We took a festive stroll around the market in Stockbridge at the weekend. The Yorkshire husband has a fondness for pies from the game and fish supplier who pitches up there and hangs dead things off the railings.
I assume this gives the bearded, meat-avoiding, avocado-smashing hipster population of the area the screaming habdabs, but I quite like it. It’s a good thing to be reminded what food looks like before it gets a meal-for-one makeover by a clever chef in a corporate kitchen somewhere.
I do like Stockbridge, even though everyone there seems to own a small dog. When did the tiny dog become a thing? Don’t get me wrong, they are the most lovable little creatures, but it does give you a turn when what you thought was a brown suede clutch bag suddenly snarls at you.
It’s one of the things I like about wee dogs. They have no concept of their size. I’ve seen dogs smaller than our old cat bare their teeth at hounds fit to grace the moors around Baskerville Hall.
Tiny pooch owners would appear to have a higher disposable income, judging from the trendy outerwear and the fact that the market can boast a designer dog snack stall and there’s a permanent doggy grooming café just down the street.
The richer the owner, the smaller the dog. One woman sashayed past us – with the sort of cheekbones that speak of centuries of aristocratic, well-bred peasant-bashing – clutching a miniscule dog. It had huge brown eyes. At first, I thought it was a brooch, but her brooch was bigger than the entire dog.
In fact, some of these dogs are so tiny they could be slapped in a pie and form a bite-sized snack for a larger dog. If you are seeking a larger dog, come to Great Junction Street. The dogs get bigger the closer you get to the Kirkgate.
Leith is not awash with income, disposable or otherwise. Designer dog chow isn’t a big seller round these parts. Cash is tight, but for some reason, the population favours the larger dog.
I would say larger breed, but very few of the dogs around here are going to get their own category at the Kennel Club. Unlike high-born mini-dogs, only a very few Leith mutts will be absolutely sure who mum and dad were.
Bristol-fashion takes on whole new meaning
It must cost a fortune to keep the Leith-sized hound fuelled. I can’t imagine the running costs for a wee dog are that high.
Clearly there’s a dog size/income ratio at work here. I tell you, I think I’m onto something.
There must be a research grant in this. No idea what to use it for but bearing in mind the amount of money think-tanks pour into research to discover that athletes are fitter than couch potatoes and how far penguins can poo (40 cm, since you ask) I think I might be onto a winner.
Obviously, I’d have to create the Morrison inverse income/dog-size ratio scale. I’ve always wanted a scale to be named after me.
After all, if the city of Bristol has a scale, why can’t I? The Bristol Scale measures poo. I’m not going to go into detail, but let me tell you, Type 7 is the day after that vindaloo you thought was a great idea post-office Christmas party.
Type 1 is described as “like nuts, hard to pass”. In my case, this is very true. I once demolished an entire bowl of salted peanuts at a really boring party, leading to Type 3 on the scale.
If anyone’s interested, you can get a handy wallchart for the bathroom. It’s illustrated. What a Christmas gift that would make.
You can use the Hamilton-Norwood scale to measure male-pattern baldness, which seems to run from Stage I, which I’d rank as Clooney standard luxuriously hirsute to Stage VII (Patrick Stewart) through Stage VI (Princes Philip, Charles and William. But not Harry. Odd that ...)
All I (don’t) want for Christmas is a stinky hat and athlete’s foot powder
Jings! Christmas already? How did that happen? Seems to me like it was only yesterday we took all the packaging to the dump.
Once again I tell myself I really, really should go up to the Gardens and do all the Yuletide stuff and then I remember that nothing says Christmas quite like an over-crowded German market reeking of hot dogs and Gluwein.
A fine old Christmas tradition in our house is me, staring at the Yorkshire husband of 29 plus years and, as every year since 1998, thinking, what on earth to get him for Christmas?
Even more worrying, what’s he going to get me? Who can forget the Year of the Athlete’s Foot Powder? The raw wool hat knitted by depressed Peruvians? Stank so much we had to leave it outside the flat.
I wonder if he’d like an illustrated Bristol Scale wallchart? The worrying thing is ... I think he would.