There are many ways of describing the kind of experience you can expect to have at a supermarket. Frustrating. Expensive. Self-indulgent. Mildly annoying. But how many people, in all seriousness, have ever experienced something that could be described as uplifting and educational in such a place? Well, it happened to me today...
For those who don't know how we organise ourselves here in England, Morrison's is one of our 'big four' supermarkets. I was doing some 'basics' shopping there earlier today - you know the kind of thing: industrial strength deodorant, mattress protector, lard, anti-ageing toothpaste. As I passed the 'in-store bakery' I noticed a special offer; a large 'Apple and Winter Berry Oat Crumble' for only £1.85. Well, you know me and apples, right? I grabbed it and flung it into my trolley.
But not before looking down the list of ingredients. In a mulled wine sauce (scrummy) and under a crumble topping containing nutmeg, cinnamon and oats (scrumptious) were Bramley apples (yumyummy), cherries (slurrrrrp), blackberries (oo errr missus) and redcurrants (wowie zowie). Oh - and crasins.
Yes - crasins.
Curious, I wheeled my trolley over to the bakery counter and asked them if they could tell me what crasins were. They couldn't because they didn't know. Even though they had - according to the label - just baked something that contained them.
None of the other members of Morrison's staff had the faintest idea what crasins were, either. I asked two shelf-fillers, the fishmonger and the checkout girl (Lucy). The nearest guess I got was that it was a misprint for raisins.
And here's the uplifting and educational bit. When I got home and sampled it, I was delighted to discover that my Apple and Winter Berry Oat Crumble was mouth-wateringly delicious.
Furthermore - and although only one of the four online dictionaries I use included the word - I found out that crasins isn't a misprint at all. I now know what they are.
IF ONLY WE STILL HAD THE NIGHTSHIFT NEWSREEL...
This story would have been included...
A scientist based in the Wirral is hoping to prove that a 3,000-year-old artificial toe from Egypt is the world's oldest prosthetic body part.
Her name is Jacky Finch and she has spent ages examining the prosthesis. It's made of papier mache and glue just like the things we all used to do in primary school and has stuck snugly to a 50-year-old mummy's foot since 1,000BC - and presumably for some years before that, when she was the other type of mummy.
Jacky has been looking for volunteers who have lost their right big toe, so that she can test an exact model of the prosthesis at the Human Performance Centre in Salford University.
Any volunteers? If so...
Post comments on this blog or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
...don't forget the 'diarise' the next AGM at the Sunderland Winter Gardens on Saturday 21 March at 1400.