Beware of mouldy post-festive supermarket veg '“Â Verity Lush
Today I braved the post-festive food shop, armed with a traditional new year listÂ filled with vegetables and healthy foods. I don't have enough fingers to actually count how many times I have recentlyÂ visited aÂ well-known supermarket and spotted something (or things) that haveÂ been rotting in the fruit and veg aisles.Â
Most disappointingly, I have alsoÂ purchased some unwittingly and only discovered the putrid items uponÂ returning home.
I once phoned the company and suggested they take a more Waitrose or M&SÂ attitude to the quality of their fruit and veg, and they generously put 40 pence onÂ my clubcard for my efforts.
I'd rather have had ingredients that weren't found toÂ be decomposing just as I went to cook dinner.
I realise you pay more in the aforementioned stores, but just because you payÂ less in the supermarket that I visited today, it doesn't mean you should be fobbedÂ off with rotten goods.
So much of it was absolute dross that had you bought it,Â you'd have spent more than you would have by shopping in the organic WaitroseÂ veg section anyway because so much would've ended up in the bin or on theÂ compost heap.
There were rotten peppers (standard '“ check your packs if you're getting the oneÂ with 3 in), rotten easy peelers, and rubberised parsnips that were suffering fromÂ a touch of droop.
As long as you know to look at all of your fruit and veg carefully, and to carry outÂ aÂ thorough inspection before placing the mouldy goods in your trolley, then all isÂ well.
But this is time-consuming and simply shouldn't be a requirement anyway.Â It's like the Russian Roulette of Root Veg.Â
OnÂ December 23 I wasÂ next to one poor customer who'd purchased extraÂ thick double cream for a festive meal.
Her guests had poured it on their dessertÂ the previous night, only realising when they went to take a bite that it wasÂ reeking, having gone off well before its use-by date and therefore ruining all of theirÂ puddings.
She was visibly upset and staff were mortified too.
Don't be hoodwinkedÂ byÂ sophisticated fraudstersÂ
The BBC seemed to win in the TV stakes this Christmas and good job too, givenÂ that we all still fund them with our TV licenses.Â
I received an email recently claiming to be from TV Licensing telling me that myÂ payment had not gone through and to click on the link to my account.
ThankfullyÂ alarms bells rang but it looked legit and it would have been easy, had I not beenÂ thinking at the time and distracted by something else, to just go ahead with theÂ fraudulent instructions.
They'd also spelt '˜license' wrongly and had put '˜licence' but again, had I not beenÂ focusing, this could have passed me by.Â Keep a beady eye on your emails andÂ watch what you click. ItÂ looked totally above board.
With every new dayÂ I become a little more like my mother
Our children have reached the miraculous age where they lie-in.
They've alwaysÂ been good sleepers through the night, but this was counteracted by their wakingÂ at 5.30am full of beans and ready to rumble for the next 14 hours or so.
I've always been grateful that they zonked out through the night fromÂ an early age. I don't care whether other parents establish routines or are led byÂ their babies, I just like sleep, and as long as I'm getting it all's fine by me.
I fear that my on-going metamorphosis into my mother is continuing apace as IÂ have now invested in ear-plugs so that I can enjoy sleeping during my children'sÂ lie-ins, but also any external noise that wakes me.
I pop them in and bingo!Â