We’re approaching halloween and lurid black and orange candies are flying off the shelves alongside fluffy nylon spiderweb (flies not included) and suitably gory nasties that are such stuff as small children adore. And already we are taking deliveries of Christmas produce. Naturally I am not talking here about the ability to order a nice plump turkey, or a bombardment of sprouts. This is simply all the early vanguard of coronary inducing fat sugar and little else chocolate box pretty and occupying space that once upon a time might have held food.

In fact I’m curious to know if anyone has done a survey into the amount of what might actually be described as nutritious food rather than the overprocessed trash that is being sold in our supermarkets. By volume. To me it seems that less and less real food is being sold. By ‘not real food’ I don’t mean vegetables that have been pre chopped to save a busy worker some of the food prep, but the two aisles devoted entirely to crisps. And the next two of biscuits. No wonder there is no space left for the cheap cuts of meat that I would like to see as the staple in my new slow cooker – saving me time and helping me do more home cooking. But if the average size of our customers is ample, other things are not.

The early onslaught of Christmas brings me to thinking about the bonus. Our employer must have a crystal ball as they have the novel approach of posting the amount of bonus available at the beginning of the year, and reducing it as loss and waste nibble away at it. Its meant to encourage us to be careful. Thinking ahead to try to budget I wondered aloud to a colleague what sort of sum it might be. Nothing that you would notice was the acid reply. Someone else elaborated. No bonus has been paid for a couple of years now, despite the notices up about it. Store refits have eaten it away. Well I guess somebody has to pay for the shiny new stores. Ours is the latest one to be buffed up. Its almost finished now but has been the usual story of mismanagment and dealing with customers furious about the difficulty of locating products that always used to be by the milk, taking three times as long to do their shop, who only came in for the product currently unavailable. So same old same old and no bonus neither.