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Bugger being old. (You will not believe what I did today.)

Recently, the last four or five weekends I have taken shopping on Sundays. It's a fair old walk to my local Aldi store situated at the retail park on the edge of town but in doing so I don't need to cart so much home on Saturday mornings after having worked my Friday night shift. It gets me out into the fresh air, I stretch my legs, and I feel more like doing it after a good night's sleep. It works for me. And so, today, being Sunday, in spite of the weather, I didn't mind really, I can live with a drop of rain, I went shopping. I take my time, no need to rush, although people say that I walk fast, whatever. All pretty same as really. Go to Aldi's, do the shop, go home, end of. Only it wasn't. Not by a long way.

Okay! I walked the long walk out of town to Aldi's.
I went and got a shopping-trolley and I shopped. It was so dis-appointing that I couldn't find the cheese and onion quiches that so enjoy and I wasn't impressed with the best by dates on the veges that my wife had asked me to get, all b/b Dec 26th. We're having our Christmas dinner on boxing day and I really don't to be dragging myself out on Monday so what the hell? They would do.

So, up and down, round and around, I DID my shopping, I unloaded my trolley onto the checkout conveyor belt and then it hit me. Horror of horrors. I hadn't got any money on me.

How could this happen? Me! Filled with rage, I calmly put the shopping back into my trolley. Back-tracked around the store putting things back from where I had taken them and headed for the exit. I was seething, I was livid. How could I DO such a thing? But what could I DO? but go home and call it a day. Only I wouldn't. I COULDN'T.

As I walked back up that hill into town I set to thinking. My wife didn't necessarily have to know about this. She's not at home today. I could tell her that I'd changed my mind, the b/b dates on the veges were shit anyway, and that I'd do the shopping in Asda's tomorrow. But no, I wasn't going to let this happen to me. I tried to rationalise this. Maybe there was an explanation for this [beyond the onset of dimentia. With a mind so anally retentive as mine , and about as organised as a box of frogs. Who knows? ] Everything happens for a reason. SOME say. Yeah whatever. Maybe this was destined/feted. Maybe some super being, ethereal deity was at work here if you believe in that shit, no nor do I, well fuck him, AND his dog. Who knows what destiny had in store for me. One thing that I DID know was that I WOULD do my Sunday shop. I needed to turn this around, make good. Why? I don't KNOW why. I just did.

It's situations like this where I slip into a kind of robotic mode. It's something that was ingrained into the very core of me way back. I walked out of that store and out of the retail park. Back to the edge of town and that hill. I straightened my spine, I put my head up, kept my eyes set on the ground at my feet, and I walked. In moments like this my mind seems to close down. There is no good, no bad, no happy sad joy anger, nothing. Just me and the road ahead, and a gritty determination to see it through. And so, I WENT home. I GOT my fuckin money. And IIIIIIIII went shopping.

As I entered the High Street I started thinkING in terms of distance from house to store. Got to be half a mile or more. I tried to visualise the 100 yards on an athletics track. I counted my steps from one to a hundred and they didn't take me half way along the High street. Now I was thinking in furlongs. It HAD to be a furlong, at the very least, from home to the High Street. The High Street must be a furlong long. And then there's that hill out of town. Just walking from the High Street to Aldi's has got to be another furlong. In the midst of all this I found myself laughing. Can you believe THAT? I doubted that my back and legs would be so amused.

And so,for the second time this morning, feeling inside my left pocket for re-assurance I pressed a pound piece into a shopping trolley and entered Aldi's. Re-read paragraph two. They still hadn't got any cheese and onion quiches and the b/b dates on the veges were still crap. Never mind. I had money in my pocket this time. As I stood in line at a checkout, again, I glanced across at the other aisles. A man stood staring into space while his wife, presumably, did the business. At another checkout , as a young child stood motionless, a woman punched a pin number into card facility and something occurred to me, I've never seen an unruly child in Aldi's. Maybe it's the shoulder to shoulder, trolley knocking, sardines in a tin can situation, whatever, the kids behave.

Mission accomplished, I walked out of Aldi's, I can't say that I was loaded, I mean, I got change from a tenner, but I would feel it walking up that hill back into town. I crossed the main "A" road and set offl. Spine not so upright this time. Body bent forwards and with a very fine drizzle coming down I marched. There was about five kilos in my backpack, okay so that's hardly donkey-work but at my age, I just drive myself into the incline and go for it. My tote bag wasn't so bad, just a few veges. To be fair, my backpack wasn't "so" bad. Man that thing has carted some weights home on Saturday mornings.

Walking home it was as though my mind, my stupid dumb ass mind, hadn't registered, is refusing to acknowledge what has happened today. What my body has been put through and what "IT" failed to do, namely to remember that you can't shop without money. So off I went, stomp stomp stomp, up hat hill to home. And man, the relief I felt as I walked through that door. My coat was soaked but no matter. I'd left a mug on the side with coffee and sugar in it already to go lol! I don't think so. Cider was now the order of the day.

It felt good to be home,



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