The anniversary of my migration to the Deep South has just passed. I marked the occasion with a minute's silent remembrance of Oop North, friends, relations, and cockroaches, and then I got on with Day 2 of Harlot's Parentally-Supervised Tour de Victoria.
The Runcible Spoons picked me up from Hôtel Harlot at first light on Saturday and pootled me off into the wild blue yonder, where I learnt many things about Victoria, her heirs and successors.
For instance, I learnt that if you pop into the Shell service station in Daylesford at a quarter past ten in the dark of the night to buy half a litre of cowmilk, the salesworker will personally advise you of the three-for-the-price of-two chocolate bar special. Note that in normal circumstances, I am the reason three-for-the-price-of-two chocolate bar specials exist. At a quarter past ten in the dark of last Saturday night, however, the three-for-the-price-of-two-chocolate bar special caught me in the immediate aftermath of a parentally-sponsored three course dinner. I rejected the three-for-the-price-of-two chocolate bar special, vehemently. And then, worried that the salesworker might find me in contempt of her advice as to the compatibility of three chocolate bars with half a litre of cowmilk, I added, "But gosh I'm so impressed that you'd bother to point out the chocolate bar special. That's really conscientious." Patronising much? It turns out not that our trusty salesworker was being conscientious, but that Shell plants plain-clothes scrutineers in its outlets by dark of night, and these scrutineers - so the legend goes - will pay $50 on the spot to any salesworker who personally advises them of the three-for-the-price-of-two chocolate bar special. Whether this rumour is true or not, the salesworker has clearly been told it's so, and this I call teasing and manipulation of the highest ordure. I am reminded of pigeons tricked into pecking at empty grain dispensers. Not that I'm suggesting that the lass in the Daylesford Shell service station was particularly pigeonesque. Pigeons cannot get their beaks around the words "chocolate bar special", for one thing.
Thus the perversities of capitalism. And only that very morning I had been contemplating my 'rents investment advice: never to buy the most valuable house in the street.
Not that I'm in much of a position to buy any house in any street, but if I were - this is before the Daylesford Shell service station fandango reminded me of the perversities of capitalism and I foreswore all property for evermore - this is the house I would buy. It is not, investment advisers will be pleased to hear, the most valuable house in its street.
Just take another gander at that front verandah, and you'll fully appreciate the turn my real-estatorial tastes had taken:
Thank you, Trentham. You do a fine morality tale for callow young builders.
Meanwhile (this is still before the episode at Shell, while I was still contemplating investing the kitty in lop-sided verandahs), I found the perfect automobile to go with the perfect delapihabitation.
What, I ask you, is a cubic foot of rust between Morris 1000s? This is the horseless carriage for me, and I've got just the hill to start her on.