Disappointment, Disillusionment and Despair

I started the day trying to improve my grasp of technology. It seems my phone can be used to download something called an “app” and i can use this to access the local surgery and order prescriptions. In practice, I can’t recall how to work my phone for anything that isn’t making a call or sending  a text. Julia tried on her phone and it is refusing to allow her to register. This, it seems from the feedback, is quite common and the NHS just gives you another link to follow.

Giving people links is quite common these days and solves nothing, though it does move the problem to someone else.

I ordered KFC last night, to augment our dwindling food stores, and was presented with a meal tat had been in a car for 50 minutes. I could have warmed it up and been forgiving, as they are very busy at the moment.

However, they missed out the coleslaw, corn and dipping sauces. That meant that instead of a meal, which Julia had requested as a treat to break the tedium of life in lockdown, we ended up with warm chicken and baked beans.

It took me twenty minutes to obtain a refund for the missing bits, even though I actually wanted the rest of the meal. Just Eat refused to contact the KFC branch, and said “I don’t understand where you’re coming from.” when I explained I didn’t want a paltry refund, I wanted the rest of the meal.

They advised me to leave a review for the restaurant so they would try to improve.

I wanted to ring the restaurant, but couldn’t find a phone number, so I emailed KFC. They told me to contact Just Eat for a refund, despite me telling them that I had done that. They ended “I hope this won’t put you off ordering from us again.”

I replied that it most definitely would put me off ordering again.


No eggs

We also tried to order a food delivery. ASDA and TESCO both had problems with their sites when we ordered and when it was sorted we found they don’t have any delivery slots. We never did get to the bottom of the ASDA order, but TESCO can’t deliver until mid-April.

So I went shopping.

The government tells us there is plenty of food. There is, as long as you don’t want eggs, milk, dried pasta, paracetamol, sliced bread, oatmeal, tinned tomatoes or other staples.


No sliced bread

The shelves are empty, the staff are lacklustre and the situation is clearly out of control.

I made some substitutions, bought cheese, and a supervisor was consulted about whether I could buy more than 2 carrots and 2 parsnips (there’s a two item rule now – too late) but they saw this was stupid so allowed me to buy six carrots and four parsnips. It’s hardly hoarding.

All the dried beans, pulses, grains and legumes are gone. Only five bags of buckwheat remained on that shelving section and I’d rather eat floor sweepings. We used to use buckwheat husk to line automatic nestboxes and the smell always reminds me of poultry sheds. It’s not an appetising association.


Buckwheat – no lentils, beans or peas

The cheap pestos and cooking sauces are all gone, and, as with so many things, only the expensive and the low fat versions remain.

And that, for posterity, are my observations on the day.


Expensive pesto

Where is all the bread? Where are all the eggs? The bakeries are still working and you can’t just shut a chicken off so there must be plenty about.

31 thoughts on “Disappointment, Disillusionment and Despair

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      1. Laurie Graves

        Same here! A big lesson. I am eyeing all the food in my pantry with the thought of how I can make it stretch because who knows when I can get more. A friend recently went to the grocery store. No flour, sugar, butter, or eggs. Yikes! Am considering ordering ground flax seed as an egg substitute when baking muffins, etc. Have never used it before. Have you?

      2. quercuscommunity

        I have always used eggs, never thought I’d run out. 🙁

        I had to buy crumble mix because we have rhubarb and fancied crumble, but we have no flour.

  4. Sharon

    It is the same here, the government keeps saying there is no problem but shelves remain bare of essentials. I also plan on changing the way I shop when this is all over. I do feel lucky in that I started adding an extra something every time I shopped weeks ago but that I am afraid is not much. I pursued a sensible approach thinking I could just add an extra couple of items each week until we were forced into total lockdown, I failed to take into account the panic of others. Now while I don’t feel panic I do feel anxiety about the lack of essential items in the grocery stores.
    Here in Australia there has been a rush to buy live chickens in order to overcome the egg supply issue. I suspect that will result in some poorly cared for chickens.
    Good luck and stay safe. I look forward to your posts.

    1. quercuscommunity

      I will try to up my game if your are looking forward to the posts – wouldn’t want to be a disappointment. 🙂

      I suspect you are correct about the welfare of the chickens.

  5. Lavinia Ross

    Any local farmer friends willing to share with you or sell to you would be a good thing about now.

    Medical care except for emergencies will be difficult here too.

