Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Calling a Spade a Spade


The press has been full of the story of ‘celebrity chef’ Antony Worrall Thompson stealing food from Tesco. I’m a bit weary of reading described  as ‘theft lite’ by couching the incident in euphemistic terms such as (from the Guardian yesterday) ‘snaffling’. He stole things that didn’t belong to him. End Of.

I’m very nearly a decade out of retailing, but ‘shop lifting’ still presses my buttons (even from Tesco!) You have to be a very committed reader to remember when I wrote about a similar experience. But the Worrall Thompson stuff has reminded me that I haven’t bloged about an ‘incident’*  in a ‘ leading high street pharmacy’

Joe and I were shopping, when I noticed something, not quite right about the young man in the aisle near the razor blades (one of the most stolen items) he was being very furtive, not really looking at the goods on display, but glancing around. It was all a bit odd, to me he had the jizz of a shoplifter.

Edge of Darkness 1

So I told a member of staff of what I’d seen. She thanked me profusely, and Joe and I continued our shopping, good citizen deed of the day done. Cut to ten minutes later when Joe and I are paying for our purchases at the till. The member of staff appears at my side, ‘I just thought I’d tell you’ she says ‘the gentleman you described, that you thought was a shop lifter. Err. Well. Err, actually,  the gentleman, he’s our store detective.’

The thaw 3-1

Over the Christmas break we went to one of our favourite beauty spots (where all the photos on this post are taken, at different times of the year) only to see that someone has stolen the bronze topography , presumably for its scrap value. Annoying.

Change in the  weather 4-1

At the top of the hill, huddled together against the gale that was blowing, we realised we were all standing in some recently scattered ashes, presumably human. Sorry.

Tomorrow, so I’m told the sun will shine and it will be bright and frosty; normal service will be resumed.

*something my family would describe as ‘one of Mums Miranda moments’

Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

8 thoughts on “Calling a Spade a Spade

  1. I figure no matter where we stand we’re in someone’s ashes. This inspires me to reverence for every patch of land. Also to sleepless nights wondering what idiot of the 25th century will plant a godawful shopping center or whatever worse they come up with by then right on top of the resting place of my earthly remains. I would object but what’s the point. Dust to dust.

    But tomorrow, or one day not long after that, even in northern Michigan in what’s passing for January, the sun will shine and celebrity chefs will pony up for their own purchases. And we have secret weapons. Spud. Miss Sadie. The Cowboy.

  2. Indeed – theft is theft! Apparantly he had done this several times!

  3. Lovely post; I followed up all the links. Oh dear, if my son knew any more about Miranda, he would accuse me of having such moments all the time!

  4. I always wonder what possesses ‘celebrities’ when they go half-inching stuff they can afford to pay for. Our local shop now has the bacon behind the counter, to deter theft, but I don’t imagine it’s celebrities they’re hiding it from this far from the city centre!

    No doubt the thieves who nicked the bronze are the same type who only go to church to pinch the lead off the roof. The high value of scrap metal is behind such things, apparently. Well, that and a lack of morals.

  5. You might like to reconsider your future use of the term ‘jizz’ as it also has other meanings, which have no association with that type of suspicious activity, and are likely to make some readers snigger!

    Keep up the good work please – your writing and photo’s have kept my rural and canine desires alight during my period of urban living.

    • We are only using the word in connection with the observation of our feathered friends, I’m happy to let those who need to snigger do so for the moment (’till I get weary of less than savoury search terms hitting my blog!!)
      Glad Spud and blog have been of service

  6. Oh dear, now the Cowboy feels compelled to worry over the word “service” as it might apply to sniggering, and then . . . oh, wait, Miss Sadie is rolling about on the floor guffawing. Perhaps best to ignore the whole thing. Yes, I think so. I’ll just go off home, now, shall I?

  7. This landscape is SO beautiful and magnificent. Here I would also return to again and again – as often as I could. The story of the detective – who was not a thief! – is great fun – but only confirms how well it was, that you had your eyes with you and acted instead of just not caring – which most people unfortunately would do..

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