Sunday Miscellany

I am, as is often the case, still up because MasterB is enjoying some Outside Time. His Outside Time makes me feel increasingly that to move somewhere with a catflap and private garden, however small, would significantly improve the quality of his life. And  mine. Hartley and Smudge, the two black and white fur balls are also outside in our garden. Hartley is very friendly to me and would be friendly to MasterB, but the objet of his affection is playing Hard to Get. Actually, I think Hartley is looking for a new home where he would gets lots of love and attention. I don’t think it’s my home, but I wish him luck.

As I have heard nothing to the contrary, I believe Ann is still alive. Ridiculous, but I can’t help feeling if she has made it through the weekend she might still surprise everyone and rise again from her sick bed.

Octavia has been looking for talcum powder and not finding it. Since she said this I have seen talcum powder on sale everywhere. There is a mystery here I am not sure I am qualified to solve.

Marks and Spencer, a company to which I have been intensely loyal, has incurred my wrath. It is marketing vegetarian dishes with these words:
Forget dull, lacklustre meat-free options, our range of vibrant veggie food is so tasty it’ll even tempt the meat eaters
Read more at http://www.marksandspencer.com/c/food-to-order#GL28Xl0AULXSEJIz.99

Well, you know what, I have eaten tasty vegetarian food for several decades without the help of M&S and not been tempted by meat at all. And tempting meat eaters is the last of my priorities. Actually it’s not a priority at all. I don’t like meat. I do not think of my diet as inferior to a meat eater’s diet, yet M&S evidently thinks I should. The dull, lack lustre options have not been the options vegetarians have been eating, they have been the options suggested by companies and restaurants whose management thinks anything minus meat must be second class. In an ideal world we’d all be vegetarian. Alas if that ever happens I doubt it’ll be in my lifetime, but pretending that vegetarian food, or ‘options’ as M&S coyly calls it, has to be sexed up by clever chefs to make it palatable is a both insulting and a nonsense.

Autumn is upon us and I am back in socks. I love warm wooly jumpers, but I had been hoping for extended days of sunshine in September and October, a Keatsian time of plenty and warmth after cooler mornings. Whether I shall have an extended stay aboard das Boot this year is now debatable.

I think Himself has had enough Outside Time now, so I shall put a final full stop here, wish you good night and go out to the garden and get the boy in for tonight.

Sweet dreams.

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11 thoughts on “Sunday Miscellany

  1. I concur with your irritation at M&S. Worse than describing vegetarian cuisine as dull, they slot the listing at the bottom of the menu and ascribe it the attribute of “healthy”. But then I clicked through to see such healthy vegetarian options as Churros and Cheesecake. Isn’t marketing amazing?

    • I’m glad I am not alone in my irritation. I find it very insulting and dismissive. Gordon Ramsey has the same attitude, but somehow I’d expect that of him.

      • Have to ask about Talc – which is very controversial over here as a cancer causer – is there not the same concern there? We have body powders that aren’t talcum based,

        But back to food – my personal hobbyhorse on this is vegetarian cuisine needs to be a stand alone and not be an “option” or a “version”. “So good you didn’t miss the meat” is my favorite back-handed compliment to plant based cuisine. On the other hand, “plant base cuisine” is rapidly become as twee as every other restrictive diet.

        Can’t we all just eat our veg?

        • I think there have been scares, but fairly low key. I’ll have to ask Octavia, I remember we looked up its constitution.

          Back to food, the Vegetarian Society here – vegsoc.org I think – had or have a survey asking how people think vegetarians dishes should be listed on menus. The argument for listing them among the meaty dishes was, if I remember rightly, to entice non-vegetarians to meat and fish free meals. My vote was for the dishes to be listed separately to highlight the paucity of choice in so many places. But I think the survey indicates how there are different agendas; one arguing for better provision for the rising number of vegetarians, the other are prosletysing, more in the M&S mode of thinking, get people to eat vegetarian food and from there realise they can easily live without meat.
          The problem for me with M&S campaign is that it panders to the sceptical meat eating population, and does not speak to those of use who have already seen the light and want to move on.d

        • No idea what up with the commenting. It says I am using my wordpress account.

          What is usual around here – for the quality restaurants – is to list everything together. But then, this is here and we do pride ourselves on having all the “options” whatever your dietary requirements.

          One can only applaud the efforts of M&S to try to reach people who have a phobia about vegetables.
          But the pay off that you can eat vegetarian churros and cheesecake makes me laugh and betrays what the campaign is really about. And meanwhile suggest that eating vegetables is somehow a duty rather than an enjoyment is just ridiculous.

          And this will probably post badly.

        • No problems this time. M&S’ campaign is more to do with giving meat eaters more choice than to cater for vegetarians I think. Despite the recent surge in people switching to a vegetarian diet, the main market is still for non vegetarians.

  2. last time I was at Octavia’s (late August) I saw some talc in her bathroom – what’s going on?
    I entirely agree about the dismissive attitude of M&S to veggie food.
    Fingers crossed for your friend.

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