Thursday, 28 May 2015


I needed some anchovies today. On the shelves of the local shop were a bewildering variety. I could have chosen the cheapest. I could have chosen the smallest tin.

Instead I chose a rather expensive brand, because the traditional - or possibly retro - design appealed to me:

Those adorable little sailor figures, the simple beauty of the design, won me over.

It is probably not very sensible to be swayed by the look of a package when buying foodstuffs but, as someone said to me long ago, sometimes there is too much choice and that is the hardest thing.

Which is not my way of saying I want to go back to the kind of supermarkets I saw in Ceausescu's Romania, which had nothing in them except a few jars of greying peas, complete with hand-typed labels glued on any old how - and, in one memorable case, on a counter a saucer which contained a lump of something really horrible, congealing in a puddle of oil and skewered with a toothpick on which someone had fastened a handlettered sign that read "Crap".

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