To Leeds, on the invitation of the crimson-topped Bond, Andy Bond, ahead of his eco-friendly jolly to Arkansas and the agm of the Bentonville basher. A generous gesture indeed: not only did the industry's own shrinking violet find time in a diary otherwise chocka with fawning Sunday hacks, he had also donned his £10 suit and made an effort to book a table at Yorkshire's finest fish restaurant - who'd have guessed Harry Ramsden's would have stocked both Lambrusco AND Liebfraumilch. Bond was pensive ahead of his latest mission. He wanted to bury the hatchet over the infamous rift between Pumsey's Price Palace and Asda, then under the stewardship of the equally publicity-shy Archie Leighton. Well, it was a tough ask. For readers with short memories, PPP was forced into the arms of CVC and KKR after profits fell to SFA, largely the result of some unseemly coupon bombing - the likes of which would have made eyes light up in Cheshunt. But now Stella Pumseii is again firmly in the ascendant, agent Bond clearly feels it's time to offer the olive branch. By the end of the meal I wished he had - even chewing wood is preferable to those bloody mushy peas. A couple of days later I nabbed him again on the satphone of his bio-fuelled Lear jet as he moseyed on back from the hoe-down. Bond was candid enough to admit it had descended into its usual star-spangled farce, and all of Sam's deputies had been sent off to coral coasts. So much for the promised legion of non-food ranches Limeyside, one suspects. Funnily enough, a subsequent e-mail query to Asda's personable spin-doctor-in-chief prompted the intriguing out-of-office reply that "I am in Bangladesh". Speculation in the rag trade is that this was a sales trip: George clothes are now so cheap that the acrylic chic can be flogged back to the poor souls who made it in the first place.