Monday, December 17th, 2012 http://adamkhan.net/rambles/some-consumer-affairs
confess, after a class at Bikram in the Lanes, I just don’t enjoy being a mule and stopping at Tesco Express on Jubilee St for a pair of 5l mineral waters to carry home in my bike panniers. I’ve tried to enjoy it, thinking that schlepping water—Irit did it too using the bottom of the pram—serves to keep us to some human roots. But that’s daft. Surely we always strive to make our water carrying as easy as possible, notwithstanding a story I read lately (sorry, URL escapes me) about a village where after a year of piped water the elders decided to return to the way of walking a mile to the river, as it turned out the walk was the village’s social hub and without it had come strife; there are, so we like to think, by definition, always exceptions in human affairs.
Instead I tried ordering from Tesco Online. We used to do so from Sainsbury’s but stopped because of Irit’s frustration with substitutions and produce short of shelf life. We slightly prefer Tesco’s water anyway, and Sainsbury’s limits you to six 5l bottles. On Tesco’s site I kept adding bottles and got to ten before halting with the online shopper’s equivalent of awe. Is there even a limit? There are other staples we like from Tesco’s as well, such as their Normandy butter and stringy rather than mushy frozen spinach, and frequent half-price deals on Ben & Jerry’s (more frequent than Sainsbury’s? Probably slightly). The minimum payment for delivery is £3.50. At 10 bottles (storing more than that starts to become awkward or will require some thinking), this mishlocha la-mishpocha (“family delivery”) is costing me 70p for each easier bike ride home, with the bonus of all that other stuff delivered too. Mildly worthwhile and guilt-inducing both.
We did buy a Brita filter jug but there seem to be no numbers for how much chlorine it actually does filter. And I’m not pooh-poohing tap water per se—in both Glasgow and Amsterdam I remember it was lovely—but here in Brighton I just don’t find it so. And it seems to me that for the small amount of extra money in the monthly spending scheme of things, it’s worth drinking what you consider the best water easily available.
In an age where cancer is so prevalent, and in a household where a dog lost a limb to it, I’m wary of man-made things, and tap water is one of them. The sole water carrier isn’t about to go out of business if anyone gets ill. Maybe that’s paranoid but, after breathing, drinking is the most basic thing we do and if I have the energy to be overly prudent about one thing, let it be that.
Ben & Jerry’s: I now prefer Phish Food to Cookie Dough. I think this portends that I am on the way out.