In the most recent instalment of her lockdown diary for the Indie, Bishop’s Stortford mum Cate Wilson dons her son’s goalkeeper gloves and a woolly confront muffler prior to heading out on a meals browsing expedition obtaining overlooked to reserve that all-important on the web delivery slot…
If there is one particular factor the Wilsons have excelled at throughout the lockdown, it is meals. Not just the extensive usage of it, whilst top marks to the family members there, but alternatively the purchasing and purchasing of it.
When others in Bishop’s Stortford had been even now wrestling multi-packs of toilet roll to the floor at Aldi and standing forlornly in grocery store queues stretching back to Stansted, we had secured a rolling programme of weekly grocery store deliveries and, until eventually this week, it was all likely quite nicely.
But then, in the wee modest several hours of Monday, catastrophe struck with the dawning realisation that I had tragically failed to reserve a grocery store delivery slot. Inspite of a mad scramble to the on the web reserving method, it was obvious there was very little in the way of delivery until eventually sometime mid-century. There was very little for it. I was likely to have to brave the shops.
It was obvious from social media that some preparing was likely to be desired prior to leaving the household. Photographs of house-manufactured confront masks, manufactured from the sort of material scraps we don’t appear to be to possess, flooded my timeline, as very well as useful strategies suggesting the use of disposable plastic gloves and ‘best time to go’ tracker apps. This was obviously likely to get some really serious considered.
A fingertip lookup of the household managed to uncover small in the way of ideal protecting gear with the last shortlist consisting of two pairs of washing up gloves, some oven mitts, a cranium and crossbones bandana and a woolly confront muffler purchased for a new Nordic journey. I opted for the latter teamed with the previous-minute addition of goalkeeper gloves situated below the teenager’s bed.
Wanting less like a shopper and more like someone about to brave a snowstorm in the middle of a penalty shootout, I established off and was pleasantly shocked to come across just a shorter queue of folks politely lined up at two-metre intervals about four hundred metres from the entrance. The glazed expression in their eyes really should have pointed to an evident rookie oversight.
This was not the queue. This was the merely the last house straight of the queue. Stretching out into the much length, once in a while damaged by the curvature of the Earth, was the queue. Gulping a little for air, prompted by the now suffocating heat from my Icelandic wool muffler, I grabbed a trolley and joined.
The queue protocol seemed to be less Dunkirk spirit and more sullen boredom punctuated only by the occasional squeak of a trolley wheel or someone loudly inquiring into their cellular phone irrespective of whether a wholemeal bread roll would make a fitting substitute for flatbread really should the need come up. One hour and 3 levels of Candy Crush on my phone later, my trolley wheels ultimately crossed the threshold and I was all set to navigate the one particular-way method.
Inspite of steamed-up glasses, many thanks to the muffler, my mission to the fruit and veg aisle was a success and by the time I’d skilfully traversed bread and cakes I was obviously on a roll. The egg area, on the other hand, was rather a diverse issue. A vision of empty shelves lay prior to me, reminiscent of a 1970s Soviet meals market, until eventually, out from the bowels of the storeroom, came the thundering rattle of a big cage bearing fresh egg supplies. It was right here that the famous British Bulldog spirit took keep. A lot quicker than a hen could pass wind, customers appeared from nowhere in a mad scramble for eggs and it was now that my new continue to keep-healthy and sporting prowess came into its own.
Like Peter Shilton at his very best and with goalkeeper gloves poised to cushion the eggs landing, I did a speedy sideways dive to a box of Joyful Valley free-range and nailed it. I’d cracked it and fortunately not any of the eggs.
Giddy with success, I unfortunately then managed to vacation the wrong way down the future two aisles, falling foul of the grocery store by-legal guidelines and resulting in a shed chance to protected prolonged grain rice. Fearing a even further diplomatic incident if I tried to reverse the trolley back down the one particular-way aisle, there was very little for it but to plough on to meat and poultry, wondering if rice pudding would make a satisfactory accompaniment to tikka masala.
Some time later, obtaining been rapidly directed to an open up until by a keep assistant obviously alarmed by the sweat dripping from my muffled confront, I emerged into the gentle of the car park and headed house all set for a chilly shower and a tub of moisturiser to combat the wool rash now masking my neck and decrease confront.
Mission attained and a range of valuable lessons realized, not the very least the need to reserve an on the web delivery slot for the next week. Omelette everyone?