I'm indebted to Aliche - long-time supporter of Washed and Ready - who sends me news of a sparkling piece of copy on the packaging of New Covent Garden's 'sweet, smoky and autumnal' Soup of the Month. Who could resist 'cheerful' orange pumpkins and softened haricot beans? Blended, of course, with carrots, oak-smoked garlic, smoked paprika and a warming hint of chilli.
On the side of the packet, readers are treated to the following seasonal blurb:
The gap-toothed pumpkins glow a ghoulish orange and the bonfire crackles with mischief when our marketing supremo, Andrew Ovens, holds his annual Halloween party. The centrepiece of Andrew’s Witches’ Oven (so-named by a waggish friend) is a cauldron of Pumpkin & Haricot Bean soup.
No eye of newt or toe of frog in this bubbling orange broth (so Andrew assures us), just masses of glorious smoky flavour. The trouble starts when party-goers gather round the cauldron to predict foul deeds in the coming weeks. Nothing fires the imagination on a damp and spooky autumn night as readily as a pot of Andrew’s soup.
From what Aliche says, New Covent Garden would be well advised to spend as much time on the soup as they do on their copy. She wasn't that impressed. Aliche's in my good books right now, because she thinks I look 25 in the photo from the Isle of Man (see blogs passim). She and I both know that I'm really well into my...er...my...early thirties.