The hills are alive with po-lite queueing … ♪ ♫

Image: Paul Wright

Image: Paul Wright

The B & B’s, tea shops, pubs and railway station around Llanberis and Bangor must have done a roaring trade in packed lunches and snacks for hikers as they set off up the The Llanberis path to summit Snowdon the other day. And for the Visitor’s Centre, Hafod Eryri at the end of the line, their supplies would probably have been sent ahead on the train a day or two before.

It must have been a caterer’s nightmare trying to plan for the influx with their stocktaker what to order in as they watched the weather change and the promise of fine, sunny weather was forecast for the bank holiday. The good people of Llanberis knew that they would be inundated with folk taking advantage of the season to get a snap of themselves at the top of the mountain. The problem for so many, however was not that their packed lunch didn’t come up to scratch, but that they would probably have had to eat it while they stood in the queue to reach the top. And then they would have had only for a few seconds in which to adjust the speed and set the f-stop before pushing the shutter and then moving off the summit to let the next lot through. Those with camera phones were definitely at an advantage.

With crowds like that, it was probably one of the motivating factors for building the Visitor’s Centre a mere 50 metres away from the summit, so that the toilets were handy.

A different challenge faced the stocktakers of new tea shop owners in Cookham, Berkshire though. After some spiteful business rival posted cockroaches through their door they had to get the fumigators in before they could safely open for business. It took a couple of days before they were busy serving their loyal supporters again, but apparently the police are investigating. It seems the roaches are a rare variety and suppliers of the exotic Madagascan hissing roaches are helping police with their enquiries as to who might have purchased them. I’m pretty sure that Jon Rutter’s team will add ‘roach repellent’ to the list of items as they plan for all eventualities their clients might face.

Image: Ed Melendres

Image: Ed Melendres

There is an old recipe that guarantees a roach-free environment – and any commis chef can handle this: finely dice some onion, mix with margarine to form a paste, add a small amount of sugar and boric acid (available from the chemist or supermarket). Spoon about a teaspoonful into jar lids or cup cake holders and place behind appliances, under shelves and other warm and dark places that roaches love to hide away in – after a few days, no more roaches! Discard the lids after about two weeks. A caterer I knew was suddenly inundated with roaches. They used this method (the official pest killers were busy that day) and within a very short time the roaches vanished and there have been no infestations for over two years. Then one was seen lurking … out came the lids with the paste carefully placed in the centre, and since then, nothing! Not sure what ‘elf-and-safety’ would say, but in the days when the old wives were telling tales, no one wore high vis jackets, hard hats nor carried clipboards.

They’d have been pleased that their old ways still worked – cheap too!


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