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Erastes [userpic]

shopping. ARGH!

June 19th, 2013 (12:39 pm)

There are times when I hate England, and shopping is one of those times.

I hate shopping at the best of times, always have. Being dragged around the shops with mother on a Saturday morning was like torture. I didn’t want new clothes and I certainly didn’t want a nice frock or a new coat – no matter how “that little girl over there would love it”.

I like to know what I want in advance, get out, get in the shop, buy it, get out. That’s it. Window shopping? WHY? Online shopping has been like a new world for me, the wonder of NEVER HAVING TO GO SHOPPING AT ALL is simply gorgeous. And this morning doesn’t make me think any differently.

Shop 1. “Martham Market” it was called. Big sign outside boasting fresh mushrooms and eggs. I never saw any evidence of those, and I went in expecting it to be a nice local shop crossed with a local farm shop only to find a very very tired old corner shop with one fridge of milk and cheese full of crappy stuff, shelves of odd things like colouring books, one harry potter book, and boxes of zips…. Bought some cheese and ran away.

Shop 2. The Co-op Pharmacy. Wanted: constipation cure, fibre supplement, pottasium supplement.

1. Picked up Senekot.

2. Assistant had to call pharmacist regarding potassium and he treated me like a criminal. WHY did I need it? WHY wasn’t the doctor prescribing it? No, he didn’t have any, and I’d have to get it from the doctor after blood tests.


3. Fibre. No, nothing like that I’m afraid – perhaps you’d have more luck at Holland and Barrett?

REALLY?  I should have gone online to h&b where I could have got the lot without hassle. or being treated like a weirdo. Or having to wait TEN FUCKING MINUTES while you tried to get your till to work.

Shop 3.

a farm shop advertising potatoes, beets, eggs. I nipped out and picked up eggs (far too bloody expensive, aren’t they supposed to be cheaper than Tesco?) two bundles of rather sad wilted rhubarb. asked the man if he had beet greens (he had a ton of beets).

He said – and I can hardly believe this (as he had a customer there with MONEY in her hand)-“I might do, later. If people want the beets without the greens, I’ll cut them off.”



Posted by: julian_griffith (julian_griffith)
Posted at: June 19th, 2013 11:53 am (UTC)


I do know they get a little leery about potassium supplements here, as you can do unpleasant things to your heart and kidneys if you overdo the potassium. now, diet electrolyte sports drinks, those might work.

The draw of farmers' market eggs is not that they're cheaper (they almost never are) but that they're tastier and you're not contributing to the battery farming industry, which is remarkably cruel. I pay the premium for "cage free eggs" even when I'm watching my budget to the penny, just like I always buy the recycled toilet paper. Though actually one brand of recycled toilet paper which doesn't have cardboard tubes in the rolls is a decent bargain.

Interesting thing about the small farmer eggs (though not the commercial "cage free"): they have such a more pronounced flavor that they make baked goods taste weird. It would be fantastic in a custard but it was decidedly odd in the blueberry muffins I made at my parents' house with their egg-lady eggs. But for just eating as scrambled eggs they're awesome.

My parents' egg lady keeps Aracauna chickens and the eggs have pale green shells. :)

Posted by: Erastes (erastes)
Posted at: June 19th, 2013 01:57 pm (UTC)

i don't think any major supermarkets here stocked caged hens, it would horrify to me even be offered them! i stayed on a battery farm as a kid and loathed it. poor hens!

Posted by: julian_griffith (julian_griffith)
Posted at: June 19th, 2013 02:38 pm (UTC)

Alas, all the basic supermarket eggs here are battery-farmed, unless you shop at Whole Foods (or, as some like to call it, Whole Paycheck), and they're about a dollar less per dozen than the ones labeled "cage free", and the ones labeled organic, don't even get me started. The "cage free" ones are a trifle less at Whole Foods than they are at the supermarket, but a) that's an extra trip I don't need, and b) I try to buy as much as possible at my supermarket-of-choice, because they offer a points program for discount gas: for every $100 you spend, you get ten cents off a gallon, and they often have bonus deals where some items give you five points on the dollar, or if you buy some combination of listed products, you'll get 300 or 400 bonus points, and it really adds up. I skip the 400-points deals if it's mostly items we'd never use otherwise, but sometimes it's genuinely useful stuff; a couple of weeks ago, it was mostly dairy products and our favorite type of breakfast cereal.

I try to be responsible about what I buy. I've sort of made my peace with not buying the organic fair trade coffee, because holy hell is that pricey, and the absolute cheapest coffee on the shelf, an espresso-grind coffee aimed at the Latino market, is amazingly tasty, and the only one besides double-digits-a-pound fair trade Kenya AA that I can consistently drink black.

So that is my shopping. Very convenient, and a chore I don't mind too much, and sometimes it has aspects of a game.

