G calls from London City Airport, from where he is flying to Switzerland. I had packed him off with a jar of marmalade to give to his overnight host, but he reports that it has just been confiscated by the customs officers. (I thought that rule applied only to liquids, and wonder if I should be offended by this apparent slur on the consistency of my marmalade.)
So, if you are reading this, airport officials, I do understand that you had to follow the rules, but please do eat the marmalade and don't just leave it in a bin with the penknives and nail scissors and other suspicious items. It was made with love and care and it's very good on soft white toast.
This reminds me of a story G once told me about this same Swiss host, who we shall call A. A few years ago, A was staying with G in England and was keen to acquire all the correct habits of an English gentleman. So when G came home one afternoon to find his Swiss lodger eating marmalade on toast, he was forced to point out that if he wanted to pass muster as an Englishman, he should never eat marmalade at any time except at breakfast.
Do we agree?
(I agree with it in principle, though confess I eat marmalade all day – but then I do have quite a lot to get through.)