Saturday, December 31, 2011

Party poopers

The last day of 2011 is spent in suburban west London, chatting with nieces, shopping in Harrow, stocking up on food for the week at Waitrose... I can't believe the choice: aisles and asles of shelves, groaning with every variety of food you could possibly think of and presented in such a design-conscious, consumer-focussed way, that it all seems irresistible. There is Fair Trade, organic, diabetic, vegetarian, vegan, weightwatcher, buy one get one free, 3 for 2, 3 for £10; ten varieties of dal, a dozen combinations of lettuce, herbs you've never heard of... The big difference between British and Chinese supermarkets is the predominance here of ready-made meals. Of course, everyone leads busy lives but do we really need a plastic tray of ready-to-eat mashed potato? 

The evening saw us comically try to keep the girls up for long as possible, to 'conquer' the jet-lag. So we had the unreal experience of them wanting to go to bed and us forcing them to watch Spy Kids. But sadder than that was Liz and my inability to bring in the New Year. As our nieces' friends arrived for a young'uns party, we retired to bed and were asleep by 10pm, only to be awakened by a countdown, party-poppers and karaoke.  

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