In the well known book by Littlewood (Mathematician's Miscellany, or the later edition called Littlewood's Miscellany) there is a remark made in the chapter 'A Mathematical education', the meaning of which has been complete mystery to me since I read it some years ago and still wonder what Mr. Littlewood meant:
I will say, however, that for me the thing to avoid, for doing creative work, is above all Cambridge life, with the constant bright conversation of the clever, the wrong sort of mental stimulus, all the goods in the front window.
Question: what kind of goods does he mean exactly?
Is this some subtle hint at his drinking problem and he means that he should avoid alcoholic beverages? But then why does he say all the goods. This doesn't make any sense. Can anybody shed some light on this question?