Stocked Up

This post is written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, contemplate.

Tesco’s is the market-leading British supermarket. Actually, there are four or five other biggies, but Tesco has grown to be about the biggest. After that, there are maybe twice as many again smaller chains.

Sunday retail laws (which have not been suspended, but which now seem crazy) stipulate that big shops (such as most Tesco branches) may only open for six hours on a Sunday. The exact hours are flexible, but most retailers (including Tesco) open between 10am and 4pm.

As a result of the virus outbreak and the subsequent wave of panic buying, Tesco announced that they would reserve a special interval exclusively for NHS workers. They set it to Sundays at 9am-10am. They would still observe Sunday Trading laws and open the tills at 10am, but would allow people to browse (i.e. put groceries into their trolley, but not to check out) from 9am.

Because we thought that this time slot represented the best combination of (a) least competition whilst shopping and (b) most groceries being available on the shelves of the supermarket, my wife (who works for the NHS) and I contemplated doing our grocery shopping during this hour. When we arrived, this was the scene that greeted us:


The queue into the shop was 30 minutes, but once in the shop we were able to get what was basically a full week’s grocery shop, including bread and milk. We did not even bother looking for toilet roll. We’re still only buying a week at a time, because that’s the most responsible approach. The exception is cat food, which is also in short supply. And, I don’t dare tell the cats that their breakfast has been cancelled! Even that, we have accumulated maybe a month’s supply, which is not particularly abnormal for us. Lots of humans have died from this virus, but cats will come out of it fatter than ever – provided they learn how to open the packets 😆.

By the time we left the shop, the queue had died down, but equally, the essential goods had mostly been purchased.

The one thing which was pleasant about doing the shopping was that there was a lot less traffic than usual.

If anybody is interested, I will not be posting my usual Who Won the Week post this evening. What’s the point when there is just one thing on the News? So I’m thinking I will suspend that until life gets a little more normal. Equally, it seems dumb to write a post just to say I won’t be writing a post, hence my tagging it onto this post.

Song Lyric Sunday (22 March 2020) – Vows

Last week, Jim (NewEpicAuthor, A Unique Title For Me) set a theme of cash and flowers (my selection). This week, he gives us the theme of vows.

In the summer of 1989, I was studying for my final exams at university, spending about 10 hours in the library each day. There were distractions, of course. I had a girlfriend whom I’d banned myself from seeing while the exams were on.

Plus there was this record going around by a brand new artist, who seemed to be like a breath of fresh air. Every track on her album was brilliant, we listened to them over and over, and we got to know each track off by heart. The album had been released in 1988, but it took it that bit longer to reach us over in Cardiff.

My selection today comes from the lyrics of one of the album tracks. I normally like to link Jim’s theme to the title of my music tracks, but this is a cracking protest song. If fact I did tag this song onto one of my other posts just a few months ago – I don’t like to repeat myself, but my SLS audience is generally far wider than my every other post audience, and besides … this track is that good!

I called the song a protest song, and I shall explain why (and my link) by quoting some of the lyrics (I’ll quote them again, in their entirety, below):

If not now then when
If not today then
Why make your promises?
A love declared for days to come
Is as good as none

In other words, if you commit to doing something, and you say you’re not gonna do it now, but one day, then what use is that? That is not a committment, merely an aspiration.

The album is Tracy Chapman’s self-named debut album, and every song on the album, including my selection, was written by Tracy herself. The album was a surprising commrcial success, selling over 20 million copies worldwide, and reaching #1 in the album charts in both the UK and the US. From the album Tracy Chapman, here is If Not Now.

If not now then when
If not today then
Why make your promises
A love declared for days to come
Is as good as none

You can wait ’til morning comes
You can wait for the new day
You can wait and lose this heart
You can wait and soon be sorry


Now love’s the only thing that’s free
We must take it where it’s found
Pretty soon it may be costly


If not now what then
We all must live our lives
Always feeling
Always thinking
The moment has arrived

Tracy Chapman

Happy Mother’s Day

In the UK, 22 March is Mother’s Day.