Tag Archives: Supermarkets

And The Award For Greediest Retailer Goes To…

1 Oct
Tesco shopping trolley shelter

Image via Wikipedia

 

…Tesco, for showing the first Christmas advert (toys).  Every little helps the largest supermarket in the country fill its overflowing pockets.  The advert tells us that Christmas has come early this year; they’re not kidding: in Morrisons, Christmas decorations have been stacked next to Halloween goodies (or baddies?) for half of September.  Don’t get me wrong – I love Christmas and the run-up to it; but it would be nice if it started on December 1st instead of October 1st.  It’s like getting nine boxes of Maltesers for your birthday: you can have too much of a good thing.  

<Short pause while I recover from my hysterical laughter>  

*  

Malteser Watch, Day 2  

The Laughing Housewife is now in possession of ten boxes, her Blonde Friend having made an afternoon birthday visit.    

Make that eight boxes, TLH & HBF having got stuck into the wine.  

*  

The kitchen is coming along.  Work has halted for a few days but the tiling will be done next week.  The story so far:  

   BEFORE  

  

  

  

BEFORE THE AFTER  

  

  

The fitters told me we have one of the biggest kitchens on the estate.  We appear to have been lucky in having a sympathetic designer.  The long counter, according to the fitters, is the longest they’ve put in on the estate (they had to take out the window to get it in the house).  I have a small under-counter freezer that will go where those bags on the right are now, and the designer must have been in a good mood because he gave me the extra bit to cover it; the counter should have stopped at the end cupboard.  He also gave me a bin space: the counter should have stopped at the washing machine.  My fridgefreezer will go where the butcher’s trolley is now.  

*  

The Big Tent prompt this week was to step outside and do something different, then write about it.  This wasn’t a week where I could do that, so I am sharing a pair of poems I wrote for my OU Creative Writing course, back in 2006.  They are technically still within the parameters of the prompt, because they are about two people doing something they wouldn’t normally do.  They tell the same story from the perspective of both participants. 

A Cardinal Sin 

I’m sick of being a one-man band;
Tired of playing the solo hand;
Self-confidence flagging;
Can’t go around begging.
I feel like a walking gland.
 

A mate of mine gave me a card.
‘Every man deserves a reward.
No sense feeling fearful;
They’re discreet and cheerful.
It’s time to let down your guard.’
 

He reckoned I would have a ball.
Desperate, I gave them a call.
Got to be worth a crack.
She’ll be good in the sack…
…She’s standing out in the hall.
 

Nervous, I invite her in.
Cash up front so we can begin.
We soon get down to it
But I know I blew it,
Aware that this is a sin.
 

In no danger of a rebuff,
But I still blushed; this step is tough.
The girl’s foreign body
Left me feeling shoddy.
Perhaps I was a bit rough.
 

Got out of her fast as I could.
Shudder to think it wasn’t good.
She said I was a stud
But I know I’m a dud.
Why did I join the priesthood?
 

* 

Prostituted  

The Man
invites me
in.
 

Devils dance inside of me.
Mere vacillation…
Impelled,
I breach my barricade.
 

Invasion.
Submission.
Profession.
 

Perdition. 

  

   

  

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.

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