Yes, I finally cracked. After checking our food supplies yesterday, and seeing we were deficient in fresh vegetables, we decided to go out and look for the things we needed.

Did we actually need to do it? Probably not. Is it panic-buying? I don’t know.

However, we haven’t exactly been out stripping shelves in the last few weeks and, as Julia exercises indoors, we have been taking isolation seriously. I, of course, take my exercise by walking from TV to kettle, and back. I think we can allow ourselves a shopping trip.

We drove past ALDI on the way to the vegetable shop and noted that they had a security man on the door but no queue. We parked there and, while Julia went round the corner, clutching a list of vegetables, I went into ALDI. I felt like a child at Christmas.

There was just so much stuff in display, including bread, milk, long-life milk and eggs. What a difference two weeks makes. A fortnight ago it wouldn’t have meant anything. It would merely have been what you expected. Today, I could feel tears at the back of my eyes. Briefly. I’m not normally an emotional man, but the sight of all that sliced bread had a powerful effect on me.

If that happens after a couple of weeks, I wonder what I’d have done after six years of wartime rationing. I’d probably have made a proposal of marriage to a sliced wholemeal loaf.

I did the shopping for a whole week, seeing as it was there. I also bought a few extra bits, including an extra bag of potatoes, two litres of long-life milk, and a bag of pasta as a bit extra. I can rationalise it as protecting us from other people and their panic buying, though it’s also, to be honest, panic buying in its own right.

I’m not sure whether to feel happy or guilty. This feeling was reinforced when a flurry of snow hit us in the car park.

Meanwhile, on the TV news I saw this report.

I’ll give you a quote from it: ‘To all the people in this great city of ours in Derby, if you have gone out and panic bought like a lot of you have and stacked up your houses with unnecessary items you don’t normally buy or you have bought in more food than you need, then you need to take a good look at yourself.’

I can, with my hand on my heart, tell you that haven’t thrown a single scrap of food away in the last three weeks.

In a week or two I will be making Woolton Pie. If I can get flour it will have a crust. If not, it will have to have a mashed potato top.


Clivia – a family heirloom

The end photograph is our clivia. I’ve always called it a Natal Lily, but it might not be, as it looks like a different cultivar. We have had it for about 30 years, since my mother passed it on to Julia. Two days ago we managed to knock it over, so it’s looking a bit worse for wear.

In the 30 years we have passed several on, having grown them from root division. It needs to be under cover, which is a shame, because it’s a lovely plant, and would look good in the garden. You can grow agapanthus,Β red hot pokers and mesambryanthemums outside in the UK – it’s a shame we can’t grow clivia. The garden next door used to have a fine show of agapanthus, but the last owner buried them under their new drive.

39 thoughts on “Panic-Buyer!

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  2. charliecountryboy

    The report didn’t surprise me, most people are idiots, generally. I enjoy your β€˜front line, reports more as they are more grass root, or should I say true than the media sensationalism. πŸ˜‰ Your neighbour’s act reminds me of Brookside, they had a similar storyline but I can’t recall the outcome. I hope you get some flour πŸ˜€

      1. charliecountryboy

        Yes, that’s a good idea, I feel you could do the ‘media’ justice haha. Had a whole day of non-news, or social media yesterday it was refreshing πŸ˜‰

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    1. quercuscommunity

      ALDI seem to be handling this a lot better than some of the other shops.

      Yes, I saw the party reports – clearly some people cannot understand simple instructions. However, yesterday’s shopping trip demonstrated that most people can’t understand the concept of distancing.

  4. higgledypiggledymom

    Himself is doing the shopping after 1.5 weeks. We have a huge list of things (due to holidays coming up), and general restocking, but will pare it down to a “most needed” list for tomorrows’s shop, with possibilities left open. It is the bananas, eggs and cheerios on the first list, definitely the fresh.

    1. quercuscommunity

      Good plan! I was taken by surprise on Sunday and didn’t get everything I would have liked. I was still happy by the end – you can’t beat the feeling of well-stocked cupboards. πŸ™‚

    1. quercuscommunity

      The bananas still looked good and I wonder how much of the food was actually still edible. Best Before dates have a lot to answer for. I’m afraid the answer to your question is that a lot of people are idiots.

