Posts Tagged ‘Shopping’

Days of cold winter
Of clear light
Of Friday morning’s bustle
Of people in town before lunch
Of being free then
To tootle about doing that that needs done.
No shade for the van
But clear winters sun won’t do the dogs any harm waiting inside.
A haircut.
Past that cafe were things didn’t work out for teaching
Into another for a skewer of shrimp and small beer.
Across the square,
By the crowd of parents
Waiting for their kids to finish for lunch.
To the Bank
Money for Luz-light-electricity then.
All my tootling on a free morning tied up with things to do.
Bustle and movement of scarves and winter coats
But a moment of clarity
Though in these moments all is so unclear
As my stumbling nowhere steps are revealed
The woman who works
In the bank
-Who has something of the image of a past lover-
Came in the door as I went out.
And outside the same winter’s sun
No tears but that lump in the throat’s there all the same.
For the woman who’s sharp teeth would cut my tongue’s root with each kiss.
I’d rather be dumb now Than singing this song of the clear light of winter.

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There was definitely a faint smell of piss.

That’s not the sort of thing you expect in the check-out queue at Waitrose. It was either the old woman in front of me or God’s way of telling me to start wearing underpants again. It must be the old girl. They’re renowned for it.

I’d popped in at lunch time for a 7 Up and a packet of ‘Donkey Cock’ snacks and didn’t want to spend longer in there than I had to. I breathed out and looked over her shoulder. Jesus, she must have been shopping for the entire Care Home.

I coughed and shuffled, hoping she would turn round, see my purchases and with an “Is that all you’ve got love?” let me go first. No chance.

“Would you like help with packing your bags Madam?” asked Maureen on the till.

“Oh, yes please dear.”

I could have picked her up and cheerfully thrown her over the bread counter. Let me tell you, I’ve been shopping here for nearly ten years, have heard the ‘bag packing’ thing a million times, I have never, ever, ever, EVER heard anyone say “Yes”.

“Whassamatter you rancid old bag, you look capable enough to me!” This of course was a passing thought. I’m British, we’re reserved, we don’t do that kind of thing. Instead, I turned to the guy behind me, pulled a face and let out the required amount of air to register discontent. He, being British and not wanting to cause a scene ignored me.

I tried my luck with a sly look at Maureen but being a Corporate Partner she was oblivious to my tantrum and was on the blower to ‘Packing’, despite my dramatic efforts to draw everyone’s attention to the ‘Sell By’ date on the ‘Donkey Cocks’ which I though was a terrifically amusing.

By now the ‘Packeror’ had shuffled up and to be honest looked no more capable than the ‘Packeree’. If they’d got down on the floor and wrestled, it would have been a draw. After watching most of my lunch hour going up in groceries, the packing finally came to and end with a packet of ‘Werthers’.

“Ninety- seven pounds please Madam.”

“Ninety-seven pounds! I thought old people were supposed to be poor.” I muttered.

“Now where did I put my handbag?”

“Its under that pile of shit you’ve just bought,” said Maureen. (No she didn’t, but it would have been nice.)

“Oh, here it is!” The packet of Werthers went flying. I turned round with dramatic effect to pull some more faces but the rest of the queue had gone to other tills. Probably on their way to the Canaries for Christmas by now.

I had to endure though. The elusive purse. The cash. The lack of cash. The credit card. The pin number. The remembering of dead relatives birthdays to help with the pin number. The finding of more cash in a different purse hole. And then Callooh Callay, she was gone.

The dust settled.

“Good afternoon Sir, thank you for your patience, would you like any help with your packing?”

“Well, let’s start with the ‘Donkey Cocks’ and see how we go from there shall we?”

“Very well Sir. By the way, can you smell urine?”

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There  are delays of up to one hour to on the Isle of Man Steam Packet service between Douglas and Liverpool due to adverse weather conditions.

Sadly this means we will miss a very interesting lecture on “The History of Handles on Cups,” by Dougal Frugal, Acting Treasurer of the National Grippers Association. It had a slide show and everything.

Instead we shall visit Swindon Retail Park and stock up on all our road surfacing needs at the recently opened Passion for Asphalt.

Tarmac Heaven!

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