Ten Reasons Not To Go Shopping


10) It is Sunday, I was still up at 4am, and I’m feeling lazy. I don’t want to get dressed, let alone go outside.

9) I have lessons to plan, papers to mark and emails to respond to; surely this is more important than shopping. But I guess I do need to feed the children too.

8) My bank account won’t like it. It is still 19 days until payday and I am broke, as always.

7) My daughter will want to come with me, and will want to add to my trolley. I wouldn’t mind this, if she remembered that fridge stuff must all go on the same side of the trolley, instead of milk with the biscuits. Also, see reason 8 again.

6) Shopping store music will stay in my head for hours, and I will be singing, “Hey, Hey, What’s the matter with your face, face?” all day long. Oh dear.

5) It will be 10 minutes at least until I actually think of something to cook today that my son will eat, that isn’t pizza or noodles. Or maybe longer… pizza it is.

4) My trolley will have a wonky wheel, and I will only discover this when I’ve already half loaded it and bumped into half a dozen people…

3)… who glare at me when I apologise for my clumsiness. I’m sorry, ok??

2) I will have unpacked all of my shopping onto the conveyor belt before I realise that I have forgotten to pick up the made to order pizzas from the deli counter. A quick dash across the store will be necessary. Or I could just send my daughter.

1) “Do you want any help with your packing?” asks Gita, the friendly lady behind the till.

“No thanks,” I reply, “I’ll do it.”

I get ignored though, and look up to see her putting bread into a bag (only one of my loaves) followed by chocolate biscuits, and garlic bread, and crisps and (Why???) Father’s Day socks. My daughter turns around as I make a strangled noise. My face must betray my horror at this packing disaster, and she turns to see why. “Oh. My. God…”

Suddenly I don’t like Gita very much anymore, and I know I will never use her checkout again.



Ten Conversations Worth Having

In a rollercoaster week of major highs and major lows, there have been moments, as there always are. Some conversations are simply stunning, and worth remembering, even if just for the giggles. Here goes (in no particular order)…

1) With my 2 year old nephew

‘Hello gorgeous’

‘Hello, have you come to see me?’

‘Yes, I wanted to give you a big kiss, can I have one?’

He clambers up onto my lap, puts his head on one side and studies me.

‘Take your glasses off and do your hair. It’s messy.’

Oh… ok… thanks.

2) With a friend via text

‘Hiya. Any brighter since this morning’s text?’

‘I don’t want to play anymore’

‘Then sit on the benches til you do xxx’

‘I don’t want any part of it’

‘No need to then. You do whatever makes you feel better or less stressed xxx’

‘Not waking up in the morning and having to face crap. That would make me feel better’

‘Ah, different rules. Basically it’s tough shit then xxx’

Thank god for friends who say it like it is.

3) With my teenage daughter, in reference to the new boyfriend

‘I’m going to meet his mum tomorrow! I said I’d be there about 1, so I’ll leave here about quarter past 12.’

‘Ok, I’ll make sure I’m ready.’

‘What? You’re not coming!!’

‘Oh I am… and your brother… and Nan… and aunties… We’ve hired a minibus for ‘Meet the Parents’ day.’

‘You’re so not FUNNY!!’

‘I don’t know what you mean; We’ve been practising our best dance moves and everything…’

Me: dancing around the landing like a woman possessed.

Her: hand over face.

4) With a friend via Skype

‘Turn your volume down, I’m going to video call.’

‘I’d need to find my cam first, haven’t used it in days…’

‘Find it then. I’ll be waiting. No excuses.’

‘Ok… but if you tell me I look like death, I will cry…’

Call connects.

‘Ohhhh you look shattered. Not like death, but exhausted.’

Why thank you!

5) With a friend via text

‘Afternoon, twat’

‘Shut up.’

‘Ha make me’

‘My hair is purple’

‘Send me a pic please…’

‘Ha make me’

‘I said, send me a pic!’

‘Ha make me’

6) With the lorry driver, right after he’d run me off the road

‘I’m so sorry, I can’t believe it…’

‘What happened??’

