In which I get up very early to enable me to hobnob later in the day

During Sunday’s mudfest, I asked Ginge if he would be running with me on Tuesday, he agreed, we said we’d do 5 or 6 miles. Sorted. Until ten minutes later when I realised that I couldn’t run after work because I had won tickets to the preview evening at the new Booths supermarket that is opening at Media City in Salford (where half of the BBC has been redistributed).

This would be my first dark morning run since last winter (somehow I kept them up all through Janathon). The alarm went off at half five. I dragged myself out of bed and peered through the blinds. It was dark (which I had expected) and it wasn’t raining (which I had hoped). I scuffled round in the chaos of the spare room to find the rucksack that I knew contained my hi-vis. It wasn’t there. I went back to bed.

“I can’t go running” I said to Ginge “I can’t find my hi-vis”.
“It’s in the porch” said Ginge.
“That wasn’t the answer I was looking for” I said.

I got up again, went downstairs and found my hi-vis in the porch. I went back to bed.

“I can’t run because I don’t have any audiofuel on my shuffle at the moment” I said.
“zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz” said Ginge.
I realised that was a pretty shameful excuse not to run, so I up I got, rummaged through the kit drawer, got dressed, set Miles to do his thing, trainers on, out of the door at 6.00.

“Are you indoors?” said Miles…

After nearly ten minutes of lurking nonchalantly in the alley next to our car park waiting for Miles to get a signal, I set off without him (he caught up at 0.2 miles today) and only had time for a quick two-ish miles to shift the cobwebs. I’m very glad that I went because I know that it should be easier next time. I’m also glad that I went when I did because the rain came just as stepped foot back inside the house.

Anyway, the morning run freed me up to enjoy the champagne and canapĂ©s at Booths. For those of you who aren’t lucky enough to live in Lancashire (or bits of Yorkshire/Cheshire/Cumbria), Booths is a magnificent regional supermarket who specialise in lots of lovely interesting and local stuff. The branch in our town has always been frequented by older customers who can have a chat with the friendly staff and buy a couple of rashers of bacon for their tea (I have done this myself…) as well as foodie types, hip young things and the bloke who I saw buying 35 pots of hazelnut yoghurt (and 1 blackcurrant) a little while ago.

Mini-cake and champagne

The Media City branch is going more for the foodie/hip young thing market rather than the older/yoghurty demographic (although Ginge did overhear a couple of more mature chaps who were comparing it to other stores in their I-Spy Book of Booths; it lost points for having stairs). As such, the presentation just seems that bit sharper and more styled than other branches.

All very artisan and rustic

Welcomed with a glass of champagne and music from the BBC Philharmonic, we proceeded to circulate around the canapĂ©s aisles. More often than not, we found ourselves in the beer aisle (and with over 200 types of bottled beers, that’s a terrible hardship to bear) which was better than the times that we found ourselves thoughtfully perusing cat food.

I could have been 72p up on the night if Ginge would have sat nicely on the shelf

I entertained myself by playing Booths Bingo (spotting a set of slightly specialist items), scoring 3 out of 4 with Symington’s Table Creams (I’m now very disappointed that Dr Oetker has dumbed down and appears to have scrapped the maple and walnut flavour, damn you Oetker), Force Cereal and Milo (I couldn’t find Camp coffee essence to collect my prize). I also realised that I lack the grown up skill of sipping from a champagne flute without looking like I’m necking it back like an uncouth ruffian.

What a magnificent fellow!

It made me incredibly proud that we have a chain like Booths in the area. I love my trips to Waitrose when we venture down south, but this is proper local stuff and is proper good stuff. It makes me happy that there’s people who love food and somehow manage to balance the very traditional with the very modern, the everyday brands with the small local producers, the stylish presentation with the friendly service. They also gave me a lamb chop encased in pastry – this made me very happy.