One of those days

22Oct12

Are Celebrations kosher? It’s this sort of question, framed before you’ve even had your breakfast, that mark certain days out from the crowd. I was due in the country to stay with a cousin who had invited some Jewish friends, and it being Friday and all, they’d be celebrating shabat. Which made me wonder whether Celebrations would be a suitable gift because – and I blame myself for never having spent a single second considering this before – I simply don’t know if they are kosher. I hedged by adding spiced biscuits and champagne to the haul and ran off to Paddington.

Unfortunately, an incident on the line left us stranded in rural Gloucestershire for three hours, until we were chuffed far enough to get kicked out at Worcester and on to a rail replacement service. It was all very ad hoc – not least the bus driver who asked us to repeat the names of our intended destinations before admitting with a chuckle that he’d ‘never been to this part of the country before’ – but since the train population was sparse and of pensionable vintage, there was a lot of taking things in our stride. No tired toddlers, no frayed parents, no self-important businessmen.

Until the last person got on the bus. She swept the passengers with a gaze and asked if we were ALL going to be using mobile phones. We nodded. (We are four hours late for our projected arrival. You bet your sweet tushie we’ll be using mobile phones.) She sat down across from me, arranged her bag on her lap, then moaned loudly, clutched her throat and looked at me beadily. She declared loudly that she got ‘terrible nerve pains’ (are there any other kinds?) from technology, ‘ESPECIALLY mobile phones’, so ‘I shall be making that noise A LOT.’ Then she opened her bag, unfurled a large net curtain, pulled it over her head, and lapsed into silence until Hereford.

Incidentally, I still don’t know if Celebrations are kosher. The proffered chocs were politely declined, but I was too busy trying to hide the ‘hurrah, more for me’ glint to push for reasons.

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