ZELLA COMPTON: How much? For four pasties! You must be kidding

How much is too much to pay for lunch when you're out for the day with the family?

Tuesday, 15th August 2017, 9:06 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 12:25 pm
People fly into the air as a vehicle drives into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend

I don’t mean a special lunch where you book a restaurant and sit down for a three-courser with the finest views and starched tablecloths. Obviously you pay wodges for that experience.

But what about when you’re looking for a quick lunch without fanfare as you didn’t have enough time to pack a lunch? A café, or similar. Somewhere that sells things like pasties.

My childhood involved a lot of packed lunches, particularly on car journeys as there was no way we would stop at motorway services to buy something to eat as the expense of dining at those required a small mortgage.

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We’d stop in lay-bys to eat, outside the car even if it was raining as crumbs were akin to spitting on a grave. After the sandwiches, the flask of semi-warm tea or coffee would appear and the endless ex-squash now refillable bottles of water. Infuriatingly the thriftiness of our parents’ generation makes sense after looking at the post-staycation bank balance.

But be honest, who can be bothered with the effort involved with packed lunches?

For a while I’d buy a supermarket baguette and ham slices, or a tomato and a bit of cheese, to make a sneaky lunch on the go, combining thriftiness and laziness. Then I progressed to bits and pieces like scotch eggs and mini pork pies.

Recently I discovered Greggs. A latecomer to the pasty party, I have avoided Greggs with the air of one who lived for several years in Cornwall and has sniffy contempt for all things claiming to be a pasty. What a mistake, as Greggs’ pasties are great, especially the spicy chicken ones.

So imagine my horror on visiting an English Heritage castle, ordering four pasties and two small bottles of water and being charged a few pence shy of £20. How can they get away with charging such ridiculous amounts, and we – literally captive customers – forking out that much? And the pasties weren’t even that great, the service was shocking and to cap it all, we got rained on. That my friends, is too much.


Interestingly my phone decided to uninstall Facebook. What a relief it has been.

I hadn’t realised quite how addicted I am to looking at the world through its very filtered lenses.

And recently it’s been telling me what to do all the time which is certainly not what I signed up for.

I’m not that pleased to be told I need to update my followers, or what to share with people (the incessant reminders of what I was doing six years ago are really beginning to annoy).

Not that I am a digital guru (I am clearly not), but I think Facebook is about to go the way of Friends Reunited.

That is that it will sink quietly into the dust now that critical mass has been reached and dictatorship practices are under way.


Every day I get up and check the news to see what madness is taking over the world courtesy of our American cousins.

This week: are we going to be caught in the middle of a nuclear war? Are we going to see the revival of white supremacy, or..?

It’s a case of watch this space.

It’s very, very easy to get drawn into American politics and become fascinated with developments across the pond.

That fascination turns to angst when you look at the ripple effect those developments send around the world.

And it’s also very frightening as Twitter opens us all up to the lack of diplomacy and care one would expect to see from an American president.

It’s push-button politics.

Scary stuff!