Red Conserve: I cannot remember exactly when the French brand Bonne Maman’s jams and conserves first impinged on my consciousness but I think I would have discovered them on a visit to France back in the day when the brand wasn’t ubiquitous in supermarkets in other countries. Then the jams and conserves were a treat to be savoured with freshly baked buttery croissants while breakfasting al fresco on balmy days beneath an azure blue French sky. Now that they are so readily available they have lost some of their allure and indeed there are many jams and conserves that compare with or outshine the brand. However for me there is one conserve from the range that is totally unrivalled; I love the Berries and Cherries Converse. It’s simply divine with freshly baked and buttered hot scones.
Red Elephant: My red pottery elephant normally sits on window ledge and I find him cheering and happy making to look at. He appeared on the blog previously, when it was in its infancy, as I used an image of him to illustrate one of my favourite sayings – ‘You eat an elephant a bite a time’. So my red elephant now acts as an aide memoire when I am feeling overwhelmed and reminds me that the only sane way forward is to break whatever has to be done into bite size manageable pieces and then simply get on with it.
Red (with a few other colours thrown in) Shopping Bag: Generally in this the chilly Age of Austerity I am not at all enamoured by tax hikes and new levies. But a levy introduced, here in Ireland, in 2002 is I think one of the better taxation ideas dreamed up by the body politic. A tax on plastic bags was imposed at the point of sale which led to an overnight change in supermarket check out behavior. Consumers started to bring reusable bags to pack their shopping in rather than grabbing handfuls of, the up until then free, plastic bags which are so harmful to the environment. Since the introduction of the charge I have built up a mini collection of levy-avoiding-bags; they range from a large straw basket to the latest addition a small string bag I bought in Merci Paris when I was there late last year.