Saturday, 28 September 2013

The Big Shop

When the kids lived at home the “big shop” was a weekly ritual. We’d head for Tesco after work and fill up for the seven days ahead. It’s been a very long time since we last did a shop like that – in Framlingham we usually buy no more than what we need for the next couple of days and it’s very rare that we fill more than a couple of carrier bags.

We’re here at the holiday let near West Calder preparing for my birthday party tomorrow. We thought that we would stock up on the way to the house yesterday but the car was packed to the gunnels and we decided to unpack and head back to the superstore with an empty vehicle. It’s a good job that we did. We soon discovered that a big shop for a family of four and a big shop for twelve adults, two toddlers and a baby are completely different animals.

We arrived at the store at 5.30 p.m. We were pretty well organised even though we weren’t familiar with the shop’s layout but Marion’s shopping list ran to four pages and, despite her military precision, it was 7.45 before we finally reached the tills. The young woman on the check out asked us to perch her “till closing” sign at the end of the conveyor as her shift was finishing at eight. We suggested that she might like us to go to another till but she was happy to serve us – even though she didn’t ring up the last item until almost 8.10.

And if you think that looks like a long till roll take note that it is printed on BOTH sides. There were a total of 247 items in the trolleys when we finally staggered away from the checkouts. We were delighted when the till printed out a savings voucher. We’ll get 50p off some biscuits if we go back – Sainsburys certainly know how to reward their shoppers. On the plus side, if we had had a Nectar card the till roll told us that we would have earned 1146 points. On the minus side, we don’t have one.

So that was the big shop. It wasn’t just a big shop it was a Titanic of shops. In fact it was the biggest shop of our lives. It was so big that we had to put the seats down in the very big car. “Oh well,” you might say, “you were shopping for a party”. But the fact is, we weren’t. The chef is coming tomorrow with the food and Mark and Nita are bringing the wine. This lot is just for the breakfasts, lunches and suppers for the rest of the time. Oh and one hell of a lot of nappies. I think Marion thinks our grandchildren pooh for Scotland.