Monday, 1 November 2010

Is becoming a bag lady the future?

Shopping for food has become a bit of an issue in our new London household. Or rather the lack of any such shopping. As the person who's at home the most during the day, it should naturally fall upon me to provide food for us all. Besides, apart from a brief spell by Husband as Supply Officer, during our marriage it's been me who on my way home from work would nip into Sainsbury's, or spend half an hour doing the internet shop at my desk (yes, we all do it, don't we?). But here in London I'm refusing to drive (I tell myself it's because I want to be green but basically it's because I'm a wimp) so shopping for food on the large scale must be left to the internet shop. And halleluja, here I am able to use Ocado. So what's the problem? Simply put: planning.

I seem to be incapable of thinking ahead from one week to the next. It may be because I still have this overwhelming feeling of being on holiday; it may be because I still don't have a routine to my big-city-existence. I don't know what it is, but food and the cooking of it, comes last on my to-do-list. In fact it's last thing I want think about when planning my weeks, days or hours. And I used to love cooking, entertaining and generally being the Domestic Goddess... 

Now on an afternoon while at my desk I notice it's getting dark; the dog's positioned himself at my feet, gently reminding me that it's time for his late afternoon walk. I try to stop whatever I am doing  - usually at this point I'm in a rich vein of writing the manuscript and the last thing I want to do is stop. But the dog is insistent, so I get up, go into our minuscule kitchen and look into the fridge. Apart from a tiny piece of dried-out cheese, the two surplus packets of parsnips I bought from Ocado weeks ago by mistake (the picture showed a single parsnip - how was I to know?) and some out-of-date yoghurt, the cupboard looks ominously empty. I know from experience no internet shop will deliver on the same day, especially if you are ordering after six pm, and we need so much stuff nipping into the closest supermarket would be a waste of time. Besides, I have a bad neck so carrying a lot of shopping bags is a no-no. The dog is now staring at me from under the fridge door, literally crossing his legs. I pull out a collection of menus from a shelf and text Husband, 'Fancy a curry tonight?'

But this kind of irresponsible take-out-eating is costing us a fortune. And it's not good for you. So either I need to get more organised about the internet shopping or start driving the car. 

Or become a bag lady. 

Tesco £19.00 

I'm not joking. Yesterday when we were doing one of our last minute shops at the large Waitrose down the road, I noticed one lady stuffing her large wheelie-bin shopping bag full of groceries. You know the kind that our mothers - or grandmothers - had? I looked at her hair - no, it wasn't grey; I looked at her clothes; she was wearing Converses and a pair of boyfriend jeans. Hmm. I glanced around to the other tills and saw three other similar wheelie shopping bags, and only one of them was owned by a very old woman. Now this could be the answer; I could combine my afternoon walk with the dog with a shop at Waitrose, wheel the shopping back home and hey presto two birds and so on...what do you think? 


Should I become a bag lady? 

16 comments:

Victoria said...

Definitely the way to go. My grandmother and mother had them way back, but they do come in all wonderful colours and designs now, so you could nab yourself a fancy little number and save your arms being pulled from their sockets with heavy loaded bags and a small fortune on take-outs.

mettebassett.com said...

I say go for it! I'll do the same here in Maida Vale and soon everyone will be using them.

Seriously, I told my husband the other day that I want one. Schlepping 20 kg of groceries from Kilburn to Maida Vale every week is not my idea of fun plus my arms are getting longer and longer.

But I must admit I've only ever seen 80+ women with these, so back to my point: we should start a new trend :-)

Mrs P said...

Oh No I don't think so - it's a question of the old lady creeping up on you - say no to the trolley at all costs and be more organised or delegate the responsibility;)

Imogen said...

Yes. Shopping trolleys and Wheely Baskets carry the lot and spare your back. Go for it!

JulieB said...

There's definitely a gap in the market for a "chic" version of these. Shall we go into business?!

dragondays said...

A definite 'yes'! Have just moved to Dorset from Brussels and here in the village there is no shop, so car it must be. However in Bx I had a big supermarket 4 minutes walk away - too near to use the car, but too far for heavy shopping. So I bought a shopping trolley - quite wonderful. My children refused to be seen in the street with me and when they shopped, rolled their eyes at me when I suggested they took the trolley ... when I left Bx they were fighting as to who would 'inherit' it!
In France I found one that was actually a large wicker basket with a sort of walking stick wooden handle - très chic.

Christina said...

I think you should get one. I wish I could have that dilemma!

I saw this one in the V&A shop on one my days out in the big town to visit the Daughter, there at University, and fell in love with it at first sight, but helas I wouldn't have any use for it out here in the depth of Arcadia...

See for yourself:

http://www.vandashop.com/product.php?xProd=5586&xSec=12&navlock=1

You would look very much the part with it, in cool Hampstead!

Staircase Witch said...

Is a bicycle out of the question? You could get exercise and have lovely wicker baskets on either side of your rear wheel, and you'd never run the risk of being lumped in with the 80-year-old babushkas. (And if the hills are steep and your load heavy, you can always walk the bike.)

The bag-on-wheels is cute, though. Much better than the folding wire wheeled basket I lugged over buckled sidewalks in the icy wind of a Chicago winter in my twenties and thirties (and all bundled up and hunched over against the cold, I probably was mistaken for an 80-year-old woman now and again).

I don't know what UK students do, but students here in the U.S. often now pull wheeled backpacks--better than hauling all those heavy textbooks on their backs, as we used to. The look may be less aging than you think!

Christina @ Fashion's Most Wanted said...

Dear Helena, I say get a glam version of the Tesco one and go for it. I think it's much easier to shop daily as you don't buy too much xx

gotoflo said...

here in Paris no matter your age it is perfectly normal to do your shopping with this kind of trolley,(they even come in camouflage design). I have also seen men in their thirties/forties with these. In Amsterdam, where I lived for 2 years you would transport all your groceries in saddlebags and a basket by bike, which is great fun

Helena Halme said...

Well, I think the 'yes's have got it! Now all I need to do is find a camouflage one, gotoflo, or perhaps Marimekko makes one..?If it's fashionable in Paris....

xx

Alienne said...

I have to admit I have been looking at them recently - though my teenagers scoff at them - but if you are shopping without a car they seem a very sensible alternative.

gotoflo said...

http://www.thetrolleyrevolution.com/

Just have a look, don't they rock....

Helena Halme said...

Thank you gotoflo!

Mwa said...

Go for it! But watch out because my mother (also not an old lady) had her wallet stolen from one in a funky little big-town supermarket. (In Basel.) I pile everything on the large buggy just now but I would definitely get one of those.

Imogen said...

Dragon Days is describing a proper Wheely Basket - O happy childhood memories! I'm embarrassed to admit I'm excited to think the real thing still exists. Even if it is only in France and not the UK...