Off my Trolley. Tuesday 19th July

This writing a journal business isn’t going so well. 

Like those distant school reports of mine from long ago, it’s a case of easily distracted, could do better.

The point of me writing a journal was that if I set myself the task of writing each day then this would necessitate me actually doing something so that I could write about it. Thus one would help the other come to pass, a cunning plan eh?

And then there was also the thought that I could look back from some future point and be able to say to myself, look at that –  where you were back then, how far you’ve progressed. Well to be honest with you I’m struggling and today there was an incident which has me rattled.

I can only describe it as a mental health issue & I’m really rather concerned that matters are hanging on a knife edge.

Today I pootled off to the supermarket in the morning sunshine happy as larry, rucksack slung on my back, wearing a pair of shorts and a T shirt thus leaving plenty of skin open to the elements so that I could tan in the sun in the hot spell along the way. 

The supermarket is a schlepp ( 6200 steps there & back so my app tells me ) so I get some exercise and a bit of a tan – who says men can’t multitask, boom two jobs in one.

I’m on my way back home, backpack full to the brim with comestibles, hang on that’s a third thing, a bit of weight lifting, the pack has to weigh 20kgs. 

I feel a  slightly smug about my goodness, though I am now sweating and feeling the weight of the pack, then a little old lady with a walking stick and a shopping trolley overtakes me in the high street, she whizzes past. She’s not a day under 80. 

In that moment I am jealous of her shopping trolley and wish for one of my own. 

When I get home to my eternal shame I google shopping trolleys.

The Trojan is a number that sits well with me, well I like the name, it conjures up thoughts of Greek warriors, but then it’s a slightly odd branding. Did Greek warriors go to the supermarket?

I remember an American brand of condoms called Trojan, maybe it’s the same firm, maybe they’ve diversified, their clients once needed condoms, now they need shopping trolleys. Maybe that’s me?

This a watershed, the day I buy an old lady shopping trolley is the beginning of the end.

My meandering thoughts conjour up a vision of a day maybe not too far hence – I’m walking from my sheltered accommodation out to do my weekly shopping at Lidl, one hand pulls a shopping trolley behind me, the other holds a walking stick, one of those old fashioned ones made of wood with a rubber tipped foot.  I am dressed in old man trousers that are hoiked up high, a la Simon Cowell, a belt secures them just under my rib cage, a T shirt with food stains down the front holds in a large belly that wobbles like a tray of jelly as I plod down the road. 

I am wearing crocs on my feet. 

There is the distinct possibility that I am talking to myself as I go.

Pull yourself together man, this no good, there’s only Trojan you should have, the type you wear, not the sort you carry your shopping in.

Vitamins. Wednesday 20th July

Yesterdays vision has stirred me to action, I head off to the shops, not to buy a shopping trolley, but to get vitamins from the health food store.

I arrive at Holland & Barrett in Wood Green at 9.30am, I am the only customer in the shop, its quite spooky, I wonder if this place gets many customers? There is one cashier at the tills, a security guard stands at the entrance, he’s short, fat, balding & wears glasses, he looks more like a librarian who spends his spare time train-spotting than the kind of bloke who strikes fear into would be shoplifters by mere physical presence.

I wander up and down the aisles, slightly clueless as to what to get beyond a few basics.

OK maybe it’s a case of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted but I go large on Turmeric, which is said to be good for arthritis, turmeric capsules, turmeric tea, turmeric moisturiser – eating it, drinking it & smothering myself in the stuff. 

For good measure I buy vitamin C, Vitamin D something & cod liver Oil, liquorice in the hope that if I chew that I will smoke less, let’s face it, none of these things can do me any harm – & if they do any good I will let you know.

At the till the cashier advises me that because I’ve spent so much I can get two free products from a selection. I’ve spent half an hour choosing exactly what I want, now I have to go back and get more, this annoys me intensely, despite them being free, these people are bloody swines.

As I’m trying to choose my freebies another customer walks in, a tall young black guy (to me thirty is young). He approaches the counter and speaks to the cashier, asking if they have spirulina, he says it rather loudly and there’s something in his tone and the way he carries himself that isn’t quite normal, the cashier takes one step backwards from behind the counter away from the customer, she points and says spirulina, that way.

I notice the security guard moving forward from his position at the entrance, he watches the new customer intently as he walks the aisles. It seems clear that the guy has some kind of issues, but there’s nothing aggresive or particularly scary about him, but the cashier and the guard focus entirely on him, as observer I decide to hang around for a couple of minutes to see how the story plays out, I tell the cashier I’m going to have another look around the store.

I watch the security man follow the guy around, at a distance. A canned message pipes up on the store speaker: For your security and to prevent shoplifting this store is being remotely monitored by in store cameras. Thieves will be prosecuted. The young man walks up and down aisles but doesn’t find what he’s looking for, he heads for the exit. Once he’s left the security man speaks into a walky-talky, he says to whoever is on the other end. “Gentleman has exited the store, over”.

The store guard walks over to the cashier, they whisper conspiratorialy, he shrugs his shoulders, she laughs somewhat awkwardly. I head to the till, pay and depart feeling a little sad as I go.  

Once home I head for the garden and the sunshine with my state of the art Cork Yoga Mat which has gathered dust for longer than I care to admit.

I roll it out and use it to lie on for sunbathing.

Whilst not it’s intended purpose I reckon its a start, maybe tomorrow I will do some Yoga.

For now I have become slightly obsessed with the idea of having a suntan, there’s no chance of me going overseas anytime soon to get one – I’m skint and well the arthritis would make it problematic. 

But still I want that suntan, and I’m going to get one on my staycation.

Then I can tell myself and anyone should they ask what are you up to these days – I will tell them, in the modern parlance, I’m living my best life & there’s not a shopping trolley in sight.


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