  6. Lavinia Ross

    The shelves look very similar here, and we can still get out for supplies, at this time. We can all our own tomatoes, so have plenty of crushed tomato base for anything we want to make with it. Kale grows practically all winter here, and we are getting greens from that direction, too. Our eating habits are a bit different than many folks here, making most things from scratch, although some things are harder to get. Bananas are still plentiful, dry red lentils not so available. Why red lentils and not brown or green? Unknown.

    1. quercuscommunity

      I always keep red lentils in for strews and mince dishes but rarely use green. Strange, isn’t it?

      We still have fruit and veg, apart from potatoes and sweet potatoes, which have gone, as have rice and pasta.

  7. charliecountryboy

    I do love your observations, it is better to go the surgery to get online but that’s probably closed and I know it sounds daft (there’s a word I find myself using more these days) As for KFC I had a similar experience with a mobile phone voucher today, so I don’t need to explain. We don’t appear to have a problem here with food shortages but it’s posh in Beverly, well it’s posher than the Bradford council estate I was dragged up on anyway, Apparently you can get a job with a lettuce company but Gillian doesn’t fancy living in a tent until October in Kent or some far flung place. Hope you get food soon 👍👍

    1. quercuscommunity

      Julia is due for an appointment tomorrow so I will give her a lift down and see what I can do.

      Some shops seem worse than others. May be the neighbourhood, or management or even variation in the quality of the supply chain.

  8. tootlepedal

    The fates are conspiring against you Quercus. As Arlingwoman rightly says, the just in time policy means at any given time three quarters of the traffic on our motorways consists of supermarket lorries as the big firms use the motorways as warehouses. It doesn’t take much to clear the shelves as a result. The empty shelves may not even be totally the result of hoarding. With restaurants and pubs closing, people have to buy and cook their own food which must put extra demand on the food shops. I expect an outbreak of food poisoning as inexperienced cooks try their hand at the evening meal. That should add to the fun.

    1. quercuscommunity

      Food poisoning for sure, plus extra wastage, divorce and domestic violence. And nine months later…

      We are having to cook lunches where we normally make sandwiches, which is calling for some adjustment.

  9. Donnalee of Kingston NY

    I went out today to shop, wearing my little mask, and the situation in Woodstock NY, seemed about the same as you say it is for you. There were few staples, no paper goods like tp or tissues or paper towels, and many empty shelves. The bulk areas are closed down and some of the material bagged up, but that resulted in random amounts of things, but it was better than none. Actually, there seemed to be no bulk lentils or rice or any of that, like millet or oats, but there was some bagged coffee beans, so that was a plus. The shelves for dairy were almost all empty, only ‘lactose-free half and half’ lingering and at a high price, and no chocolate pudding although plenty of whipped cream in canisters. That was a bleak sight. The only frozen organic veg were green beans, so I got a couple of packets. Miraculously, there was one locally-made good apple pie, which I bought, and a loaf of decent local bread, not even sliced. It still all cost quite a bit, but made me feel better for having it. I usually buy vast piles of things on sale since they are on sale for a full month so I can get good amounts as I go along, so have tons of toilet paper, chocolate bars, canned beans, and cheese. They also did not allow people to get cash back on their debit cards, and they had put up those sturdy plastic screens between cashier and shopper. Oh well. Best wishes to all–and I would have been so unhappy that the best part of the meal got left out by KFC–too bad.

    1. quercuscommunity

      When this is all over I intend changing the way I do my shopping. I have got very lazy over the years. We generally shop on Sunday and top up on Thursday, with about a week in reserve, though the second week would be heavy on chickpeas, rice and corned beef.

  10. arlingwoman

    A few years ago, the stores got stocking to a science. They knew how much was bought how often and that’s how they stocked. I know this because of the food assistance center and grocery donations from stores. Now the problem is people have gone in and bought for more than a week, which means that once restocked, there might not be that much in the warehouse, which means sone shelves might not get restocked right away as they adjusted to the new stocking system. Not to say there hasn’t been hoarding, but really, everybody going and shopping for two weeks instead of one would do it. I can’t get deliveries here either.

    1. quercuscommunity

      I can see how panic-buying would disrupt some things, but the plan with eggs used to be to get them into the store within 3 days, or even less, so I can’t understand where they have all gone.

  11. jodierichelle

    My husband was out (for the first time in a week) yesterday and said the same thing. If something remains, it is either the super expensive version or the gross version of the item.

    The KFC thing is a huge disappointment. If I want to indulge – I want to INDULGE.


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