Thursday, 11 February 2010

Would it be admitting defeat...

... to buy one of these?

The case for the defence:

I really loathe supermarkets.
Even now I find them scary places - they are just too big, designed for people shopping for a crowd, full of couples and families and their trolleys piled high with food.

And they still make me cry.
R loved them. He adored bargain-hunting, 2-for-1 offers and general excess. They were a Friday night thing for us. If he was travelling by train, I would pick him up at Shrewsbury Station and we would head straight for Sainsbury's, buy some beer and pizza and get home to start the weekend.

Now the sight of crowds of happy, cross, frustrated, arguing, busy, impatient humanity, all sharing their lives with someone else just turns the knife another time. They seem to emphasise how alone I am.
I go to a supermarket if it cannot be avoided, and for the most part it can.

So I shop in my nearest town.
It has proper shops - a good butcher, fishmonger, reasonable baker and greengrocer, a lovely market, ironmonger, newsagent, deli and much more. Or I visit my local farm shop. There the shop assistants are always ready for a chat. I see people I know, and feel closer to the world.

But I don't go shopping very often. If I lived closer to town I could pop in every couple of days on my bike, fill my rucksack and nip home again. As it is, though, I tend to go once a fortnight or even less, which means lots of bags of shopping when I do get there. And without my sherpa to carry it all for me, this means several trips back and forth to the car or aching shoulders.

So the obvious answer is to get one of those. Or these. But definitely not one of these.
But I'm not sure I'm ready to feel like Miss Marple quite yet.
What do you think?


  1. i'd get the first one. it looks like it would hold more thereby eliminating too many trips. i know what you mean about the grocery store. my husband made it fun. he loved to cook and i loved to be with him. it was always an adventure going to the store. he'd pick out weird horrible looking stuff but the meal itself was always so good. i've always like the idea of the shop concept in Europe. as you wrote, a butcher, fishmonger, greengrocer, etc. in his younger days as a Marine, my husband lived in Europe in a village along the coastline recovering from a serious injury from combat. he said the village was small and peaceful and that the waves from the ocean were powerful to watch. the people were friendly to him, a nice elderly couple even helped him with his purchases when his arm was still bound up. he always wanted to take me there, to the cottage he lived in for that time. i guess that's why i love seeing your photos so much. it all reminds me of his stories of the countryside where he spent that time.

    i've rambled. tough morning here for me. memories. stupid Valentine's Day coming. so if you're serious, i kinda like the first one. peace.

  2. I like the wicker one because I think it is prettier but go for the one you like and would be the most beneficial for your needs. It is not a defeat to get a product that will make life easier and ultimately more of a pleasure. We all need helping hands whether they are actual hands or a product.

    I appreciate and can relate to your description of large supermarkets. I see a couple squabbling over a grocery item and wish those seemingly insignificant moments were still part of my life! It is so tough to see those scenes play out in front of you. The worst ones for me are when I encounter a husband on his cell calling his wife at home to clarify some aspect of the shopping list. "Did you want the larger size or the smaller one on sale? Okay, honey I'm almost done and will be home soon..."

  3. Get one! Over here in "hipster" Marin County, CA, they are a persistent sight at the local farmers market. I think we're even being a bit competitive about who has the coolest basket.

  4. Well, if it's good enough for Marin County farmers market, that's good enough for me!
    The wicker ones are sweet, but they are just too 'little old lady' I think. I've been looking around some more, and there are some decidedly funky models out there.
    I know it makes sense!