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Lost in Waitrose

I went for a run yesterday, and then I remembered that I didn’t have any food, so I hopped on my bike and went to the shops. (I stupidly listened to my little sister’s incessant mocking of my glorious Iceland purchases, so spent thousands of pounds in Waitrose instead).

Waitrose at 8.30pm is an odd and dangerous ecosystem. For a start, you enter at the fruit section. Now, I’m not anti-fruit. I’m not even on-the-fence about fruit. I like fruit, and I think people should eat it.

But, unless you are a fruit fly or Gwyneth Paltrow, the main thrust of a supermarket visit is not for the fruit. Nevertheless, Waitrose makes you start there.

I chucked a couple of bananas and some grapes (the grapes came in packets- they weren’t just rolling idly around on the bottom of my basket-though I believe I did see someone try to jiggle a grape free from its packet and into their mouth) into my basket, and moved away from the fruit.

The next thing I knew, I was freezing.

I was standing in front of the type of freezer conglomeration more usually found in a cryogenics lab, trying to work out which food it was that retained all its vitamins if it was frozen, but lost them all if you ate it fresh. After wavering uncertainly for a few, icy moments, I plumped for the danish pecan pie.

The rest of the trip was an exercise in ignoring the fabulously well-dressed and attractive other shoppers, who were apparently filming some sort of  Waitrose sponsored romantic-comedy.

(I refuse to believe that anyone goes to the supermarket for a baguette, some camembert, champagne and truffles. Where is the toilet roll? Do people not realise how quickly bin bags get used up?)

I hunted down a kindly Waitrose employee to discuss at length where one would put popping corn, while he subtly tried to squirm away from my well-reasoned and logical analysis of this conundrum.

I returned home at last, whereon I discovered that, irritatingly, bananas are heavy enough to squash grapes, and frozen pecan pie does not  stay frozen for the entire length of a popping corn logistics debate.

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Iceland, and feeding my kids

I have recently discovered Iceland.

It is tremendous. It is filled with food (I would like now to dispel any preconceived notions of nominal determinism and tell you that it sells both fresh and frozen produce) and it is exceptionally cheap. It is perhaps not the food I would feed my children, but that is more because I do not see ‘feeding’ as being part of my parental repertoire. I imagine myself as more of a go-to-Mother for the Sport’s Day Mother’s Race, or lessons in dazzling put-downs and unforgettable quips. The whole ‘bringing the child up’ thing sounds much, much less fun. I will generously leave that to my husband.

Anyway, at the moment all of this is a moot point, mostly because my sister remains unconvinced anyone would want to procreate with me. (My sister is a doctor now, which has changed nothing, except for the fact that she makes spurious pronouncements with a greater air of authority, and is listened to by our parents. Oh, she is also coming soon to a hospital near you. Possibly. That one really depends on where you live). The fact remains, however, with or without my little sister’s annoyingness, that I was in Iceland alone.

There were other people in Iceland, but they were not with me. Iceland is filled with a variety of people, though I am yet to spot Kerry Katona.

I asked the checkout boy about this as I filled out my Iceland bonus card. ‘You can buy this rum for £12,’ He told me in reply. Which is as sensible an answer as any, I suppose. Or at least as sensible a reply one will find in Iceland, which must be why mums go there.

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