Thursday, 24 September 2015


There's no such thing as bad publicity, they say (whoever they are). I think I'd have to disagree with that after reading about "Maggot-gate" and the resulting "Big Stink" outside Nando's restaurant in Bicester. I can't honestly say that it's going to make me more likely to dine there, that's for sure. Perhaps it's all about brand awareness, who knows?

Quite honestly, it seems to me it was more a problem with the bins outside rather than the restaurant itself. Nando's has borne the brunt of the problem, but I have to say, those bins aren't particularly pleasant at the best of times. I had been in the habit of walking past them on a daily basis during the summer, usually travelling from Sainsbury's, grumbling at the prices, towards Poundland in search of better value. I did note some unpleasant smells on occasion, but then unpleasant smells aren't unusual in Bicester, so you sort of get used to it. It's a bit like the fishy smell outside the back of the chippy on market square. Not very nice, but, it's a fish & chip shop - what do you expect?

I suppose they have to put the bins somewhere and that alley's a bit of a dump anyway so they might as well go there. As an alternative route, I can recommend a short cut through Superdrug, very handy if it's raining, though you may encounter some traffic problems. The aisles are quite narrow and there's always some people dawdling about or getting in the way. You know the ones I mean, you get them in the supermarket too. The ones who have perfected the art of standing exactly in the right spot (or the wrong spot as far as I am concerned) to block your progress through the store. I think they do it deliberately. One of their favourite tactics seems to be to search out an aisle where a shop assistant is stocking up the shelves and therefore blocking up half the aisle with a great big pile of crates on a trolley. They then position themselves in the exact spot that makes it impossible to for anyone to get by on either side, dig out their reading glasses, and begin examining the labels on all the jars of baked beans, or whatever, in great detail. Any tuts coming from the queue of people in either direction are conveniently ignored. Perhaps eventually someone will timidly say "excuse me", perhaps not.

I often wander off topic in this blog, but anyway, I've only been to Nando's once and it wasn't really that great. Invariably, I still gravitate towards Nash's which does the best bacon bap in town, but, and I never thought I would say this, I actually went off bacon for a couple of days earlier this week.

That is a shocker, I know. I had planned to have my usual Tuesday morning bacon roll, but as I approached Nash's I suddenly had these very horrible images of David Cameron coming into my head, and no, I don't mean literally. I'm not a pig after all - well, only in my culinary habits. Of course, I reassured myself that if the alleged incident had occurred all those years ago, it would be highly unlikely that any bacon I was being served now, some decades later, might have any connection to "that pig".

I'm pretty dubious about the whole story, to be honest. After all, I went to college at Oxford and there were no shenanigans of that nature as far as I know, or not any I was invited to anyway. OK, admittedly, my two years at Oxpens meant I wasn't quite mixing in the same social circles as David and his pals at Brasenose College, my debauchery extended only to a few sneaky under-age halves of lager in The Duke Of York across the car park. There were certainly not any pig related initiation ceremonies. I can tell you that. I never so much as stuck my cock inside a packet of Smoky Bacon crisps during my whole two years there, let alone a dead pig, and if anyone says otherwise, I'll say "show me some proof". That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

And on that note, I shall excuse myself...

Careful with that, Mr Ayres.
You don't know where it has been...

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