Today, I sashayed (yes - I do this a lot y'know - sashaying sounds so much better than stomping!) along the High Street at lunch time laden with Ebay parcels, Post Office bound. I have a newly rekindled love affair with Ebay having made £90 last week from items which have been languishing in my drawers (ooer mrs!) for months. But I digress. As usual.
I had a couple of things to get from town, one of them being citric acid. I have a penchant to be making elderflower cordial this week after seeing a fab recipe over at Sue's blog. So. On on Monday evening, I excitedly thought - Oooh!! I'll go get those elderflowers before they start going 'over' and make some cordial!
Then I realised I didn't really have a suitable receptacle. Unless I used the mop bucket, which really wasn't ideal.
Then I realised I didn't have any lemons.
So on Wednesday, I purchased some huge beautiful unwaxed lemons from t' market. Three for a pound. Perfick! And I came home and thought - I must get those elderflowers before they start going 'over'.
Then I re-read the recipe and realised that I needed citric acid.
After my foray to the Post Office to post aforementioned parcels and encountering the scowliest Post Office counter bloke ever to walk the earth .... incidentally, (Look out I'm going to digress again ) - WHY don't Post Office counter people actually LIKE dealing with parcels? WHY? I don't understand. Every time I dare to go in there with more than one item to post, they scowl at me from under their eyebrows. Are you not supposed to post more than one item at a time? Is it not in their job description to accept more than one parcel from a body at any one time? Does it compromise their basic human rights? And - woe betide me - I had the gaul to ask for **whispers** a.... "proof of posting for each parcel please!" Well. The the air around the Post Office warmed up considerably due to the amount of huffing and puffing from the counter-clerk whose eyebrows were now resting on his cheekbones like Neanderthal Man. I must have really annoyed him.
I'm going again tomorrow. With MORE parcels. Mwahahahaha End of digression.
ANYway. On the way back from the P.O., I popped to Boots for the citric acid. Boots no longer stock it apparently. Why? They "dunno why".
Remembering a small independent chemist over the road, I dodged the lunchtime traffic and popped in. It was here that I had one of those surreal conversations that I think only ever happen to me. I'm convinced of it.
Me: Smiling nicely and speaking in a pleasant manner. "Do you stock citric acid at all?"
Assistant: "No". (Had an idea that she might be married to Post Office Man).
Me: "Oh. Ok. Thanks anyway". Walking away dejectedly.
Chemist from behind the screen: "Just a minute".
Me: pausing on my way out of the shop "Yes?"
Chemist beckons me back to the counter. In a very quiet voice, he asks "What are you going to use it for?"
Me, also in a very quiet voice and looking around in case of spies: "I'm going to make elderflower cordial".
Me: "Erm. Yeah".
Chemist: Opening tray beneath the counter. "I may have some".
Me: "Oh. That would be great!"
Chemist: "I have to keep it hidden".
Me: Puzzled but accepting. "Oh".
Chemist: Rootling around in said drawer for ages suddenly has a Eureka moment and retrieves pot of citric acid with a flourish. "I knew I had one in here somewhere!"
Me: Gratefully handing over £1.50 "so ..... do you usually stock it then?"
Chemist: "Yes. But I only sell it to people who don't look like heroin addicts".
I think the modern response here would be something along the lines of "WTF?"
Me: "Ohhh ... Kay".
Is it me?
So..... I came home after work. Excitedly I got everything together and scalded out the bucket in readiness. The citric acid. The bucket. The lemons. The sugar.
The elderflowers ain't looking none too clever either!
Yours, not looking like a heroin addict,