The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Monday, 11 August 2008

Over A Month Too Late

For most of the three-month duration of our walk, lunch usually involved either cheese or fish. Edam, in particular, proved to be well suited to backpacking – keeping well without getting sweaty or making my pack smell like old socks.

It didn’t take many days of cheese/bread or cheese/crackers for me to observe that every shop that sells cheese should also be obligated to sell individual servings of pickle. Every now and then we managed to purloin a blister pack of marmite to spice things up and many times we obtained sachets of brown sauce which, although not ideal, did the job acceptably. But it was pickle after which we really hankered, yet it only seemed to be available in family sized quantities in glass jars – far too heavy for our purposes.

I’m almost ashamed to say that in one moment of desperation for something other than plain cheese, I was so wasteful as to buy an entire jar (in the general store in Cannich, I seem to recall) just to make one set of sandwiches and throw the rest away.

In all my rants about how cheese vendors should sell blister packs of Branston (and most people to whom I directed this rant agreed with me, but maybe they were just a bit scared by some mad woman ranting about pickle), I didn’t really think that such a thing existed.

It’s now over a month after the event, but there I was browsing a supermarket today (and buying lots of interesting cheeses from the cheese counter – the time lapse has meant that I can face cheese at lunchtime again now) when what should I find but mini-jars of pickle.

Not entirely ideal, being in glass jars (in the manner of jams on hotel breakfast tables), but wouldn’t it be nice (grasping at straws in a blindly hopeful sort of way) if all of the little shops caught on to the idea?

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