Being out of London for the weekend was such a treat, it’s a whole other world. By the time we hit the A21 we were surrounded by courteous drivers and, for half an hour, followed an old dear (and I mean that nicely) in her Metro as she did 24 miles per hour through to Lamberhurst. David was quite happy to poodle along behind her until we got to the bypass whereas I would have been gnashing my teeth. We’re chalk and cheese David and I you know. The hare and the tortoise, in fact.
While David, Mac and the dogs explored the house and went onto the beach, I headed to Sainsburys in Hastings for some more last minute items. Honestly, most of my shopping is “last minute”. I picked up some magazines, a pineapple, some steak, a disposable barbecue, some crisps, some Yop they had on a BOGOF deal and a bottle of wine for later. I did all this in record time, just as I do in London, rushing and racing, skidding round corners, harrumphing loudly if people get in my way. I was seemingly oblivious to the stares of the other shoppers (although I did catch one man standing opened mouthed as I raced down the wine aisle and plucked a bottle from the shelf without stopping – I must have looked desperate). Plonking the whole lot on the conveyor belt I found myself breathing heavily and being stared at by the locals. Five minutes later the conveyor belt had moved about four inches. The woman in front of me (trolley piled high with organic apples) seemed to know the Woman on the Till as they talked about somebody called Rose. Rose, it seems, had a knee replacement done on Tuesday and is desperate for an organic apple. By now I was tapping my foot and flexing my fingers in an agitated fashion. By now, if I were in London, I’d be back in the car.
The last item from Rose’s friends shopping was beeped through and then Rose’s friend began searching in her cavernous bag for her purse. I was practically growling at this point. I had my purse all ready and I still hadn’t had the divider removed from the start of my shopping. The woman on the till caught sight of “John and Barb” who were unloading their shopping behind me and enquired casually about “their Sophie and her university choice”. Rose’s friend found her purse and pulled out a credit card. Woman on Till uttered those immortal words “Nectar card?” which provoked more rummaging. Why not keep your Nectar card in your purse? I rang David while Barb ran through most of the universities in the country and said “I’m still in Sainsbury’s, it’s taking ages” and started emitting a low yowling noise. My laid back husband said it was alright and to take my time.
Rose’s friend hefted off with her trolley and Woman on Till (her name badge proclaimed her as Bridget) asked if I needed help with packing. I declined graciously, a fixed smile on my face.
Beep went the pineapple. Beep went my Hello. Beep went Mac’s Fimbles comic. There was a delay in the beeping as Bridget became engrossed in cover of Heat magazine. By now I was twitching. Beep went Heat. A space while Bridget wiped her nose on tissue. Okay, I’ll let her have that. Beep went steak. “Are these nice?” Bridget asked as she held aloft my onion rings. I assured her they were and waited for them to be beeped through, clutching my carrier. She was reading the product information. Barb piped up “they’re good for dipping in houmous”. Bridget expressed amazement and beeped them through. Beep went barbecue and beep went bottle of wine. I stood waiting, cards aloft while she blew her nose and searched for a mentholated sweet in her pocket. “Have you got a cold?” Barb asked. Bridget nodded pitifully and asked for payment. Swipe went my Nectar card. Any slower and she’d be going backwards.
I jabbed in my pin number so fast the machine didn’t register it. Bridget then started clucking in an alarmed fashion and rang for a supervisor. I was now hopping from leg to leg and was in serious danger of having a seizure. Supervisor popped over and did something with the key pad. I re-entered my pin number, as slow as I could considering everything in my body was racing. I toyed with the idea of popping onto the “Let Me Measure Your Heart Rate” machine but didn’t want to break it. Clutching my shopping I legged it back to the car and had to sit there for a full three minutes as everything (blood flow, heart rate, blood pressure and pulse) returned to a normal pace.
Why can't I slow down?