A tale of soup, shopping and social distancing at the supermarket - The Redditch Standard

A tale of soup, shopping and social distancing at the supermarket

Redditch Editorial 28th Mar, 2020   0

OXTAIL soup anyone? It’s Morrisons, 6.45pm and it’s time for the weekly shop as mandated by Boris Johnson – not that he takes a lot of notice of his own advice.

There’s no queue, and the Disney zigzag lines are like being first at passport control after touching down at Birmingham Airport.

Inside, fresh veg is in short supply, but there’s plenty of asparagus and butternut squash makes a useful replacement for potatoes.

My fellow shoppers are a rum lot – some are wearing masks, some aren’t, and nearly all have gloves on.




One couple, she’s wearing a mask, he isn’t, and I can’t work out how that’s going to protect either of them – or us.


I feel naked with neither mask or gloves. Am I a risk? I don’t think so, as it’s only me and the dog at home and we haven’t seen a soul.

Anyway, we’re all keeping our distance, communicating through the lost art of dancing eyebrows.

Who needs words when a raised eyebrow or a frown can say so much?

And it’s hard to hide a smile, even behind a mask.

Anyway, on with the shop.

I’ve always loved soup, and one of the plusses of this present disaster is rediscovering that love – the only problem is, everyone else has.

The soup shelf, while not the bare expanse of the toilet paper or soap shelves, has been hit, and hit badly, unless you’ve got a passion for oxtail.

As a kid I used to love it, but even I don’t fancy a tray’s worth of it.

Rooting around, I turn up a tin of minestrone and another of carrot and coriander, and I’m happy to settle for two of ox’s tail.

With the rest of the week’s shopping collected, it’s off to the checkout.

With social distancing, the queue stretches up the aisle, but everyone is behaving impeccably and I get this overwhelming feeling of being proud to be British.

It’s boosted by the woman on the checkout who, behind her plastic screen, is a wonder of good sense and good humour.

I’m probably the 100th person to tell her she deserves danger money but she smiles anyway.

Back home and with hands thoroughly washed it’s time to catch up on the latest dismal news.

Ah well, but fear not, we will get over this – until then, and forever, three cheers for our NHS.

Happy shopping, and stay safe everyone.

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