Marmalade? On a baguette? And an untoasted one at that? Surely not. And indeed, I had no intention of spreading marmalade on it. Then why the surprised look and question from my wife? Because, as it turned out, I'd mistakenly picked up the marmalade jar from the fridge thinking it was jam, and brought it all the way to the table without realising my error. Crikey.
I was fooled by the label. A glance at that “Hartley's” logo confirmed to me that it was the blackberry jelly I craved. (For the sake of completeness I should add that I also collected the cheese spread with which to adorn half of the baguette, having failed to make a choice between sweet or savoury. Having said that, I'll admit that although that fact makes the story more complete, it doesn't make it any more entertaining, challenging or enlightening. At least, I don't think it does. Perhaps I'll be pleasantly surprised. But, if not, can I apologise now? Thanks.)
So there I am, at the table, having had my faux pas pointed out. “No,” says I, “I don't want marmalade. I may be many things, but a fictional bear isn't one of them.”
This was, of course, a Paddington reference. The bear, that is, created by Michael Bond in 1958 (as distinct from the train station, designed by Brunel in 1854). If, at this point, you're gazing at the screen with a somewhat bemused expression and haven't the slightest idea what I'm talking about, let me explain. Paddington's favourite snack is a marmalade sandwich. Hence the reference. But then you probably knew that.
To confirm, then, I am not, repeat not, a fictional bear. Kinda obvious in the cold light of day, I suppose. I promise you it was extremely witty and mildly amusing at the time. You had to be there.