don’t like. But he wouldn’t let it go, insisting that he didn’t like the texture or taste of regular flapjacks too so he made his slightly different. Not wanting to seem ungracious (he was really plugging his baking talents), I decided to break a corner off a square and give it a go.

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Mind The Gap


I’ve always considered myself to be pretty alert during my Tube commute. I make a mental note of people on the platform, and then have another sweep when I’m on the carriage. I listen to the driver’s announcements, just in case I need to hop off and change trains because of a delay, and I shake my head when I see people bolt just before the doors shut because they’d been staring into space and hadn’t realised they’d reached their stop. Sleeping commuters receive a similar look of contempt as I wonder if they truly intend to snooze all the way to the end of the line.

Why am I saying all this? I thought I had my commute routine pretty much sussed until I was proved wrong one evening last year…and again, last night. I was on my journey home after work, my head stuck in an e-book after all the usual observations had been made. As always, I glanced up a stop before my destination and thought “nearly there”, before I resumed reading. I can’t even remember what the book was called, some romance or thriller that must have seemed worth the attention at that moment.

I could have sworn I read only a page or two more before I looked up and realised I was three stations away from where I should have dropped off! Three stops! How was that even possible? The train had stopped four times, doors had opened and closed and I hadn’t noticed once! Continue reading