‘Ome is where the Picalilli is

Not exactly the world’s most profound revelation this. But I’ve been on the road for four days. See the parentals (excellent time) go to London, give a couple of short speeches. See an old school friend, see another old friend, some readers here. Wander around the Tower and that Poppy installation.


All just great: but I have also been on the road f0r four days. I am now back in the flat rental in Czech and I’m not here in any form of luxury. On the drive back from the airport I picked up a half a cold but cooked chicken, bit of bread, half bottle of vino and am now at 1 am, having my supper. So far so very, very boring.

But I’ve been in this flat for a year or so: the fridge has odd bits and pieces that are *mine*, not just the standard stuff you get in a hotel room, or a takeout or whatever. One of those bits of *mine* was some posh style Picalilli. Which does make this chicken and bread better. Again so far so boring.

But it strikes me (and still sober, because I’ve been driving and it’s only a half bottle) how much it strikes me how different this is. I could have had a half chicken, some chutney and some wine when in the hotel in London. But it wouldn’t have been *my* fridge that I took *my* chutney out of. Nor would it have been my fridge that the not empty jar goes back into for the next time.


The striking bit being quite how little of a space has to be that mine to make me think of this as my space, my home. Or, if we’re to be totally accurate, something I’ll regard as *mine*, even if it’s not home (which is, of course, something I own, contains a wife, the detritus of 50 years of life and even, among the pets, life forms unambiguouly pleased to see me).


I don’t mean that I wept with joy to see a jar of chutney: only that I’d quite clearly been here before, influenced this place, and was glad to be back for that reason.


We’ll be back to your regularly scheduled economic sneering tomorrow…..


17 thoughts on “‘Ome is where the Picalilli is”

  1. Bloke in Costa Rica

    My mother occasionally asks when I’m next planning on coming ‘home’. I haven’t the heart to tell her that I consider myself home when the taxi from the airport drops me off at my apartment in San José.

  2. This is a problem faced by many retired men. After forty-odd years spending each day away from home, they hit retirement and suddenly realise that everything in the house is set out according to the wife’s preferences. Your jar of piccalilly would have been thrown out ages ago. The only place the men truly felt at home was at work.

  3. So Much For Subtlety

    I am not sure what Picalilli is. I take it you eat it?

    But suppose that in an infinite number of universes, there is a TW somewhere who prefers chutney. Let’s call him TW_chut. How different do you think he is from TW_pic?

    How many steps would you need to take to go from TW_chut to TW-pic? What childhood trauma could cause the track of TW’s life to shift to chutney?

  4. Tim_chut exists in this universe too. The choice of Picalilli in the example only being that that was what was being eaten last night. The other corner of the same fridge contains chutney.

  5. So Much For Subtlety

    Tim Worstall – “Tim_chut exists in this universe too. The choice of Picalilli in the example only being that that was what was being eaten last night. The other corner of the same fridge contains chutney.”

    Ahh, but did the Chutney and hence TW_chut exist before you looked at them? Did that act of looking cause the multiverse to collapse into one mundane reality in which TW_chut and TW_pic co-exist?

    Personally I can’t accept that there are an infinite number of possible universes. It is not a large enough number for Ritchie to make sense in at least one of them.

  6. Andrew M,

    “The only place the men truly felt at home was at work.”

    This is why men have sheds or basements and fill them with electrical tools and computer equipment. It’s not really about the tools and the computers, it’s simply about creating a space with stuff that women don’t want to touch, that men can organise for themselves.

  7. I miss real piccalilli, we get Barton’s here in Queensland which isn’t too bad but you can’t get the really chunky stuff.

    We have one food fridge in our house and three beer and wine fridges including a red wine fridge. In return for keeping girlie soft drinks in one of the beer and wine fridges, I get to keep all of my pickles in the food fridge. I’ve got a wet bar that can hold about 30 to 40 people if standing. I don’t need my own space outside the house, I’ve got plenty space inside.

    The person who is most assertive about where things go is the cleaner, she is insistent that the washing up liquid goes under the sink, the remotes go under the coffee table, etc. We tolerate her ways because good cleaners are hard to come by and retain.

  8. We had people coming round. We thought of having damson pickle with the pork. Ah but we’d need to warn them about the stones. Quick rummage around: found a jar of damson jelly. Quick teaspoonful: lurvly. What’s that on the label? We made it in ’83. That’s home.

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