Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Problems we don’t need to worry about

In 2001, the European Union conducted a survey which had amongst its findings the fact that 33% of shoppers surveyed had a "high level of addiction to rash or unnecessary consumption." Researchers at Melbourne University have advocated the classification of "retail therapy" as a psychological disorder called oniomania, or compulsive shopping disorder.

We have no need of money on Raoul Island. No-one here carries a wallet or a cellphone. Our requirements are pretty simple and we have a marvellous facility that is designed specifically to cater for them – Arkwrights.

Fans of the golden age of British TV will remember Ronnie Barker’s classic comedy, the one in which he lives in fear of the savage till in his grocer’s shop and spends much of his life dreaming about Nurse Gladys from across the road. His character was the original Arkwright.

If it's your night to cook or you want a snack of any kind all that is required is a quick trip to the building behind the hostel. It’s stacked to the roof with a year’s supply of food.

The only drawback to all this is that sometimes this delicious fare gets a little past its use-by date.

The ant- and cockroach-proof containers provide access to the top shelf

Gaye and I have recently spent a few hours in this mighty establishment, completing the annual stocktake. We were under instructions to "be ruthless," so previous inhabitants of the island may be disappointed to read that the cans of nutmeat that arrived nine years ago have now gone, that shipment of canned food that fell in to the sea has been disposed of (they rusted out) and there is no longer an opportunity to enter the competition advertised on the Banana Nesquik containers, the one that closed last century.

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