What’s wrong with the garden centre?

July 11, 2015 at 4:24 pm Leave a comment



I kid you not but I just nearly got run over by a mad old lady on a mobility scooter, right by the frozen food aisle in Waitrose, Sandbach. My life flashed before my eyes and looked as if it was going to end, coldly, in a pile of frozen crinkle-cut chips and battered onion rings.

Fortunately I was able to take evasive action at the last moment – she merely clipped my trolley as she swept past without so much as a witch’s cackle.

I am not sure what the speed limit in Waitrose is, but she was definitely exceeding it.

Now don’t get me wrong (….at this point please picture me placing my tongue firmly in my cheek) I have nothing against old people. Some of my best friends and family favourites are old themselves. And, I know that old age will be upon me all too soon. But, why do they need to go shopping on a Saturday?!! They have the whole week to do this. Why do they insist on getting in my way on one of my all too rare days off?

imageSandbach Waitrose was simply awash/overrun by octogenarians this morning. They were everywhere. It started in the carpark, which was littered with small, economical cars parked at strange angles, and using the painted white lines as only very loose guidelines.

It was almost impossible to make progress around the carpark as old men sporting flat caps threw their Honda Jazzes into reverse, without notice, and without looking around them, simply following in blind faith the directions of their wives stood outside the car. She would stand there, waving them out, oblivious to her surroundings and only interested in ensuring she had sufficient space to open her passenger door wide enough to take a seat in comfort.

At this point the Jazz is diagonally across the car park aisle. I wait until both wife and hubby put their seatbelts on. Only then does the driver look up to realise that there are other cars looking for a parking space, and that he is facing in the wrong direction, against the oncoming traffic. He waves at me to go past him as if it is all my fault.

Elsewhere extreme care was needed to avoid random oldies pushing trolleys laden with sweet sherry and cream cakes weighed down with walking sticks, having either forgotten where they had parked their car, or whether they had, in fact, come on the bus.

Indeed, the shop front itself was blocked with a solid line of cars sporting disabled car stickers. This added to the chaos, making it difficult for the dial-a-ride, wheelchair-friendly minibuses to drop off/pick up their elderly passengers. They appeared to be bussing them in from retirement homes and villages across the county.

Eventually I found a spot in which to park and made my way inside. Slowly. I think the correct collective noun for an assembly of pensioners is a “shuffle”. And if it isn’t, it should be.

My progress around the store was impeded by spatially unaware blokes in cardigans and wrap-around sunglasses, making slow progress pushing their trolleys down the centre of the aisles, leaving absolutely no space for overtaking.

At various other points my route was blocked by two grandmotherly ladies smelling of floral perfumes mixed with germolene, who had stopped for a chat, leaning heavily on their three-wheel shopping buggies – like Zimmer frames on shopping trolley wheels with a tartan bag built in.

I repeat again, I have nothing against old people. I am so glad they won the war. I just wish they didn’t have to go shopping on a Saturday. After all, I thought that was why garden centres had been invented…..


Entry filed under: middleman.

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