The temptation of pastry
I seem to be spending more time commuting now I'm not working than I did when I had to crawl into Oxford each day. This is is because my son now spends most days at his job in a local cafe. Of course, he never ridicules his father over the fact that he is now earning more than me...When he does, I mention the need to discuss rent, eliciting a whine as lengthy and unpleasant as an old-fashioned air raid alarm or a Brexiteer.
I very much enjoy visiting the local town every day but it holds risks for the indolent, not least the usually invented need to visit the supermarket for something or other each day, resulting in me leaving with a bag or two groaning with things we could very easily have lived without. Another problem is more malign.
Now, I'm no snob. Indeed, I have been eating products from this fine British firm for many years. The trouble is I used to consume a pastry or two when I was younger and a bit more active so the fatted products could be worked through the system more readily. These days I struggle to deal with these tasty but deadly treats. This week, temptation has been made worse by indecision.
The first day I went in with the aim of getting that perennial favourite, a sausage roll. Unfortunately, when I reached the counter there, winking at me, was something called a pulled pork roll. I mean, what's not to like? I can report that said treat left with me and was as delicious as you might expect – death in a shortcrust pastry but delicious nonetheless. That would have been bad enough but, when followed by an Apple Danish, it is a positive health alert.
The following day I was once again in Witney and returned to the shop but this time I was resolute: it would be a sausage roll or nothing. I marched up to the counter, repeating the request under my breath – 'sausage roll please, sausage roll please...' - when what did I spy out of the corner of my eye? A voluptuous, naughty Chicken Katsu Pasty.
Feel for me.
I left with this vixen of a snack plus, of course, the Apple Danish - another day lost to the ravages of culinary desire and another few hours trimmed off the end of my life. I can report that it was very good, although I would caution anyone with even a passing knowledge of Japanese food to steer clear of this particular fusion car crash. If, however, like me you lack any sense of what is appropriate in food, dive in: it was magnificent.
The challenge now was twofold: (i) to avoid returning the next day to the bakery – an outcome which quite frankly was never going to happen; (ii) to focus, be resolute and get the sausage roll which had gradually become a thing of legend to me. I once more dropped off the boy, did some unnecessary shopping (the boy needed deodorant so off to Boots I went - hooray!) and skipped off to Greggs. I marched up to the counter, having scanned it from afar so that I could not be tempted by anything new and exotic (I know - in Greggs) and demanded that they give me a sausage roll - pleasing and thanking all the way, I might add, lest I be thought to be rude.
Reader, I carried it (off)!
The tragedy was that said sausage roll had made good friends with a cheese and onion bake and the two of them would not be parted, so I had to take them both...as well as the pesky Apple Danish.
So, that's three days, three visits to Greggs, culminating in three pastries in a single day.
I think I need to knuckle down and get that new job purely in the interests of securing a sustainable funding future for the NHS. I shall also have to put my proverbial pinny on and get down to some serious cleaning, heeding the mantra of my mother that you should only exercise once all the housework has been done.
As for Greggs, like a tempting but ultimately destructive lover, I think we need some time apart, although it would be lovely to catch up occasionally. And when we do, I shall book a Premier Inn in Tring.