Friday, 2 July 2010

Every Little Helps

Mrs M advises me that the key to enjoying a holiday is anticipation. In bed, she reads me extracts of her guide to Majorca. 

It is but a small step, barely worth donning the slippers for, to a shopping expedition.  

I mustn’t moan. It is true that a holiday is a good excuse to stock up on swimwear, but a forthcoming tour of duty makes the old Barclaycard quiver with anticipation. I can feel its chip gently sizzling in my back pocket. There is no getting away from it: a freelance loves to shop.  

Of course, I would like to shop locally. Viv and Alf’s Post Office in Moor End used to be the place to buy a coal scuttle, a wedge of cheese, and an airmail stamp for Mongolia. Alas, no more. Down on Town Street, butcher bank and booze shop have all gone too - though you can still buy a second-hand book to enjoy at the Royal Scot next door.

Marple Bridge Post Office thrives too, and Town Street Stores does a great line in Bacardi Breezers and Haribo sweets. 

I can’t understand what the kids see in Haribos: they would make a tube of green Fruit Gums taste like heaven. 

Forget the Haribos, mum. There's not much here for the freelance either. 

Fear not: we still have a clutch of corner shops. On the corner of the M60, down in the valley that is forever Stockport.

Ray the Taxi recalls when the valley was all factories and engine sheds. Now just the viaduct and a few mills remain to remind us of past glories.

Pear Mill Stockport
by James Photo Dyson 

The new sheds are retail - much more fun! Here is everything a freelance needs. Just a stone’s throw from the Bridge – provided Dan Bank’s open and you pick the right time of day (or night). 

B&Q’s got just the thing to touch up my breastplate. 

Then there's Decathlon for the collapsible canoe.

And Tesco’s got everything else. Especially phones.

 Just what we need! As they say at Tesco's, "Every little helps".

** *

On the way home, Dan Bank is closed again. Do you remember those days before the M6 Midlands Link, when traffic jams in Wednesbury lasted until Thursbury? 

What a moment to relive the glory days when the Singing Kettle saved the Mandall dynasty from Pulp Fiction. 

“Let’s play Keep the Kettle Boiling.” I offer. 

“I don’t know any songs: let’s play the shopping game." 

M3 starts: "I went to Tesco’s and I bought an apple – ”  

“Was it an Air Book?” interrupts M2. 

“No, it was a green one.”  

“I went to Tesco’s and I bought a Burger Bun and an Apple Air Book” insists M2. 

“I went to Tesco’s and I bought a Hannah Montana Celebration Cake –”  

“Girlie. You should have got a Man U cake.”  

“Crap. Hate U. Alright a City Celeb Cake, a burger bun and an Air Book”. 

“City begins with an S”.  

“Stupid. Crap begins with C.” 


M3 has brought along his Quentin Tarantino boxed set. Peace at last.

I'll play the supermarket game all by myself. 

I went to Tesco’s and I bought:

a zapper 
Ya-yas in Bloom 
an X-Box
a Wii 
a vile violet vase 
Ultimate cheese-cake 
Tsingtsao beer
sliced smoked salmon
recycling bin  
The Qu’ran  
phish food (ice cream) and three phree 3G phones for the boys ...
... olive oil  
nobby’s nuts  
more mobile phones ... 

... a large lamb leg  
kinky knickers  
jelly babies  
insurance for iPods, and just about everything  
a house  
gravy granules  
fish food for Fannie and Freddie – alright, free fones for the fish too ...
... England World Cup Razor (special purchase)  
DVD players for the back of the Fiesta (buy one get one free) 

 “Shut up, dad." M1 this time.


“You’re annoying me even more than usual.” 

“Every little helps.” 

“Shh. I’m trying to watch this DVD. The screen’s rubbish. Don’t you care about the people in China, dad?"

“Yeah." M2 joins in. "What's the point? Why didn’t you get some decent ones?” 

“They were on Bogof. Eat up your phone. It’s getting cold.”


Every little helps

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