It’s a no-brainer…


In line with a comment about rose-tinted glasses from one of my more recent blogs, I realised yesterday that I was actually doing just that – as in, seeing life through them – as we bowled along the pretty country roads to our favourite supermarket. I commented on what a lovely shade of pink all the blossom trees were. Then I took my glasses off and realised they were all white. Still very pretty, of course, though not quite as glowing.

The queue to get in to the supermarket was the longest we’ve seen so far, but seemed to move reasonably quickly. One woman had brought along a book to read while she was waiting, which impressed me. What would you bring along? The rest of us, predictably, were all on our phones.

I’m still a bit startled when I see people masked up. It’s all ages, too, so I’m not sure we can draw any real conclusions from that. People are saying that the older generation are much more cavalier in their attitude, citing: “I lived through two world wars and an alien/zombie invasion,” as their reasoning behind not always complying with the rules. And the very young seem convinced they are invincible; whereas, in reality, they haven’t had the time to build up any great immunity, as the older generation have.

Knowing how often I take trips up to town, a friend asked me how I would like the idea of wearing a mask on public transport, as is apparently being suggested for the future.  I don’t like the idea of wearing a mask, full stop, but if it means I can see my friends again, get my hair cut and visit my favourite bookshop (hoping it will still be there), amongst other things, it’s a no-brainer really.

Once inside the supermarket, we were politely told to hurry along now, the Surrey Blondes were waiting outside and they’re not used to that. (Other hair colours are available, by the way. I really don’t have a thing against blondes. Some of my best friends are blonde; with or without a little help. Miaow.)

On leaving the supermarket, I noticed they have a specially designated area for used trolleys and baskets, with someone standing by on cleaning duty before they are put back into service. Very diligent of them. I haven’t seen this at any of the other supermarkets we’ve visited.

My friend in the Midlands supermarket says that peanut butter Marmite is flying off the shelves but lemon curd is lagging behind, alone and unloved. I love peanut butter and I love Marmite, but the two together? I’m not so sure.  As for lemon curd, I can eat it straight from the jar and sometimes even make my own when I can be bothered. Those Midlanders don’t know what they’re missing!

I bought a couple of magazines and noted how thin they felt. I am worried for the market. How many are going to survive this? I’ve already heard of one very old, established title going under this week. I love homes magazines and am hoping they have enough stock on their files to ride this out. Magazines work weeks and months ahead of their publication dates, so presumably they are going to be running out of stock very soon. Perhaps, in desperation, they will start asking the staff to supply pictures and captions of their own homes. Far more interesting!

I’ve been an avid magazine reader all my life. At one time, I was buying about 20 magazines a month, but cut back drastically when my job came to an end. I can’t quite break the habit, though, and still buy half-a-dozen or so a month. However, it’s now mostly homes and gardens–type publications. I was finding the glossy monthly women’s magazines repetitive and somehow making me feel worse, not better, about myself, although obviously that wouldn’t have been their intention!  Why wasn’t I slim and fit?  Why didn’t I live in a house like that? Why can’t I be bothered to cook amazing meals like theirs? Why have I not got a much better pension plan?  Why didn’t I marry a hedge-fund manager, so that I didn’t have to work, and could dilly-dally about in said house, tinkering and toying with the idea of starting up my own cupcake business? Easy-peasy, lemon (curd) squeezy. No disrespect to cupcake entrepreneurs. They are all fabulous, of course, but at one time, you couldn’t leave the house without tripping over them.

Imagine the scenario: You skip along to the bank, already visualising the merchandise with your as-yet-to-be-thought-up logo on it. There will be T-shirts!  Mugs!  Cuddly toys! Fridge magnets! Notebooks and pens! Oh yes, and not forgetting those all-important cupcakes, of course!  The stars of the show. When you’ve had a little practise, first… You will become a genuine, bona fide Cupcake Entrepreneur!

You sit down for a nice little chat with the 12-year-old boy who, rather worryingly, appears to be in charge, and the meeting proceeds:

Boy: “Good morning/afternoon, Madam. How can I help you today?”

You: “I’ve had this simply brilliant idea to start up my very own cupcake business!” You sit back, beaming brightly, waiting for delighted applause. The odd bouquet, even.

Boy: “Oh, please God, not another one!” Moaning softly and calling for his mother, he pitches forward in his chair until his forehead rests on his desk, as he begins to weep…




















Author: Hampton Caught

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

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