Friday, 10 March 2017

Two Days in March

I take my dog, Billy, out for a long walk everyday and nearly every day there is an incident of some kind. Friday's incident was very unpleasant. I was happily striding along with Billy who was on his lead when a Jack Russell ran up to Billy and started to viciously snap at his face. The Jack Russell was circling Billy and launching his attack. The owner came into view and I told him to get his dog away. The man laughed at me and said, "What do expect, he's a Jack Russell." I replied that I didn't care what he was, he was being aggressive and was out of control.  I told the man to get his dog back on a lead. The dog had no collar and the man had no lead. He didn't even attempt to call his dog off Billy. I told the man I would kick his dog away if he refused to do anything. At this the man took umbrage. He raised his hands in the air and said aloud, "You are going to kick my dog, YOU are going to kick my dog.' The horrible little mutt was still yapping and biting at Billy. I was getting very annoyed and didn't really see why I shouldn't kick his dog away. The man walked on ahead and I held Billy still until finally the Jack Russell ran away. The man then turned around and attempted to take a photograph of me which he promised to put on Facebook to, in his words, 'shame me' for threatening to kick his dog.
In the distance I saw a Jack Russell circling a little Cockapoo and heard the shrill scream of a frightened child.
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I am queuing up at the checkout in Asda on a very busy Saturday afternoon. The supermarket is really busy with people doing their weekly shopping. There is a corridor of sorts which leads out of the shop, it is a really busy thoroughfare with people bustling hither and thither. A very tall black lady glides along with a square cardboard box balanced perfectly on her head. She draws glances of astonishment from all and sundry. The lady working on the checkout raises her eyebrows and mutters something disparaging under her breath. Other people shake their heads and laugh. The black lady does not move her head at all, the cardboard box and its contents remain perfectly still. No  'Bags for Life' necessary.
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I bought my dad some cockles in Marks and Spencer. I had bought some for myself the week before and they were delicious but more than that, they transported me back in time.
On tasting the salty sea flavour of the little molluscs I was immediately reminded of trips to Greatstone Beach as a very young child. My mum and dad and brothers would journey to the beach on cold Sundays with our tin buckets to collect cockles and winkles from the windswept wet shore. I remember being so small that as I crouched down the sand and seawater would ooze into the top of my wellington boots. I also remember my hair smelling of the sea for days after our trips.
We would take our booty home and mum would boil up huge (they probably were normal size) saucepans of water and we would tip in the cockles and winkles. The kitchen would be steamy with the smell of hot sea.
We would then pick the 'beauty spots' out of the winkles with a pin and stick them on our faces. We would all huddle around the formica table and eat our spoils with some bread and butter.
The yellow lino floor would be dotted with beauty spots for days afterwards.

Dad was delighted with his little pot of cockles from Marks and Spencer but remarked that they weren't quite as tasty as the 'real thing.'