The Case of the Missing Lettuce

Rachel Dodd

As far as exotic and wild adventures go, most people wouldn’t think of Eastleigh, Hampshire as their first location. If I’m being honest, Eastleigh is neither exotic nor wild, but I was wearing my binder for the first time in public (that’s chest binder, not a paper one, for those out of the loop) and that was an adventure in itself. Plus, it does act as a more adventurous location than where I currently live in Winchester – and so with my friends in tow, we journeyed up to Eastleigh to go and see Captain America: Civil War.

I’m a bit of an old hat at Eastleigh, as the train runs about every 20 minutes and it’s an incredibly short ride. We spent most of the journey talking about this blog, as well as trying to not die of heat stroke on the train. Well, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but I don’t do well in the heat.

The rest of Eastleigh outside the Swan Leisure Centre is your standard small town, in that there are a few too many charity shops and McDonalds. It has that ‘hometown charm’, but I don’t think anyone would actually want to live there. My lighter has the same sort of tacky but practical feel; you would never want to pull it out in a conversation but it’s handy when you need it.

The Swan Leisure Centre itself if filled with everything you would want and more. It’s made of a front row of chain restaurants, leading up to a giant arcade and finally a Vue Cinema.

My relationship with Vue Cinemas is a complicated one. It’s so near and the food is so good. There are five different flavours of the hot dog toppings – this is the Brooklyn.


The Vue Cinema is also expensive. With £8.50 being the student price, it’s a drain on resources when all I want to watch is two superheroes beat each other into a bloody pulp.

Film over, we needed a place to analyse, discuss and eat our weight in chicken. Nando’s to the rescue. Nando’s is where everything started to go missing. First of all, Floss’ train ticket had vanished into her rucksack, a magical bottomless pit with contents including: biscuits, a cake, scissors with a sock stuck to them with nail polish remover, and a smaller bag. No railcard. Meanwhile, I’d eaten my lovely butterfly chicken burger and a single small piece of lettuce had found its way down into my binder. I am certain it fell. I felt it.


I went into the toilets to check and everything but to no avail – and unbeknownst to me, I’d also lost my railcard. We went back to the cinema and asked if they had it. Nope. Back into the Nando’s toilets? Nope. In my lettuce-eating binder with the lettuce? Nope. Floss’ magic rucksack? Nope.

In a bad mood, we went to get ice cream at Cream’s Café, where my eyes were bigger than my stomach and I ordered a giant cone of coffee, hazelnut and toffee ice cream. It did cheer me up.


I found my railcard when I got home – it had been in the side pocket of my rucksack the whole time. But it was the missing lettuce which was bugging me more than my lost railcard. When I got home and immediately fell into my pyjamas, the lettuce was still missing. It wasn’t until a day or so later I was walking back into my flat I saw a tiny piece of lettuce on the floor near my room.

The lettuce probably had a lot to say about Eastleigh and the journey back to Winchester, but lettuce can’t type – so we’ll just have to deal with my retelling.


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