Tag Archives: Aldi

Panic-Buyer!

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.

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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 agapanthusred 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.

Poppies in Autumn

First we went to Aldi, because they had been advertising they would have craft supplies in this week. To Julia craft supplies are like cat nip to cats.

Then we went to the garden centre in search of rooting powder. This was hard because, over the years, the gardening supplies have been forced out by the gift shop and are now hidden like a shameful secret.

The salvage yard has always seemed to stock too many duplicates. If I was a cynic I would be tempted to suggest this is because most of the stuff is modern and made in China – not salvaged or reclaimed. I have nothing against the stuff, or any of the other repro gear, because it adds a touch of elegance to the garden, but it should be made clear.

It often crops up on programmes like Bargain Hunt where the experts don’t seem to recognise it and have to wait for the auctioneer to tell them. I suspect that they are really just being nice to the contestants and stall holders by not mentioning it, because when the Chinese make repro they make lots of it and it gets all over the trade.

They once brought a shipment of repro vases in to the Newark Antique Fair – everyone had them and they were around £15 each. Cheerful, decorative and cheap.

We went to Wales that weekend and there was one in a shop window. It had travelled 250 miles, aged by 100 years and increased in price to £75.

When I win the lottery I want one of those big urns.

Back home two orange poppies were unfurling themselves, a Red Admiral flew off as I tried to focus and the spider still lurks.

The shield bug on the fatsia japonica obliged by posing. Shield bugs are very good like that.