Saturday, 6 September 2008

Now I don't want to get all alarmist on you (on me?), but something's afoot with the quality of the food we're eating. I was born and brought up on English school dinners in the sixties and seventies which basically means I could eat a rancid shoe with melted telephone sauce on top and not feel remotely queasy. In all my now forty-six years of existence I've never had a problem with anything I've eaten, until now. I mentioned a bout of food poisoning from an otherwise charming restaurant in Carcassonne a few months ago and yesterday night, having eaten an innocuous-looking industrial chocolate pudding I was back on the big white telephone to remind God he was still important to me.

OK, two pukes in five months isn't so bad, you might think. It is. When you have no previous history in way over half your natural life expectancy, two food chunders before autumn is harrowing. I don't have facts and figures at my disposal of how poor farmers are being forced to feed dead mice to their chickens or how cows are now ordering Agent Orange aperitifs at the bar, but somewhere we're all being taken for fools. Corn crops are now being channelled towards the production of the Emperor's New Bio Fuels and we're being made to pay through the nose for the sordid muck which is left over. It all makes you want to believe Alan Partridge's famous rant about farmers making pigs smoke.

Other than that, today was a great success. Mrs. Fingers and I set off with the Fingernails a bit later than anticipated to visit a local safari park. It was teeming with rain, but when you've hired a car expressly for this purpose you're not going to let a bit of precipitation put you off. Our Berlingo sat alone in the car park, most of the animals had barricaded themselves into their shelters and the only one who showed a bit of initiative was a zebra who licked our car. The lion was having none of it, though, as were the monkeys, the hippo, the panthers, the jaguars or the kangaroos. The sealion show was cancelled. A couple of Siberian tigers squared up to one another out of sheer boredom but soon gave it up as a bad job. The café was closed and the Fingernails were starving. By the time we got out, all the restaurants in the surrounding towns had finished serving, thus torpedoing our little dream of - gasp! - a lunch out, so we ended up driving home and having a plate of rice to calm our still delicate tummies. Top that if you can.

Tomorrow we're invited to a barbeque...

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