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Lockdown diary: I need the weekend to recover from the travails of a rather stormy day off work

Mark Bain


The joys of supermarket shopping

The joys of supermarket shopping

The joys of supermarket shopping

Having manned the home office last Sunday, Friday was the glorious 'in lieu' day.

I can tell what is outside the window as I huddle under the toasty covers as morning arrives and I'm not surprised when the curtains open to the howling gale and lashing, angry rain - the sort that is trying to break through the window. I feel cold just watching.

It is a day for putting on the big fluffy socks, cuddling up under a fuzzy blanket and trawling through Netflix as two cats curl up in front of a roaring open fire and the dog gently snores at my feet. A perfect lockdown day.

Aye, right.

Depressingly, I find myself instead wrapped up like I'm off on an Arctic expedition, manhandling a trolley laden with groceries across the car park at Asda as the rain attacks me sideways.

It is a struggle to see with glasses covered in rain water, steaming up as warm breath rises through a face mask. Freezing water drips from an even colder nose. I pray I don't run over any children.

It was only when I queued for the checkout that I realised I'd made the cardinal mistake of the grocery shopper. I'd gone shopping hungry. I decided to retreat and think about it.

I know there are teenagers to feed, but how much will be out of date before we get round to eating it?

I re-stock a shelf or two, wondering if I should put a bill in for my efforts at replacing things properly. I hear the hourly rates aren't bad.

Cardinal sin number two strikes me as I fire the groceries from the trolley. I've forgotten to bring the re-usable bags.

Half the groceries are already scanned through and awaiting packing by the time I arrive. I assume the lady on check-out is on commission for how many items she gets through by the hour. She has long since finished before the final frozen pizza is bagged. The line of shoppers behind me is growing.

I'm just about dried off when I get home, then have to do it all again to bring the shopping in.

Two cats are awaiting my arrival with interest. They take a look outside at the door and decide the great outdoors isn't the best option available. Instead, everything I bring in is examined for potential eating quality.

Just when I think I can close the door on the day for good there's a crash from outside and I watch as all three bins slide across the back yard in the gale. Sadly, the recycling bin was almost full. Now it's not. The 'big coat' goes back on and the search and a rescue mission begins.

Big child number one then informs that he won't be coming home this weekend. There is a birthday party for one of his house mates in Belfast. And there's me with all that food. I do hope he has figured out how to use his washing machine.

Oh to be 20 again. Or even better, to be a five month old kitten who can produce spontaneous bursts of frantic energy at will and curl up for nap whenever she likes.

At least I'll have the weekend to recover from the day off. And I remembered the bottle of Baileys, Doritos and dip for the final of I'm a Celebrity.

Belfast Telegraph