I eat quite a lot of nuts and while you are very much what you eat, I don’t think you can really use this statement to deduce anything about my mental health. Many of these nuts come from Waitrose and they used to come in numbered packets (00-99) with each number representing a different type of nut, seed, dried fruit or combination of the above. However, in recent weeks this has all changed with nuts (and other comestibles) in new (un-numbered) packaging and re-branded ‘lovelife’. I am unsure whether it is we the consumer or the nuts themselves who are being encouraged to say ‘no’ to suicide – or perhaps organic walnuts are an aphrodisiac and the new brand is by way of a recommendation for victuals that will spice up a couple’s gland games.
All very well you may say, dodgy re-branding is a fact of modern life – even for the Waitrose shopper – but why do you bring this up? Well, while I was waiting at the till earlier this week, I spied a copy of the Waitrose Food Illustrated magazine (free to Partnership cardholders!) which displayed a strap line to the effect that lovelife was “the range everyone is talking about”.
I like to think I get about a bit – only last night I was hob-nobbing (well, more cava and canapé-ing, if honest) with the fragrant Mary Archer and the Mayor of Cambridge (among other luminaries) at the launch of the Cambridge Summer Music Festival – but despite the celebrity-inflected gay social whirl that is my life, I had encountered no-one discussing a newly re-named range of edible tidbits from the John Lewis Partnership (and this despite the fact that last night’s canapés were consumed in the 3rd floor brasserie of the John Lewis store in Cambridge). Where am I going wrong?
It is not as though this is the only example of me being left out. I must be one of the few people left in the UK never to have been offered (or even mentioned in conjunction with) a vacant position in the Sugarbabes or the role of England football manager. I will readily admit that my singing voice may not be the Mae West and my grasp of the off-side trap lacking – but I doubt I could do a poorer job than the current incumbents.
Worse, the News of the World has failed to make even a desultory effort to hack into my phone (either landline or mobile) – which may make me unique in this country.
What does a chap have to do to get noticed? I had thought that after leaving school the weekly ritual of being picked last (or penultimately) for every sporting team would be at an end, but it would seem not…