Friday 14 December 2007

Al the green grocer

I went to the weekly music lesson at school this morning, and on this occasion they were all in the classroom together. As I looked at them, a thought struck me.

Most English children have blond(e) hair, which usually darkens as they get older. This class of 13/14-year olds were two-thirds boys, one-third girls. Of the boys, one had ginger hair, one light blonde, four were blondish to light brown and the rest had dark brown or black hair. Of the nine girls, one had dark brown hair and all the others had fair or light brown hair. I scrutinised them, and one might have some highlights and another two might have lightened their hair, but (going by their eyebrows) only from mouse to blonde. No one was black or Asian.

Does anyone else know anything about this? Does boys' hair tend to darken more, or at any rate earlier, than girls? It's difficult to tell when they are older as so many women change their hair colour.

This afternoon I was most pleased, for I achieved a hill on my bike that I've never ridden up more than about a quarter of (ooh, grammar alert) until now.

And the other news of the day is that Al has put up notices in the shop, saying that from 28th January next he is not going to supply any plastic bags, even second-hand ones any more. He has agreed to blaze the Yagnub trail, because he is already known for nagging his customers to bring their own shopping baskets, as the whole town is planning to go plastic bag free in due course. He will have cloth bags for sale, at cost price, which will be £1, or bags made of cornstarch, which is biodegradable (plastic bags labelled 'degradable' only break down to fragments, they do not rot) for which he will charge, I think, 10p-20p depending on size. Apparently these bags are not particularly green to produce, so it's no good simply substituting them for free plastic bags.

I think it'll drive us all slightly nuts, but people will get used to it. I said that I appreciate him not starting this initiative at the beginning of January, as that's when I'll be looking after the shop while he's on holiday. He said that he had borne that in mind.

My cycle lamp is not really intended for cycling in the dark. It has a very narrow point of light. I like the dark and wish we had fewer street lights altogether, and that they were not on all night, but I nearly ended up in the grass several times.

By the way, there is an apology from Blogger for having altered their comments settings prematurely on accounts that were not testing the new system. In response, I suspect, to complaints and requests that we should, if we wish, still allow completely free and open commenting, there is now an option that a non-blogger can use 'anonymous' or a nickname, but someone with a non-Blogger blog can now use any open ID. Since that is what I'd asked for, I'm happy with it, but do tell me if there's a problem.


heybartender said...

Congrats on the hill- I know what that's like. I can now carry two cases of beer at the same time, all the way up the stairs at work. I try not to do it anyway, but it's fun to know you are getting somewhere.
I hope the bad grammar is not my bad grammar rubbing off on you- ending sentences with prepositions has always been a problem for me.

Congrats to Al on the plastic bag decision. I wish we could do that here. They offer cloth bags for sale at one of our grocers, and the b.h. and I use them, but I rarely see anybody else using them. I think they should start charging for the plastic ones.

Dave said...

Having spotted your grammar slip yourself, you leave me nothing to say today.

Z said...

After you've gone up the steep bit, the road still climbs to the end. Badgerdaddy has ridden up it many times without thought, but it's an achievement for me.

It was less a slip than a deliberate plummet and I'm quite pleased with it. If you are my bad influence, Julie, then thank you.

Unknown said...

28th Jan, that's my birthday! I got SQUASHED the day after!!

Well done on the hill!

Z said...

Oh, John. Much as I try only remember 'good' anniversaries, that's not one it's possible to overlook. xx

badgerdaddy said...

Would that be the hill toward the leisure centre? That hill's a bastard.

And as for the bags... Will Al be stopping the brown paper bags inside the shop as well?

Z said...

He'll still have paper bags. You can't expect people to cheerily mix loose grapes with onions and potatoes.

Sadly, it's only the hill going behind Earsham Street towards the castle. Usually, when I'm steaming resolutely up it, a car comes illegally down and the least pause is too much for me.

How do we know said...

i like Al's idea.

L said...

I was honey-blonde as a child, but it started to get dark when I was five, and I was quite brunette by the time I was 12.

I had no idea this was a British trait. So I guess I can blame my mum that I'm not a blonde bombshell?


Z said...

My sister, husband and younger son were all white-blond with curls as toddlers - they all ended up with dark brown or black hair - Ro's still would curl if he grew it, but the other two went straight. My other two children and I were fair and gradually darkened to dark blonde or light brown. This is typically English! Though, as we're complete mongrels, I have no idea where the genes come from.

luckyzmom said...

My daughter and I started life with very dark hair. I was white blonde as a toddler and dishwater blonde as I grew older. My daughters dark baby hair grew out light blonde, looking like it had been dipped in an ink well. I am dark blonde and she is still very light blonde. She played a soprano clarinet!

The last time I cleaned the garage I sorted all the different paper bags and put some from each of the stores I frequent in the trunk of my car. I am sorry to report that I keep forgetting to take the bags with me when I go into the stores most of the time. But, I have not given up.