Tag Archives: Morrisons

From The News Desk

8 Aug

Two bits of news from my area:

One of my friends narrowly missed being part of an armed robbery yesterday (as a victim, I hasten to add; not a perpetrator).  She had just left Home Bargains in Edgeley when it happened.  She was loading her car at the time and fled the scene as soon as she realised what was happening.  I wonder if she remembered to collect her £1 from the shopping trolley?

The second bit of news means the couple who live just up the road from me will be able to spend their £11.2million lottery win in the sort of shops that don’t have armed robberies.   I know now that we will definitely never win it: with them probably buying their ticket in Morrisons like us, and my good friend Elone who won as part of a syndicate some years back (and very kindly sharing her good fortune by buying me the new oven I desperately needed and giving me the dining suite I desperately wanted), we have no chance.  I also know a friend of a friend from not far from here who won.  It’s kind of like being splashed by the oil from your neighbour’s well: you wish them well but, well, you wish the oil had been under your land.  But silver linings and all that: think of the pestering letters they’re going to get from people begging for help in paying off their credit card debts…where’s my pen?


Supermarket Singing

30 Mar

Supermarket car parks are generally unpleasant places: cars loaded with BOGOFs that will often go uneaten because they pass their sell-by date, try to run down pensioners with their one carrier bag, forced to walk to the bottom end of the car park because selfish, fit middle-aged men park their Beamers in the disabled spaces.  But not on Palm Sundays in this corner of Stockport, for that is the day that local church congregations come together for thirty minutes and sing joyful hymns to bemused shoppers.

The tradition was started a couple of years ago by our previous vicar, but we had a donkey then: the incredibly good-natured and beautiful twenty-five year old Jenny Donkey, hired to lead us where we might not otherwise have followed.  I have done some bizarre things in my life, but I think following a donkey to Morrisons was the most peculiar, and yet amazingly good fun. 

 This is a Jenny Donkey but not our Jenny Donkey. 

It is a ten-minute walk behind a placid donkey from our starting point at St John’s Church, to get to Morrisons’ car park and meet up with the Salvation Army Band.  Their presence surprised me, the first year, because I thought they only came out at Christmas.  That first Palm Sunday, hymn sheets were passed out and everyone seemed to have a good time singing along.  We quickly got through the printed hymns and had to dredge from memory the words to the familiar tunes that followed: as each person knew some songs better than others, the best that can be said was that a joyful noise was made unto the Lord.

The bravest among us (not me, obviously) handed out palm crosses to the shoppers.  It helps to have a child along because even the most harassed of people will mind their language in front of a five-year old.  To be fair, many shoppers were happy to listen to the singing whilst their children stroked Jenny Donkey and fed her Polo Mints, and I only heard one complaint about donkey spit on the clothes – fortunately, from my own child.

The festive atmosphere had an international feel because we not only had people from many different denominations but also from different countries, including America and Zambia.  Each church made its own contribution to the event: as a sample, the Salvation Army provided the wonderful music which, with our usual British reserve, we were all too embarrassed to applaud, much as we wanted to, in case total strangers saw us being slightly exuberant in public; St Matthew’s brought real palm leaves; and my church provided the donkey mints.

We are in our third year now and have sadly lost the vicar (pastures new) and the donkey (pastor unfortunately took the owner’s contact details with her), but the singing is better.  The shoppers’ stupefied looks remain, however: some traditions never die.

Dinner Disasters

18 Nov

Meals have been a bit hit and miss this week.  I thought I would use all of the frozen leftovers in the freezer.  The problem was that I hadn’t bothered labelling anything, so I didn’t know what was in the tubs until they defrosted; everything was dirty brown and quite unappetising.  I bagged the lasagne and added a salad, so I was okay; but the other tubs contained homemade vegetable soup, which nobody likes but me; casserole, which nobody likes at all; and some manky-looking mince.  The Hub settled on mince and chips, if he must, rather than waste food; Spud wanted cheese and chips, because he didn’t want mince, lasagne,  casserole or vegetable soup.  Spud ate his cheese before dinner so the Hub forced him to try a mince & chips butty, and he liked it so much he had two.  The Hub, after complaining to me that he doesn’t like garlic in his mince if he’s eating it with chips, wolfed down his meal and then told me it was the tastiest thing he’d had in ages.  I went easy on the lasagne and heavy on the salad with the result that I was starving by seven o’clock. 

Last night we had pies.  Wanting to take advantage of Morrisons’ Christmas voucher offer (spend £40 a week for five weeks and get a £25 gift voucher to spend when you spend another £40…hmm.  Maybe it’s not such a great offer after all), we have started shopping weekly and an hour before closing, because it’s so quick and quiet.  There are also mark-downs to be had, like four pies for 49p instead of £2-odd.  I was feeling unwell all yesterday so the Hub declared it was stand-alone pie night, because preparation is the minute it takes to heat up while the cook is standing in front of the microwave.  Initially, we were having pie, salad and fresh crusty rolls, but I just wanted to go to bed and I couldn’t be bothered.  We opened the pies and they were four flavours we have never bought before.  I heated the pies and cut each one into four, thinking our dinner could be a bit of an adventure, trying new and exciting tastes.  16 pieces of pie ended up in the bin, each as yucky as the other, and we had cereal instead, then I took myself off to bed and wasn’t heard of again, apart from my muttering about the waste of good money and how I could have just made cereal in the first place and been done with it instead of wasting my time with manky pies….

The previous night’s dinner was just as much fun.  I thought we’d have something light.  I decided on healthy tuna and salad with homemade bread (aka ‘sandwiches’), and so I set to with the bread maker.  The measuring utensils were in the dishwasher, halfway through the cycle, so I had to guess the correct amount of yeast, salt & sugar with a teaspoon; the battery in the scales died just as I was weighing out the flour, so I tipped in as much as I thought I might need, but I didn’t know whether it was enough or too much; and I had just poured in all of the ingredients when I realised I had forgotten to insert the kneading paddles.  They tell you to put those in first, and now I know why: it’s not much fun wading through flour paste with only bare hands and a grimace.  Flour tickling my under-nails is the reason I never bake; I hate the feeling.  The bread baked to perfection.  Bizarre.  Maybe I should stop following recipes and just do my own thing.

If my family knew even half of what I get up to in that kitchen they’d never eat anything made by me again, but my problems are not confined to the kitchen: on a train once, I had a packed lunch.  No problems at all with the bread-and-butter, tangerine and water; but, ah, how could I know to expect drama with a plain old hard-boiled egg?  Having peeled it at home to save myself the embarrassment of having to do it on the train, I began to extract it from its plastic bag, when it maliciously hurled itself from my hands and rolled exuberantly along the carriage floor, with me hard in pursuit.  The passengers were pleased with the entertainment; everyone except the businessman who came into the carriage just as the egg reached the door, and trod on it in his expensive leather shoes.  Maybe I should give up eating; it’s like it’s not meant to be.

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