trenches

The worthy practice of donating first-hand, with its inherent 'nothing in return' aspect, has been replaced with the more morally ambiguous purchasing of an mp3. When you put pennies in the Chelsea Pensioner's box and collect your poppy, you are forced, however momentarily, to individually reflect on the meaning of the paper token you've acquired.
Once upon a time I flatted in London with two economists. One of them, Miguel, was from Madrid and he had learned most of his English while studying at London Business School. Thus he would talk about his "portfolio of shirts." I teased him at the time (very kindly) but I later realised how wise was his view of the world and how it could er, justify one's shopping habits.