Does this taste like Christmas time at all?

Two nights staying up to 2am watching cricket – not the greatest preparation for walking. A Friday off work after a stressful week gave the opportunity for me to go to town to buy a couple of CDs and to make a day’s walk out of it. Within one mile, I felt sufficiently cold to don the woolly hat (the gloves were already on), drawing a number of “I know you from somewhere – oh yeah, Crimewatch” looks from passers by. As midday approached and passed, the weather became more of the bearable bonce-baring type and, though still chilly, it was pleasant enough until I reached Southampton [how many sentences have finished that way?].

Reward for a decent pre-break distance is often a skinny latte with vanilla and a pasty. But this 20 minute rest didn’t go the way of the norm. In a previous post, I highlighted the three major coffee outlets and professed no significant preference between them. Today, Starbucks sank very much into bronze medal position (and only still third because there are only three in this contest). I had obviously come across the agency staff member in Starbucks, who had professed clever dickness and smart alecness, as well as an interest in the law, and wanted work as a barrister, and the agency had got him work as a barista. “Would you like to try our new Christmas blend in your latte, sir?” He must have both heard and seen my eyes roll at that point. I’m quite fussy but not always averse to trying new food – I had my first ever Dolly Mixtures sandwich last night while watching the cricket. And what exactly is this ‘Christmas blend’? “They’re different beans and taste of Christmas, sir”. What could this be, I asked myself. Mince pies, brandy, cinnamon? He showed me the beans – looked like reindeer poo to me. It actually turned out to be the blandest vanilla latte I think I’ve ever had – I could barely taste any vanilla and was so boring that I almost fell asleep drinking it. Just goes to prove that Christmas has no taste.

I then shuffled up the road to Greggs and picked up a Cornish pasty. It was a pasty that was tepid to the extent of having a capital ‘T’ – I may be guessing but we have such a litigious society that Greggs couldn’t take the risk of me burning my mouth, unless I had actually asked for the pasty to be hot. When I’d finished I realised part of the paper bag was missing – and it hadn’t made any difference to the taste. Not the greatest pasty I’d ever consumed.

Keep an eye on shares in Starbucks and Greggs. This blog has more influence than you might think – it’s had a million views now. Well, give or take 998,700 or so. Scores on the doors: 17.5 miles and little sign of foot or knee damage.

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