Peter Rhodes on a special honey, an unspoiled coral reef and an inspired job description

Scientists have discovered a huge, beautiful, and totally pristine coral reef off the coast of Tahiti, untouched and unspoiled by humans. The cruise ships will not be far behind.

Bees - where's the coriander? Photo: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire
Bees - where's the coriander? Photo: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Job descriptions of our time. Yet another glossy brochure arrives from the ever-expanding retirement-village industry. Their aim is to round up us wrinklies, sell our homes, help us downsize and move us and a few treasured possessions into their gulags for the grey. The person assisting with it all is described as the Inspired Move Co-Ordinator.

Farewell to the last of my Christmas honey. Coriander honey, to be precise, which has a curious blend of sweetness with a spicy aftertaste. Goodness knows how they train the bees to find the coriander but the result is excellent and powerfully evocative. It took me back to somewhere but I'm not sure where.

No such problems with the latest double-strength orange squash in our weekly delivery from the supermarket. It transports me back to the days when milk floats delivered not only milk but also orange juice. It was not a cordial to be diluted, nor was it freshly-squeezed whole juice. It was pre-diluted and ready to quaff and, as many internet comments will testify, it was the drink of the gods. We post-war kids craved it. There's much speculation, 60-odd years on, as to whether post-war governments were stuffing us babyboomers with vitamins and minerals via this golden ambrosia. As a wicked old cynic, I suspect it may have been a job-creation programme for the British Dental Association.

Another one for historians yet unborn. They will discover that in 2022, at a time when inflation was soaring, pensioners were freezing, children were suffering an epidemic of anxiety and Russia was shaping up for World War Three, the House of Commons, the so-called Mother of Parliaments and the model for democracies across the world, was debating whether a few civil servants had supped a few drinks. Makes you proud to be British, doesn't it?

Something in this grim month made me smile. It's the cartoon in Private Eye where a patient awaiting a pig-heart transplant is told that the doctors are working on a vegan alternative. The surgeon is holding an artichoke.

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