Back to supermarkets: Somerfields in Greenwich used to sell German mustard. They stopped. Sainsburys used to do an own-brand German-syle version. They stopped. Tescos in Surrey Quays used to sell a German mustard until a couple of years ago. They stopped. I've all but given up now, though I now tend to cycle to Waitrose in Beckenham just to buy their Tewkesbury mustard, which is usually a 10 mile journey. So I tend to buy 2 jars at a time. (Ok, I could go the the nearer Canary Wharf Waitrose, but that wouldn't be as much fun.)
And sometimes I just stop at any old supermarket on the return leg of a little ride. Just before Christmas I stopped at ASDA at Charlton. Now, there's absolutely no chance of getting decent mustard there - but there are also no hills or stairs before I get to the foot of my incontournable 67 stairs at home. Anyhow, having previously looked around in vain for a proper place to lock the bike and noting that their customers are generally the fattest I have ever seen - I decided to avail myself of the camera I had with me for evidence of their lack of facilities. So I took this one, because although the railing is not meant for bikes, it's all I'd ever seen.And then I set off round the corner where I'd seen a sign for motorbike parking and a very tidy smoking shed but nothing for cyclists. And I took 2 pics of that. However, some ASDroid having a ciggie took exception to me taking photos. He emerged from the shed and informed me that ASDA do not allow photos to be taken of ASDA facilities (OR LACK OF) or of ASDroids. Not being interested in the photo that he could conceivably have been identified in, I deleted it in front of him. I then told him that I was taking photos of ASDA facilities (LACK OF) and that if he wanted me to delete the previous photo he'd have to restrain me and call the police. At this point, he got out his phone out to call the police.
So I said, ''Are you going to restrain me?''
''No,'' was the reply.
''Oh well, I'll be on my way, then.''
And on my way I went. Here's the photo:So, scanning from right to left, there's a Disabled Parking sign with another sign attached ''Strictly no parking....Emergency Vehicles Only.'' Accompanied by strictly parked vehicles. Then there's the smoking shelter. Then there's the motorbike sign. And finally I discovered ASDA's bike facilities: a row of ''wheel benders'' beneath the motorbike sign. Note that they're being used in direct proportion to their utility. No one knows they are there and no one will ever use them - but they're not there to be used, are they?
Strange, if you go to the ASDA website, they have lots of stuff on how open they are - they even have a webcam of people wandering around the foyer of ASDA house, they have nothing, NOTHING at all about not allowing photos and menacing customers with calling the police for testing that much-vaunted openness.
Openness and access - we don't want to do everything "behind closed doors"
Oh, well, there's another store on my ever-growing veto list. Come and get me, ASDA!