A WHILE back I wrote a piece entitled ‘Little things that annoy a lot.’ In it I listed several issues that had the effect of sending me into fits of fury. Soon after, a friend said how well the column had resonated with her. But she added, ‘surely there must be many things that bring you joy.’
‘Certainly,’ I replied and gave as an example my discovery that, of all the food outlets in the Benidorm area, there appears to be only one offering crunchy peanut butter at a reasonable price.
Lidl’s Mr Choc brand comes in just under €3.00 for 454 grams. Being a crunchy peanut butter addict this was like striking gold, and I bought four jars just in case the product vanished from its shelves.
I then sat down and listed a number of other things that delight me. Topping the list are magnificent sunsets which I never tire of gazing at. Periodically I post pictures of them on my Facebook page. This pleases my friends no end, but are sometimes used by my enemies to attack me.
One in particular, Bob Hutton, a deranged Kent-based evangelist who’s been trolling me for years, responded to my latest post by writing ‘God made the sunset. You must repent of your filth or face Hellfire!’
Sigh! And people wonder why I have been treading the path of godlessness since I was a kid.
The rediscovery of recipes for dishes I haven’t cooked in years is something else that brings me joy. Back in the day my favourite was chilli con carne.
I’d completely forgotten about this dish until I saw that Carrefour was selling its key ingredient – red kidney beans – for just over €1 a can. So I rushed home and made a huge pot of the stuff, only to discover that the hubby HATES beans. So now there’s enough in our freezer to feed half of Benidorm.
Also on my ‘joy’ list are vintage comedians such as Victor Borge, a Dane who combined comedy routines with music in the mid-20th century. When I found that many of his performances can be found on YouTube, I let out a whoop of delight.
My list also includes songs with clever and meaningful lyrics. A while back I discovered Tom T Hall, an American country singer and lyricist, now aged 83, but it was only this week that I found that he’d lampooned racists in a pre-Trump era song called ‘The Man Who Hated Freckles.’
Using freckled people as a metaphor for folk of colour, he sang:
Oh, he hated every freckle that he saw / He said they should be shot down by the law / They oughta send them all back where they’re from / And he said would you let your daughter marry one? / And them freckled folks are running down the neighbourhood we’re in / We wouldn’t have the trouble we have seen if it wasn’t for that Martin Luther Queen.
‘The Man Who Hated Freckles’ should be adopted as an anthem by all who deplore the rise in intolerance unleashed in the UK by Brexit and in the US by its infantile orange President.