The ‘best-by-date’ thing.  Oh yes.  We have all experienced shopping in a market (or in some cases, the supermarket) where almost all packaged food has a ‘best-by-date’ stamped on it.  I suppose this is a good thing, but it has also proved to be a real nuisance for me.  I tend to read these dates very carefully when I buy something.  And then to make things even worse, I read them even closer when I take something out of the refrigerator.  I have been told that I am a bit over the top about this and have noticed that I had either stop buying too much so I don’t discover things that have expired in my larder, or don’t be that picky about something that has a date that is only one day past.  For sure, I do need to be a little more thoughtful when purchasing some items.  The other day I looked at the jar of ginger paste when I was making some salmon and saw that it was ‘overdue’ by about 6 months.  Oooops.

I think the ‘sell-by-date’ thing applies to other things besides food.  Last night, this thought came to me quite visibly.  It is Glastonbury time in England.  No, not the town in Somerset, that is always there.  It is the Glastonbury music festival, and I couldn’t help but let you all know. Just so you know, Glastonbury (or Glasto as the 'real' people call it) is sort of like Woodstock on steroids. Whilst the promoters do manage to offer a good mix of performers, what was of interest to me was some of the groups I can remember from the past.  The reason is that for myself, and for many of you, the performers are people we have known through their music…and for many of us, their music made a major impact on our lives.

Now to be fair, I am not actually at Glastonbury.  But I am watching some of the performances on television and tonight I have been watching Crosby, Stills & Nash.  And then I was watching Neil Young.  (It was almost like listening to CSN&Y of days gone by)  And then I was watching Bruce Springsteen.  Whilst many of the songs are so familiar and did ‘take me back’ to a different time and place, it is pretty apparent that some performers have gone past their best-by-dates.  Loved much of the music then, and in many cases, still do.  But I am not so sure about the new images of the aging performers.  Clearly, some performers need to check their own best-by-dates and when they are well past them, stay home.

The whole best-by-date thing extends to even more things I think.  I have noticed that there are some things that I used to be brilliant at, that now I am not so good at.  I used to be really good at remembering things.  I was damn good at names, dates, phone numbers, and the like.  But now I think I would be at a bit of a loss without some sort of back up system.  I suppose I could use something like putting Post-Its around the house as little reminders, but that may not work because I am not sure where I have put my pad of Post-Its.  I could tie a string around my finger, but I only have ten of them, and would probably run out of space too quickly.  Instead, I have decided to exercise my brain.  Yes, brain exercise.  I tried getting deeply involved in doing Su-do-ku, but that drive me a bit bonkers.  I was pretty involved in the world of crossword puzzles for a while, but when I kept encountering questions like who was the second son of some obscure person in English literature, or, what is the Latin name for a plant that went extinct in the 1500’s, I gave up.  Now my brain exercise seems to fall into two categories; writing (a very good brain exercise), and,…buggers, I forgot the other one.

Earlier this week, I had to go to the mainland to attend a client meeting.  Okay, that isn’t exactly accurate.  I chose to go to the mainland to attend a client meeting.  I really didn’t have to go…but I did because I was asked and it is what I do.  Being a clever bugger, I went over the day before and we went to dinner with some friends in Sitges.  Addy had suggested that we all go to dinner at a very nice restaurant near the waterfront, and in his words, the food was very good and the entertainment was better.  The restaurant – Monroe’s, named after the cinema icon – had a very typical English menu we were told, which would be fine. Sometimes a proper English meal is a good thing to have I have realised.   

So we drove into town and after finding a parking spot, walked down the narrow but heaving streets until we found Monroe’s and were greeted by the host…or was it the hostess?  I can honestly say I haven’t had such a good time in ages.  I guess Cindy Lauper did have it right…girls just want to have fun.


this letter's mandatory Sol y Mar photo


one serious music festival in Somerset


what I remember


how times have changed





welcome to Monroe's


girls who clearly want to have fun

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copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, James B. Rieley