Life is tricky in a country that has no national tongue

I was in Morrison’s yesterday and noticed several stacked rows of Lindt
chocolate bunnies wrapped in gold paper, lined up in their boxes horizontally,
except many of them weren’t; their little chocolate bodies replaced by bunny
shaped empty spaces, as many of them had been nicked, purloined, and
guzzled before getting anywhere near the till.

As I had heard that the supermarket has had a 2.8 per cent fall in sales, as
they lose out to Aldi and Lidl, I thought I would help out by mentioning this
larceny to one of their assistants so that they could move the rabbits
somewhere more prominent, rather than at the end of an aisle where they
were not clearly on view.

The man I stopped in his cheery green tabard looked at me blankly, made a
few hand gestures and walked on. He hadn’t a clue what I was trying to tell
him. I tried a woman on the till, same reaction, no idea what I was saying. I
never see an English woman on their tills and I gave up. Let them and their
Tower of Babel lose even more money if they must.

In the evening I went to my first Ealing Council Planning meeting last night.
Some of the residents around here are alarmed to learn by hearsay, we
weren’t properly informed, that the council intends to open a go-kart arena at
the back of these houses, in an old factory building. They are going to convert
it and put in a bar, and it will be rented out, every day of the year, from 9am
until 11pm for go-karting and ‘hospitality.’

The councillors all voted against us, and didn’t seem at all interested in our
concerns. Two of them talked about their own youthful experiences go-karting
and laughed heartily. What really shocked and annoyed me, was a husband
and wife who were there on that committee even though she spoke very little
English. She gave her few pence about the matter, and was unintelligible,
apart from the words, ‘Good for health.’

She may genuinely feel that go-karting and opening a bar in a quiet residential
area is good for health, whose I don’t know, but if someone is going to wreck
our domestic environment I think they should at least be able to explain more
fully why they are doing it.

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