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Monday, 2 April 2012

Retirement (not on a budget)

The cow pics in my last post were taken at Low Sizergh Barn Farm Shop not far from my abode. At LSBFS well-to-do, elderly middle class frequenters, whose main pleasure in life is reviewing overpriced quality shops and eatng places, can satiate their hunger for retail therapy by paying four times as much for chicken breast, or cauliflower than they would at Tesco.
This is the ultimate place for people-watching within the narrow band described above. As you mingle you are close enough to catch snatches of conversation between long married, expensively dressed couples:
 “shall we have the smoked salmon (from an obscure smokehouse in Inverkirksomethingorother run by the fourth generation of the McMurdysomethingorother clan), or the sea bass? (line caught off the coast of Greenland)
Even the ladies behind the counter seem as though they might have “come out” thirty years ago, and they are either so well groomed, or so well trained that their considered pleasantries can help assuage any guilty conscience one may have for having paid £4.50 for a lettuce that would have cost 70p at Tesco, where the sixteen year old checkout girl greets you with the automated:
  “do you want help with your packing?”
Upstairs there is  a posh café with a gallery looking down into the cow byres, suitably screened by glass to avoid any undesirable olfactory connection with agriculture. Here the cows are treated like guests at the Lord Mayors Banquet. The milking parlour is as clean as Ferrari’s production line, and the animals themselves have an aristocratic demeanour.  In summer the cows come in for milking. What a gift for our doting well-to-doers who bring their grandchildren to observe, and to be educated.


In winter the cows are housed in this, their version of a country house, on a free range basis with plenty of straw and fodder, and room to amble about and hobnob as though they were in the bar of a gentleman’s club (albeit, of course that they are ladies). There is a final piece de resistance - the cows have a huge water powered brush like one part of a car wash mounted on a pole and oscillating at bum height, and they queue up in turns to wash their bums - fascinating!

2 comments:

Lorenzo da Ponte said...

Life these days is often defined by two retail extremes: on the one hand beaten-down council-estaters with their typically loaded Tesco trolleys (cases of cut-price lager, Value oven chips, pop in two-litre bottles, iced buns, tinned vegetables) and the rampant middle-classes you describe. Fortunately there is a mid-point; it costs more than Tesco but the range is wider and - since the staff are all share-holders - there's hope in the air. I refer of course to that secular church called Waitrose.

Sir Hugh said...

My daughter (High Horse) has some difficulty with your positioning of Waitrose, an outlet she worships, but cannot afford to patronise. It is probably as dear as the subject of my post.

Fortunately for daughter (and for me) the nearest Waitrose is in Preston, over thirty miles away, otherwise we would probably be in the debtor's prison by now.