Lockdown Day 3 – The Food Shop

A lazy start to the morning, woken by a bird with hob nail boots on clattering across the roof, squawking its head off. Cup of Builders with BBC news, starts the day off but does nothing to lift the spirits. We’ve got a day off today, so as soon as I’ve supped my tea, there’s jobs to be done. I get our bedding in the washer and wonder if anyone would mind if I hang a huge washing line up out on site. Such good drying weather going to waste.

We are escaping site today, we simply ‘have’ to go shopping for food. We need to do a big shop. First we call by the office to say happy birthday to Simon while Bev sliced up the birthday cake. While consuming calories I jumped on the computer system and continued the laborious task of cancelling hundreds of bookings over the next three months, all those happy times stolen away, all those people we may never meet. Quite surreal, chomping birthday cake and processing bookings on our day off.

Driving out the gate actually seemed strange, like stepping into a different world. We drive along as everyone stares into each others cars wondering if that persons drive is essential, we need a roof sign ‘Goin’ t’ shop’ to self justify our trip. The roads are quiet and we are buzzing along until the only tractor in miles jumps out from behind a bush and decides he’s going ‘our way’, Grrrr.

We pull in to Morrisons, Evesham. The car park is only half full but people are stood randomly all over the place, stood alone. Quite sensible, but why go to Morrisons car park to stand alone. The Boss had his usual struggle to find a parking spot, takes him ages when there is a choice of spots.

There is a ‘one out – one in’ system in place which requires queueing outside on predetermined spots on the ground. As we get to the front we are informed only one of us can go in, thus explaining all the singletons isolating on the car park. At least this means I can stack the trolley any way I wish, and not listen to the ex-logistics manager tutting at my trolley replenishment skills.

Once inside, despite having loads of folk inside there’s a strange silence to the store. The odd squeaky trolley wheel and not much else. People wander with face masks, gloves and scarves wrapped around their faces. It’s quite surreal, like stepping into a movie. Mountains of fresh fruit and veg but not much else. I stock up on our five a day , a bottle of Vimto a couple of fresh pizzas for tea and a block of cheese the size of a brick.

We queue zombie style in two long lines blocking aisles, strategically marked out with red and white tape on the floor to ensure our 2 metre gap waiting to pay. Ironically I spend ages stood in front of the chopped tomatoes, which everyone seems to want, thus invading my space. Only one customer at the checkout at a time and the checkout lady apologises and whizzes herself backwards as I walk to the end of the checkout. Back at her till, she’s not really in the mood for chit chat and stares blankly at me as I try to get to grips with this strange new world.

Having not really ventured off site since we arrived three weeks ago, supermarket shopping this way leaves me feeling quite anxious and jittery. I just want to get back to site and the comfort, familiarity of what is now my normal.

Back at site, I close the big gates, the ones The Boss fitted the other day, on the world, now how best to spend our day off. In our caravan of course. Kettle on, feet up, Radio 2 on, Steve Wright is playing comfort songs. Kylie and Jason Donovan lull me out of my shopping induced, anxious state. At the moment I am grateful for being ‘stuck’ at work. Whilst the family is miles away, the world out there frightens me. For now, I’m happy living and roaming around at work. Now let’s get that pizza in the oven.

Another bike ride today too. Enjoying this more than we expected, we are in our ‘civvies’ with no helmets, all our cycle wear is 100 miles away, so a good job it’s traffic free. To be honest, it’s the padded shorts we are missing the most. My bum is getting proper saddle sore.

Another ‘odd’ bonus of this lockdown is that we are communicating more. I am making daily phone calls with my parents in Bolton and our Jellybeans in Hampshire. While we never go a week without speaking it has been nice to speak more during these times. We arranged a ‘Group chat’ …

Oscar the cat a reluctant participant

… which soon descended into mayhem …

It was great to have a good laugh, especially at my Dad’s grasp of self isolating, but doesn’t replace being in the same room.

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