It’s Friday, so that can only mean one thing – a trip to the supermarket. And with the schools now back after the Easter break that meant an early trip whilst the mums are doing the school run. Oh the joy of these early morning runs, when the car park is virtually empty and there are no queues at the checkouts.
At least that is what I was hoping for, and up to Easter that is what I usually got. Not today! OK, the car park was still quite empty, but it was full of Polish men wanting to clean cars and old people who could have stayed in bed!
That’s a bit unfair on the old folk. I know when I get to their age, I am going to be the sort of old person who doesn’t want to stay in bed. Up with the lark and make the most of the day. It always used to frustrate me when I got up early to go to the local swimming pool for a few lengths before work to find I’d have to queue behind and then swim round slow old folk who didn’t need to be up and at it at that time of day.
Having said that, if they are awake and have other things to do, then they are just as entitled to be there at that time of day as anybody else. However, I did have to constantly manoeuvre my trolley around them. They seemed to be shopping in groups of three, and whilst the aisles at the town’s shiny new supermarket are wide, they are not wide enough for shoppers to go round three a breast.
There was almost a fight! I say fight; it was more of a stand off. One old lady bumped her trolley into the trolley of an old man who was reading the labels on two different packs of pre-packed fresh meat. And while she went about her business choosing her Sunday joint, he stood totally still, with a joint of beef in one hand and a leg of lamb in the other, just staring at this woman who had dared to shift his trolley one inch.
And stand and stare he did, for a good two minutes while she selected her pack. The only movement was coming from his eyes as he watched her every move. I’m not sure what he intended to do. Perhaps he was just waiting for her to come closer and dare to pick up a joint he may have been interested in. What ever his reasons, the woman was totally unaware. Either that or she was just ignoring him.
It came to nothing. The old lady didn’t take any of the joints and the old man went back to reading the labels. Oh well, it was exciting for a couple of minutes!
I carried on round the store, negotiating the tortoise like trolley pushing and the inevitable traffic jams down each aisle. And when I got to the checkout, I had to queue. Again, I say queue, but it was more a case of waiting for the one person in front of me to finish packing and paying, but at that time of day it is a queue!
Then it was back to the car park, where the Polish men who had also woken early, were out in force cleaning any car they could get permission to clean. There were four in the lane I had parked in and at least the same again in the next lane. So if that was repeated across the whole car park, they were probably 20 car cleaning teams present.
And all that was before the day got busy!
As I was leaving my abnormally busy shopping experience behind, it dawned on me what day it was – St George’s Day. Maybe the older folk are more patriotic and were out early getting food for a party. Maybe they are holding a street party the like of which they probably haven’t had since they were children. It’s a shame, but we English just aren’t into our day – not like the Irish. That’s celebrated all round the world!
It also dawned on me that it was the anniversary of the death of one of England’s greatest authors. And a man, bearing in mind my history of theatrical pursuits, which I should perhaps have been blogging about today – William Shakespeare. That will have to wait for another day, as it is time to leave you. And leave you I must, but as the bard once said:
Parting is such sweet sorrow.