Thursday, 9 August 2007

A souvenier from nowhere in particular

Badger was given some biscuits the other day. Shortbreads from Lindisfarne, they were. Not that the biscuits originated from Lindisfarne, you understand, but the box was decorated with pretty pictures of Lindisfarne. The biscuits were enjoyable to eat. This surprised me. I had expected them to resemble souvenir fudge in their gastronomic qualities...

Souvenir fudge - the ubiquitous fudge box from Cornwall, or Norfolk, or St Andrew's, or York, or... etc. It seems that wherever one goes, the same box of fudge can be bought - the one with the thin card sleeve and paper cover with a picture of the relevant location stuck on the front. Now, if the fudge such boxes contained was actually nice fudge, it would make a pretty good present. But has anyone ever received one of these boxes of fudge and appreciated the fudge for its inherent fudgeness, rather than because it shows evidence that you entered Auntie Linda's thoughts at least once whilst she was away? I suspect not. It might have been nice fudge once, perhaps, but one little nibble will reveal the certainty that it's been sitting on a shelf next to the generic jewellery and plastic dinosaurs for months before Auntie Linda bought it, and upwards of a year before that in a box in the back room of that godforsaken tat shop that time forgot in a godforsaken minor tourist spot. And it tastes like it. If it was good fudge, it wouldn't wind me up so much. But it's not, is it?

It doesn't stop at fudge. If it did, I wouldn't still be ranting. It's shortbread, too. And toffee. And rock. That horrible bright pink rock with the name of the location all the way through. It gets everywhere, carried to new and unassuming tourist destinations like a parasitic freeloader on the tourist trade. Absolutely, without exception, everywhere. I bet you now that when the first space tourists return from Mars, they'll bring some rock back. And an assortment of sodding shortbread, no doubt...

OK, I'm all ranted out. Now, would anyone like one of these lovely toffees I've just received from Barrow-In-Furness?

9 comments:

DJ Kirkby said...

No thanks they are all yours!

KindaBlue said...

Don't forget the seemingly limitless varieties of little ceramic pieces with "A Souvenir From" emblazoned on the front. You know, the ones that typically feature scenes almost entirely unrelated to the town in question, lovingly machine-painted in a factory in Qingdao.

I seem to recall my Dad owned "A Souvenir from Ellesmere Port" at one stage. Considering that the usual souvenir one reveives from Ellesmere Port is a none-too-intricate etching on the side of ones car, this is quite an achievement.

Andrew Ferrier said...

Did you get given some fudge recently, perchance? :)

But Why? said...

dj,
Why not? They are delightful. Don't let my little diatribe put you off...


Kindablue,
Ah, yes. Those damned little things which collect dust and eventually find their way to the bin. Whose idea were those things? I'd like to string them up from a tall tree, I would, for all the useless rubbish they've spawned.


Andrew,
No, not recently. This particular rant has been fermenting for a while...


I must go now as I've spotted the most huge, massive spider in the corner of the room which I know the cat would just love to eat...

xx

Pixie said...

Oh bugger, now what am i going to do with this box of fudge from my holiday that i got for you????
Pxx

Anna MR said...

Hei, Tri Miksi?, bit of a sourpuss today, are we? It'll be that blog rehab thingy, no doubt. Because come on, girl, rock rules. Rock rocks. My friend and fellow blogger Kanikoski went (back) to Britain for Christmas and brought me back some - you guessed it - rock. The fact that I still have half a stick gathering dust over at my parents' summer cottage (don't ask) doesn't lessen my appreciation of the top half of the stick.

For an expat of sorts, as I am, the best souveniers from Britain would, however, be jars of a) Marmite b) Branston Pickle (original thick cut, thank you). They could be specially labelled with "A Souvenier from Milton Keynes" or similar. (This, Mutta my dear, as a mere hint only, in case you are planning a visit to Helsinki. Or indeed anywhere, where expats pine and yearn for The Black Gold or The Supreme Cheese Companion.)

x

But Why? said...

Pixie,
What a lovely thought, but you really shouldn't have...

xx


Anna,
Eeeeeew! Marmite - YUK! Please feel free to remove the entire UK supply to Helsinki. Pickle I have no strong feelings for either way. There are, however, a few people I respect who are fond of the stuff, so I'd be pleased if you'd leave at least a few jars for them to see out their remaining years with a ready supply of pickle to partner their cheddar.

Funny you should mention Milton Keynes - never having been there and being aware of its reputation, I am half-planning a jaunt over there as a tourist sometime. Should it happen, rest assured that I shall blog about it. Meanwhile, I must return to my Sunday morning activities of drooling over my violin and finishing my rather excellent book. (Well, not my book, of course, but Khaled Hosseini's, but I'm sure you get my meaning.)

I am rather intrigued by the fate of the top half of the rock, which you seem a smidgen reticent to discuss. Any clues...?

Mutta (I'd better be careful how I pronounce that...) xx

Anna MR said...

Ms Mutta - is that a smutty remark I perceive?!

My world is crumbling (like a stick of rock)

x

But Why? said...

Anna,

Smutty remark? Me?? I don't think I've ever been capable of such things... What are they??

What is causing your world to crumble??

As an aside, it's good that you chose the stick of rock rather than the shortbread as the simile for the crumblingness of your world. I think that's probably the less prone to crumbling of the two. However, had you have said your world was crumbling like a plastic dinosaur, I would be completely unconcerned about the crumble potential of your personal planet but rather more worried about your mental wiring. And once again I have become completely distracted by my jibberings that I have forgotten what I was talking about. Hello? Is anyone there???

Mutta xx