‘I just went to move lanes, and I didn’t see you, what with the weather.’

‘Ohhhhh right… Yes, I’m snow blind too…’

‘You must have been, like, RIGHT next to me.’

‘Yes, that’s allowed, it’s a road…’

‘It’s my first day driving for this company, too.’

And maybe it will be your last…

7) While visiting a friend

‘I have to confess, I forgot you the other day. I was talking about needing a male perspective on something, from someone impartial. I didn’t think of you…’

‘I’m not really impartial, though, am I?’

‘I think you are, you don’t have an agenda.’

Taking my face in his hands…

‘I do. You’re one of my best friends… and I’d love to see you truly happy. But I’d hate it if you weren’t available anymore…’

Bless him.

8) With a friend, via text, as I left the hospital

‘I’ve had the results of my screening. Everything came back clear.’

‘Awesome, well done!!’


9) With an ex-pupil in Asda

‘Hi Miss! Mum, this is my old teacher, do you remember? The one I know where she lives!’

Mum smiles politely here.

‘How’s it going? What are you up to now?’

‘I’m at college… Really loving it… Though I should revise more.’

‘I remember telling you that, lots of times.’

‘I know… I keep wanting to message you on facebook, but I didn’t want to seem like a stalker…’

But you know where I live?!

10) With my 4 year old niece, while watching television

‘What’s this?’

‘It’s Monster High’

She tries to sing along to the theme tune…

‘Shall I find out the words to the song for you?’

‘Noooooo… I know it already…’

‘Do you?’

‘Yeh… Walking down do dooo dooo doooooo, everybody ba bahhh boooo booooo…’

Hmmmmmm. Sounds about right, I suppose…

Top Ten Ways to Waste Time

Now, you understand, I don’t often have time to waste… I’m usually the one wishing for an extra couple of hours in each day just so I can fit in the things that REALLY need to be done. But, right now, I’m off work and I can’t sleep with the thousands of things I have running through my more than usually stressed head. You could change my title to ‘Top 10 ways to take your mind off the things you don’t really want to think about’ and that would work just as well.

10) Play stupid games on facebook. Challenge your friends to a Sudoku tournament and listen to them laugh at your utter defeat (‘Ahaaaa… you’re the numbers genius and I BEAT YOU! Call yourself a maths teacher…’).

9) Read a good book. Realise that you’re not really taking anything in and switch to a trashy magazine instead.

8) Go for coffee with the best friend you have. Chances are they’ll be able to take your mind off things and make you laugh, even if only for a while. If you’re really lucky, they’ll have some great stories to tell you… like the one where a guy in a coffee shop hands them a note saying, ‘My name is … and I love to be caned.’ Oh my.

7) Go into an online chatroom and ‘poke’ random strangers. Consider all the things that you can do online that would have you certified insane out in the real world. Poking? Winking? Would you really do it in real life?

6) Pick a random song and try to learn all of the lyrics. Give yourself a headache and a sore throat by singing it aloud repeatedly.

5) Get in your car and drive to the nearest beach. Ignore the signs that say, ‘Danger – sinking mud’ and find yourself ankle deep in squelchy sand. Make your retreat and take a couple of photographs of the beautiful view from a safe vantage point, and try to clean your shoes as much as you can before you get back into the car.

4) Think back to the last time you ate. If it is more than 12 hours ago, drive to Asda and wander around trying to decide what you’d like to eat. Get home again and cook it, remembering to take it out of the oven before it burns to a crisp.

3) Spend a couple of hours browsing online with your daughter for a prom dress (party dress… skirt… shoes… ). She will appreciate the time you spent with her and you can cross one thing off the ‘to-do’ list.

2) Check your email. Again. Maybe one of the bloggers you have followed will have written something that really grabs your attention and you will have something different to think about for a while. Thanks again, bloggers, it is appreciated!

1) Write a ‘Top Ten’ list of just about anything. Yes, I got this far down the list already. Someone needs to write me a new list… Anyone??