Today it was time for a big shop. In this instance that meant a trip to Totton for Lidl and Asda. On the way we diverted to Copythorne to recce a house in Copythorne Crescent. The house looked good. It was down a narrow unmade road with hedgerows alongside fields opposite. In one field a couple of horses were necking. There was significant road traffic noise from the M27 beyond the fields.
Lidl is more compact than Asda, so shopping there was fairly straightforward. In the English owned store, we separated as I went off in search for wine to see if that is where the excellent Cotes du Rhone came from. It was, but it wasn’t on offer at 50% reduction. It cost £10.50. Jackie normally buys half price bargains. She thought she must have decided to treat me with that one.
Tramping up and down the aisles in Asda, evading – not always successfully – shopping trolleys, baskets, walking aids, and slaloming children, is easily the equivalent of a decent distance walk. Why is it that no-one who suddenly stops, and reaches across the rows for an item which has caught their eye, is ever supplied with rear or wing mirrors or brake- or indicator lights?
And why, whenever I take our shopping across to the car, do I always get the trolley with out of control steering? The Asda one was fine today, so it is a slight exaggeration to say that I always get the dodgy trolley, but, given that we went to two shops in one trip, it would be fair to say I always get one per journey. The Lidl one was different. It was a prime example of the need sometimes to lean heavily on one side of the carriage whilst at the same time attempting to steer it straight from the front. Today it became slightly more complicated when playing dodgems with a woman being pushed in a wheelchair. The man escorting her was an expert steerer, but he did have to allow for my veering in front of him. Eventually the couple simply stood and stared, as I struggled to prevent my steed from falling off the edge of the kerb before reaching the dropped section. Once you reach your car with these wheeled bearers it is the devil’s own job to stop them from running into your vehicle whilst you decant their contents. Like the errant shoppers in the store, they don’t have brakes.
When I eventually did empty the trolley and return it to its rack, I met a couple of unforeseen obstacles. Lidl’s bays are reached by pushing the trolleys between two parallel bars. At the end of the row you are rewarded by the sight of a line of these baskets on wheels attached to the last of which is a key chain that you insert into a slot on your trolley so that your £1 deposit is spewed out for your collection.
The first obstacle was a young woman leaning on the bars arguing into her electronic cheek extension who seemed to have no conception of blocking the road. I gently pressed her shoulder and pointed to my trolley. She shifted her position barely enough for me to get by without the slightest pause in her one-sided debate. Having reached the trolley rack I was ready to insert the key. I saw no slot in my handle. A brief technical examination revealed that the container for the slot was loose, cracked, and had swivelled underneath the handle. With consummate skill, I righted the pocket, inserted the key, caught the flying £1 coin, and returned to the car feeling I had just won the lottery.
Michael came for a visit this afternoon and stayed over. As we sat in the garden I was entranced by the late afternoon’s sun’s rays lighting up the sweet peas and other glorious flowers in Jackie’s pots.
Our dinner consisted of sausage casserole, potatoes, cauliflower and cabbage; followed by apple crumble, custard, and ice cream. Michael and I drank the Cotes du Rhone while Jackie quaffed Hoegaarden.