12 October 2011

Reconnez Cherie

Two elements meet, merge together: The Elegance of the Hedgehog, a wonderful, humane, thought-provoking book, with its meditations about the nature of time, and an old packet of coffee. The coffee came from my mother-in-law's house, which we have been clearing gradually since she died: she left two presentation packs of coffees of the world, nine different varieties in each (the same nine, pretty much). Some had been consumed, some were open, others were still sealed and (I imagined) should be in reasonable shape. For my morning coffee, I took out an Ethiopian mocha that sounded promising, only to find it had been opened before. The packet bore the legend "best before March 2006". A still-unopened packet of Columbian will have to take its place: its best before date is under three years ago, and it tastes fine.

2006 was once unimaginably far in the future. Now it is too long ago for a packet of coffee to have remained drinkable.

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