Over the years I have come up with strategies to cope with the tedium of visits to the supermarket.
The most obvious one being to do it sans children, as crossing the threshold of any shop with anybody under the age of 15 is akin to venturing into a pub with a penniless drunk – it is always going to cost you dearly. And it means I won’t succumb to the temptation of allowing my offspring from standing inside my trolley, a filthy habit of others which is my pet supermarket hate: we have to put food in there you dirty devils. When I am not getting irate at the parental shortcomings of others, I have developed ways to wile away the time as I trudge amongst the Maris Pipers.
Perhaps my favourite game is looking into other people’s trolleys in a bid to work out whether I have the unhealthiest diet. Folk are usually very happy to flaunt their apparently healthy lifestyles in front of strangers. I always enjoy watching others bump into people they know while meandering down the World foods aisle and love it when they surreptitiously nudge their fresh papaya to the top, covering up the pork pie.
But this being January, I have joined the army of sheep in making a conscious effort to shun the cut price buckets of Quality Street. I have yet to have a fry-up since New Year’s Day morning.
Everywhere, it seems we are being met with one form of healthy living advice or another. Last week I was indulging in my favourite pastime of reading the user comments at the bottom of website stories when I noticed I had scrolled past no fewer than six stories relating to healthy eating or exercise. The drive to banish the cellulite should be for life and not just post-Christmas. The trouble with hammering home a healthy living message in the bleakest month is that it isn’t always going to work for everyone because being good is hard, especially when you are cold and skint. Fall off the diet bandwagon before Burns Night, and it is very difficult to hop back on it. Supermarkets, diet groups and health clubs should offer deals all year round. Offering me regular deals on organic food might just make my regular trip to the shops that little bit bearable at this time of year.