Clothing? I generally go to the charity shops, or the cheapo shoe place, or Target for things like underwear. I may have to start reconsidering the shoes, as I've developed bunions, which don't trouble me unless the shoes pinch, and that requires a bit of careful fitting. Though I got lucky once: shiny brown Italian flats (that might be real alligator, but I won't think about it too hard) that are beautiful and fit like a dream, for $2.

Of courseI have the luck (and it's purely luck, genetics) of being a size that people often donate because they've put on a few pounds. The smaller you are, the better chance you have of finding something decent.

I wish I were there, so I could sew for you. I can draft patterns directly to measurements or create them by draping. I know that, because I did it once for a bridesmaid who was above the size range of the dress pattern the bride chose. Actually the bride didn't really choose the dress pattern. She was dreadfully last minute & chose something out of a bridal magazine and wanted us all to go get fitted and pay the rush prices. I said "to hell with that" and found a dress pattern that looked near as dammit, and we all had dresses for the cost of the fabric, and I said "this is your wedding present." I never, ever want to sew navy blue satin again. I've had enough to last me the rest of my life.

Posted by: Kelley (copperbeech)
Posted at: June 19th, 2013 12:29 pm (UTC)

I've always hated shopping, too. I will order something online in a heartbeat to avoid going into a storefront.
And YES on window shopping. WTF is that?? I need a mission, and I need it to be clear, pinpointing the exact aisle if not shelf before I arrive. I HATE fumbling for trivial shit.

You have my sympathy.

Posted by: Erastes (erastes)
Posted at: June 19th, 2013 01:58 pm (UTC)

it's a relief to know it's not just me! D

Posted by: julian_griffith (julian_griffith)
Posted at: June 19th, 2013 02:42 pm (UTC)

My version of window shopping is browsing a charity shop, with just a category in mind -- "I need a summer dress" or "I need sweaters" or "I could use some more trousers." I'm not ambling along admiring window displays, but I'm open to a broad range of things within my category. I have pretty good luck that way.

Posted by: Erastes (erastes)
Posted at: June 19th, 2013 03:02 pm (UTC)

ah yes, well - charity antiques and junk shops... i can do THAT all day!

Posted by: kcwarwick (kcwarwick)
Posted at: June 19th, 2013 03:12 pm (UTC)

What really annoys me is when a certain type of man implies that I must love shopping, because all women do. Murder has nearly been done on several occasions.

Posted by: Erastes (erastes)
Posted at: June 19th, 2013 06:14 pm (UTC)

Laughs - exactly! Loathe it.

Posted by: Becky Black (becky_black)
Posted at: June 19th, 2013 05:53 pm (UTC)

I found all I needed to do to up my potassium was to switch to a low sodium table salt. It helps stop me getting calf cramps in the night. If you're doing low carb with mostly fresh foods then you generally don't have to worry too much about sodium, since you're not getting so much of it from processed food as people on a - hah - normal diet. But for the sake of upping potassium it's very useful.

Holland and Barrett can be good for fibre supplements. There's also a really good mail order company I use for supplements - Healthspan http://www.healthspan.co.uk. Their stuff is really good.

Posted by: Erastes (erastes)
Posted at: June 19th, 2013 06:16 pm (UTC)

I'll have to look out for some, thank you - i'm not getting cramps (yet) although I am prone to them even on a normal diet. I'm simply going on the food tracker I'm using which has a very low pot intake recorded. Low everything except fat, really, but multivits are taking care of most of it!

Posted by: Marion (aunty_marion)
Posted at: June 19th, 2013 09:45 pm (UTC)

Healthspan are pretty good - Mum used to buy quite a bit from them, as if you buy largeish quantities they can work out cheaper even than Holland & Barrett. (And it saves having to go out to the shops, of course!)

Magnesium is another one that's good for leg cramps and restless legs.

Posted by: Karen (cerisaye)
Posted at: June 19th, 2013 08:01 pm (UTC)

The only shopping I still enjoy is for books, otherwise I try to do as much as possible online and avoid the crowds and hassle. I don't understand people who see shopping as a fun day out with the family. Ugh. Shopping is bad enough without dragging children along to deepen the agony! Funny, the only thing I don't do online is food shopping, I still like to go to the supermarket and choose what I buy, though I mostly use a middle-sized local Co-op for that, with regular side trips to Aldi. I hate those mammoth superstores, too much choice bewilders me.

Posted by: Marion (aunty_marion)
Posted at: June 19th, 2013 09:49 pm (UTC)

I'm not at all averse to window-shopping, though I try not to indulge these days, as I can't afford to. I try to go out with an object in mind, and just get that, but I do quite enjoy browsing along the shelves.

There's some stuff called Fybogel which is both a constipation remedy and fibre supplement, so to speak. I think it contains inulin, which is the sort of fibre you get in oats (I think...).

I buy my free-range eggs from Iceland - £1 for 6 large eggs.

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