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Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
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Monday, 23 December 2013

Waiting in Waitrose


At 9.30 am today the check-out queues at Waitrose, Abergavenny, were twenty trolleys long but staff were offering free choice from boxes of Quality Street. Tried, but failed, to imagine this happening at Tesco.

Our queue extended down the detergent aisle so impulse buys seemed unlikely. But no, the woman ahead suddenly picked two fluffy duster refills. Encouraged, VR had time for a little mental arithmetic; taken to the third decimal place Essential Waitrose Laundry Liquid Sachets were a good buy.

Me? I was enjoying an impromptu Welsh lesson from the bilingual aisle posters: Toilet tissues (Papur toiled), Magazines (Cylch gronau), Home storage (Storio yn y cartref).

Ahead a smartly dressed woman gutted her copy of The Daily Mail, absorbed the quick crossword, did the Sudoku at similar speed, and was now tackling another teaser. She showed me: Pitcherwits - images converted into words. Since I intended to mention her here I asked if she was an Abergavenny resident. “Born in the Cotswolds, brought up in Hereford, living out in rural Wales. Put me down as a local.” Our queue fed two check-outs and I pointed out she would be taking the one on the left. “Which will be against your political inclinations,” I teased. “Indeed,” she replied. VR nudged me; in supermarket queues politics is off the menu.

Our queueing lasted an hour. I’m sure it would have seemed longer in Tesco.

WIP Second Hand (52,006 words)
As she stood up Florence reached towards the hi-fi. Francine started to protest but Florence waved a finger. “Poulenc’s Concert Champetre – an acquired taste. We don’t want to be feeding the baby with gin.”

“But let’s have something else. Something vague, indistinct, uncertain.”

Florence opened the cupboard which held her CDs. “I don’t go in for music that’s uncertain…”

5 comments:

Sir Hugh said...

At Booths daughter Jill was with two year old Katie having a tantrum. A girl assistant came from the other side of the store and took Katie and Jill to the deli, got cheese and ham for Katie and generally de-stressed the situation. A subsequent email naming the girl and thanking for the kindness brought forth no acknowledgement.

I have the Poulenc where the main work is the organ concerto (recommended by you) which I enjoy, but I have not often played the harpsichord piece which is on the same cd. For me the piano was a welcome development from the harpsichord. I can’t help thinking about The Magic Roundabout with the name Florence. I once played Brian the Snail in a lewd MR sketch at a strange period in my life when I was a member of The Round Table.

Sir Hugh said...

I have just played Concert Chapitre and don't recall having played it before. Florence was right. My one word description: assertive.

Rouchswalwe said...

I enjoy these Waitrose/Tesco posts. Which one has the better ale department?

Blonde Two said...

Sir, I do not believe you have lived until you have tried the check out at Lidl. There, it is forbidden to pack your goods until you leave the store, you are lucky if they don't throw your jars through the check out and smiling is discouraged.

They do, however, stock a good range of moose steaks from time to time.

Roderick Robinson said...

Sir Hugh: The way I see things Florence is, and always will be, right.

RW (sZ): Both have reasonable choices but I rarely buy there. When I want beer I take it straight from the pump at a pub: esp South Wye Breweries' sillily named but consistently good Butty Bach.

B2: Aldi - only one reason for going - Cremant du Jura, best of the cheap fizzes. Oh, and the house gin. I fear my priorities are self-destructive.