Just who exactly are they begging to?!

Back to Kingston, today, for a few necessities. We had to drive up another level in the car park, as there were more cars than usual in there and they weren’t all social distancing, either. In the shops, people weren’t watching where they were going and one woman even stepped backwards and bumped into me! I think, like me, they must be a bit overwhelmed to see almost all the shelves filling up nicely and normally again, although there is still a shortage of flour everywhere I go. (I’m trying to get some for my neighbour. We have been promised a cake, by way of a thank-you for getting their shopping, so it’s in my best interests to find her some, pretty sharpish. Anybody?!)

In M&S, I had a nice chat to the young cashier about mushrooms. I had bought some and she said how much she loved them on toast. I recommended sourdough bread for that, with the addition of garlic and parsley, which she said she hadn’t tried before, and we were away. I’m really missing my regular friendly chats like these, and can’t wait for my favourite places to open up again, though I fear some may not make it back.

The cashier volunteered excitedly that they had a new product in-store today: Percy Pig ice-cream! She wasn’t quite sure of the flavour when I asked her, although I was really just being polite. I like to think my culinary taste is a little more sophisticated these days – something I put down to having been an avid watcher of MasterChef for many years. “I’m plating up!” and: “What inspired you to create this dish?” and: “You’ve got just FIVE MINUTES!” and: “One great dish stands between you and a place in the quarter-final (looks down at plate) – and this is most definitely not it!” These and many more loosely MC-related phrases are now regularly bandied around our kitchen come mealtimes, adding to the general fun and mayhem as yet another fish finger packet hits the recycling bin.

We don’t hang around when we’re out: partly because we’re not supposed to, of course, and partly because we don’t want to be too near other people for any length of time. There’s also the small matter of all the loos being shut at the moment, and I always seem to need one when I am out and about, so our shopping trips and short walks are timed to perfection – just.

Walking back to the car, I noticed the beggars were back in town. There were three of them, sitting well apart, in a short stretch of the main shopping street. Just who exactly are they begging to?! I know these particular beggars are not genuine, so I won’t give to them. They are bussed in in the mornings from God-knows-where – I’ve seen it happening. I always tell beggars I’m not working at the moment, so can’t give them any money, but I can get them a drink and something to eat instead. The genuine ones are only too happy to accept.

Ooh, a bit of drama just now! Next-door-but-one’s young dog escaped from the house and went running up the road. Luckily, he’s well trained and didn’t get very far. I expect he’s just picking up on the longing to escape all of us are experiencing right now…

Author: Hampton Caught

The rants and ramblings of an ex Deputy Fiction Editor of Woman's Weekly magazine.

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