The Bag Lady & The Tramp
I excelled myself and cooked my husband a three-course meal tonight. It kind of evolved from the contents of my shopping trolley: Warsaw Pact cabbage soup; hill-farmed lamb chops from the Ginger Pig butchers with new potatoes and erm some rather beautiful dark crinkly cabbage from the deli; post-war austerity baked apples and cream. There were a couple of hitches: after a fight to hide the mint sauce bottle, it was found to have a sell-by date of March 2008 and I forgot to buy the cream. But we did have candles. Valentine's Night comes but once a year, oh. All rather lovely and funny as it turned out.
Where I live is a compelling mixture of rackety East London life and Cool Central. Since I have a phobia of supermarket carparks (ran out of petrol in one when I was nine months pregnant and on another occasion, caught my bumper on the crash barrier whilst trying to overtake) I find I can cover all my bases on foot (hence the eco-friendly but none too chic shopping trolley).
So, one way there are shops of every nationality and the wondrous cheapo LIDL with six different types of single-estate chocolate and a themed promotion every week to up the thrill factor. It could be DIY, pet care, motorbiking, gardening or my absolute favourite, equestrianism. There's not a horse in miles and the stable buckets, numnahs, riding crops and curry combs linger in the remaindered bin until someone like me sheepishly gives them a home in case I make a painting about them one day.
In the opposite direction, is the sequestered 'village' lately colonised by an award-winning deli, old-fashioned greengrocers, fishmonger and the kindly but costly rustic butcher. I have also noticed a wine shop with blackboards outside offering tasting and loving advice which is where I popped this afternoon. OK, I know nothing much about wine and find LIDL's shiraz cabernet sauvignon has cheeky topnotes and a smooth enough finish for me at £4.29. On entering, I had the sense of being received as a bit of an old bag lady with me trolley and I confirmed it by suggesting a price point of a tenner. Could I try something red? Could I hell.
In fact it was grudgingly dispensed from a high-tech temperature controlled apparatus into
an interesting stemless glass, swilled round and handed to me. I tasted it without any sniffing , swishing and slurping, polished it off and announced I didn't like it. That, it seemed, was my second or who knows which mistake but it was pretty evident I wasn't getting another crack at the tasting. Without managing to restore my dignity, I chose something because I liked the label and was out of there before you could say mise en bouteille dans ma salle de bain. Horrible.
image courtesty http://retrorack.blogspot.com