We went to Aldi.

‘They’re better than Lidl
Cheaper than Waitrose
Bigger than Tesco
Cleaner than Morrisons
Fresher than Sainbury’

Says everybody.

So we went to Aldi – which is about 6 miles away – although the old git said the way we went today it was more like ten miles.

We went to Aldi because My friend said her husband gets his beer there. So we drove to Aldi to buy the old git cans of beer which were half the price of Waitrose, although driving there the way we did we used up more petrol than a can of ale is worth.

We went to Aldi.

It’s big with isles of stuff, grapes that are just a little too soft, no cucumbers and the meat, which I rarely buy, looks like it was taken straight from the abattoir and vacuum packed.

Going to Aldi draws attention to how we shop and what we shop for.

Eating a lettuce in the car and I was reminded of the kids scrabbling round for plastic in shitty heaps so they can buy a scrap of bread, I have to admit that I do feel guilty when I scoff.

The worlds gone topsy turvy.
The abundance we have and the starving kids silently staring into our cameras as we gorge on Supermarket fancies.

When I was growing up we were told to finish everything on the plate less we forget the starving children in
Africa or
Biafra or
Rwanda or
Wherever my mother could conjure up that would shame us into licking the plate clean.

We drove to Aldi and I didn’t want to be there with its aisles of synthetic sheets and three legged stools covered in faux fur.

We went to Aldi – like it was a day trip.

Shelves of additives, aisles of stuff, loads of basket carrying customers, and yes, though it was a lot cheaper, it felt empty and grubby and depressing.

‘Buy cheap buy twice’ says a friend of mine.

Aisles of rubber flippers for people who are talking about going scuba diving in Center Parcs. Not that I begrudge anybody their life’s treats, but we’ve lost our way.

I dont know whether I am a snob or just craving my old way life.

‘The Repair Shop’ taps into our nostalgia for simpler times.
When we had grandparents that faded away in their own homes.
When we had recognisable seasons.
When we had home made rice pudding.
When we played out till it got dark.
When we couldn’t imagine a world that we have now
Anxious lives where you can buy guns over the counter
When children read whole books and memorised poetry.
Not handed scraps of plays, or scraps of stories, now they don’t know what a big book of Thomas Hardy looks or feels like. Children who don’t know how to turn a page but know how to swipe.

We went to Aldi and it overwhelmed me, living in a country with closed precincts, a few supersized shops, coffee chains and aisles of plastic weighing scales and over sized nylon knickers.

We went to Aldi and the old git bought a biiiig bottle of whiskey and I bought vegan mayo.

He bought cheap cans of beer

And I bought cheap fruit and vegetables. The grapes are soft, the bananas are 4 pence cheaper than Waitrose, and the bag of meusli was sugar free. But I yearn for independent shops that have been around for ages that sell homemade wares, recognise you when you walk in and are prepared to give you a couple of Brussel sprouts.

I yearn for days gone buy. I yearn for a past that really was better than our present.

I see they are now advertising ‘Lemsip’ again, giving us permission to have the common cold.
I yearn for dances and discos – not for me – but for the young who need comfort and companionship.
I yearn for what was, knowing it’s gone, and I can’t have it back.
I yearn for a gentle, pinky future where children play safely.
I yearn for a future where men don’t look up girls skirts and women dont look down men’s bank balance.
I want to fade away in a softer gentler place, not against a back drop of starvation and bombs, bullets and raucous children, where shops aren’t full of cheap, adulterated eggs and aisles full of genetically modified blankets.

We went to Aldi and it frightened the living daylights out of me.

1 thought on “WE WENT TO ALDI”

  1. You have sadly clarified for me what I felt when I went to a Lidl for the first time. It was several years ago -for Xmas shopping persuaded by my barrister friend. In her travels to various county & high courts scattered around the southeast, she often drops into nearby Lidl or Aldi to pick up bits & pieces. She felt we could lower our Xmas grocery spend. The haphazard manner in which food and bits & pieces are displayed together threw me off.
    Reading your blog, I recall how I felt when I first visited in 1969 an eastern bloc city (Prague) before the end of the USSR. The shop windows were so very different to what I knew. No multiple choices for one particular item. But in Lidl the choices were so higgledy piggledy, so abundant and random.
    It struck a chord …


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