Off to a nearby big Waitrose for our weekly fix of civilisation. Did you see that programme on TV the other night? How we laughed! They were playing up the snobby element/Royal connection somewhat. I like to shop there for the choice, quality and friendly staff, not on the off-chance I might bump into Prince William stocking up from the “essentials” range. As the particular branch we favour is close to a certain football training ground, you do see the odd familiar-looking face. We stood behind Jamie Redknapp at the checkout last year, though I have to admit I wasn’t really paying attention to what he was buying.
I used to live less than a five-minute walk from another branch I still frequent. I wish I’d been aware of the “Waitrose effect” when it came to selling my flat. I’d have included it in the details and whacked a bit more on the asking price. There is a certain very popular pub in our area which is regularly featured in the estate agents’ blurb if the fortunate seller lives anywhere within a half-mile radius, it would seem. Hang on, though… consults map… that could almost just about include us… result!
I chuckled over the programme with the nice woman at the cheese counter as she tried in vain to dislodge a stray hair on her face with her arm. It was clearly bothering her. “We’re not supposed to touch our faces,” she recited firmly to herself, grimacing somewhat as she wrestled with the slicer. I had spotted a cheese I hadn’t seen before – Stoney Cross – and instantly felt a pang of homesickness, even though I couldn’t wait to leave the place at 18 and try my luck in “The Big Smoke” as my dad always fondly called it (he was born in Stockwell in south London). Stoney Cross is not a million miles from where I grew up; ergo, I had to try a slice. I also bought a piece of Cornish Garlic Yarg, feeling a similar pang for where we love to holiday every year (though not this year, clearly). In fact, had there been a slab of Henley on Thames cheese sitting there, I’d have been ping-ponging with panging all over the shop and bought that one as well. A veritable hat-trick of panging. It’s where I was born and, frankly, I don’t think they’re into making cheese there, although I’d be very happy to be proved wrong on this one extremely rare occasion.
Waitrose have yet to reduce the price of their Easter eggs, in line with other supermarkets, and they do appear to have rather a lot of them at the moment. I’m keeping a beady eye on them, don’t you worry. My time will come… although, as they are limiting our purchases to a mere three of the same item, I’ll just have to send the OH in as well. That’s my supply sorted, anyway.
After our Waitrose fix, we walked along the high street, dodging the tumbleweed, and queued up for Sainsbury’s (I only wanted their magazine, which they didn’t have) behind a man who had just been gazumped in the queue and was being very relaxed and laid-back about it. I helpfully pointed out that someone had just pushed in front of him and he shrugged and said, “I was standing well back,” or some such. We think it might have been Didier Drogba, due to the tattoos, though not being ardent football fans, we’re not entirely sure.
On our way back home, we noted the number of cyclists and walkers everywhere. A near-normal Saturday afternoon, then. We spotted two dogs straining at their leashes as their owners social-distanced from opposite pavements. I expect they were wondering why they weren’t being allowed to sniff each others’ bottoms, as usual. The dogs, I mean. I don’t want to start any ugly rumours.
Talking of dogs, the infamous dog-walking area I mentioned in a previous blog now has a huge skip in front of the entrance to the car park, although this just means people are parking along the roadside instead.
There are a lot of empty buses roaming around. I’m feeling sorry for the drivers. It can’t be much fun. We passed a 715 on the way to Guildford. Later, we listened to our dashcam, and my voice droning on about how I thought it was the 515 during the week, but the 715 at weekends. Or it certainly used to be, anyway. I think… Facinating! I’m never going to utter another word in the car, ever again. I had no idea I sounded so dull.
We don’t always use the dashcam. When we first bought it, and my OH was playing it back, I came into the room and said: “I can hear a funny sound, a bit like an irritated insect.” It was me! On that occasion, I was droning on about “the light in the trees” or some such drivel. No wonder it doesn’t get much use.