  5. tootlepedal

    I have a good stock of flour for my bread maker but as i always have a good stock of flour for my breadmaker, I don’t feel guilty about it. We eat a lot of bread. Shopping for a week is a good thing as the less often you go out, the less likely you are to catch the virus and be a drain on the NHS. The downside of shopping at our corner shop is having to go often as he doesn’t carry a huge stock and I want to leave stuff for others.

    1. quercuscommunity

      I say we have no flour, but we actually have enough self-raising for either a crumble or dumplings. Decisions!

      It’s a difficult balance. There were people shopping today who clearly can’t work out the concept of social distancing. I really don’t want to share space with them. I’m definitely not going shopping for at least a week, apart from picking up a prescription.

  6. cornfedcontessa

    Looking at the bananas in the trash bins, they even weren’t rotten. I bought extra food and have frozen some too. I went to Aldi a week ago and they were out of milk. I’m in the US, and people are hoarding toilet paper like crazy. I went to 7 stores over a 2 week period looking for TP, and the shelves were bare. I’m thinking a bidet may be in my near future!

    1. quercuscommunity

      I’ve eaten bananas that were a lot worse than that. πŸ™‚ Fortunately we are OK for toilet paper but we can’t find flour or bread kits. I bet a lot of flour (hoarded by non-bakers) is destined for the bin.

      1. cornfedcontessa

        Flour has a very long shelf life. I actually prefer my bananas with lots of brown specks. The store was out of flour when I went last week. My husband makes bread on the regular. Let’s hope we all get through this!

  7. Sharon

    Feel happy, don’t feel guilty, that is definitely not panic buying. Panic buying is filling a trolley with as much toilet paper as possible and dozens of packets of pasta and starting a fight in the aisles with anyone who tries to reason with you. Enjoy the fresh food, settle in, read a good book and try and enjoy the peace and quite. Stay safe.

    1. quercuscommunity

      I just started an interesting book about the year 1700. Have also been reading a lot of magazines on my Readly subscription. I have had worse times…

      I could have had four packs of pasta (shop limit) but only bought one, so I suppose you are right.

  8. Donnalee of Kingston NY

    That doesn’t sound wildly hoardish to me–not even a bit Sutton Hoo. We went out for the first time in a week or so and got some stocking-up things but not out of control: oatmeal that might last a few weeks, some of the chamomile tea we’re supposed to drink, some organic flax seeds which I eat by the ton but no one else seems to like. I always leave at least one on the shelf and don’t take the last of anything, since I figure there is always someone who might need it more, and I only buy what we’ll use–a few nice vegetables like an eggplant and two fat orange beets. There were tons of frozen peas this week, as opposed to last week’s kale-only glut, so we got a few to freeze. There was no decent catfood, which may become a problem, but we got some last week and should be alright. It didn’t feel greedy or hoardy, and people were being okay and not frantic this time. They still had a ton of papertowels and facial tissue, but no bog roll.

      1. Donnalee of Kingston NY

        Very hit or miss these days. I’m glad the days of kale-only have passed, since I have always hated it even when it was not trendy to do so. The spouse has just been told that fats have to go due to medical concerns, so that leaves water as the main food group in our house lately, and there is wailing and gnashing of teeth, along with me eating all the fats in the other room.

      2. quercuscommunity

        I like kale, but I don’t like it all the time. We have a loose rotation of sprouts, broccoli, spinach and kale, which is often enough. Spinach is my least favourite.

      3. Donnalee of Kingston NY

        I’m more a broccoli man myself, and I just find kale too hard to chew, and too tough-tasting somehow. There have been soups where it was cooked into near-oblivion and that was fine for me, bt if it just sits there and does nothing but resists chewing, I’m against it.

  9. Laurie Graves

    Is that the same neighbor that nagged you to top your tree? If so, then I am starting develop a grudge against that neighbor. As for your grocery shopping trip…there is a difference between hoarding and stocking up. You were stocking up. Given the current circumstances, a very wise decision.


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