All of us are under quarantine, but some are more quarantined than others. We’re all isolating, but some are insulating – a combination of being insular and isolated and some of us are incarcerated. Wherever or however you may be, you still have to eat and if friends or neighbours have offered to ‘get a few things’ for you don’t turn down the offer, they may not offer again. Here are a few handy hints to make it easy for you the shoppee and they the shopper.
When they say ‘a few things’ they actually mean at least two hefty bagfuls of shopping.
If they say it’s no trouble, they mean it’s a whole load of extra fun which will fill their empty hours of isolation.
Do be polite and grateful for their help with such phrases as
‘I never shop at Tesco.’
‘I never shop on line, I like to see what I’m getting.’
‘Wednesday’s no good, couldn’t you make it Tuesday?’
‘Make sure they don’t put anything in plastic bags, I’m a plastic free shopper.’
‘Make sure the Sainsbury delivery van doesn’t park outside my house.’
You will need to make a list and it is important to remember that on line some items may not be available and if they go to the real shops, some items may not be available. Make your list clear, it’s not easy shopping for someone else. Here is an example of a helpful shopping list.
One loaf of Happy Fields medium sliced multi grain organic gluten free bread.
One pack of BRITISH butter, unsalted from Daisy Dairies, Somerset.
Two outdoor reared ( in Dorset or Surrey ) pork chops, the ones without the bone in.
A free range chicken, woodland, not corn fed, between 1.5KG and 1.74KG.
A bag of Lincolnshire potatoes, not too big, not too small either, potato size, not the bag…
Bunch of bananas, green, so they will keep.
Ten tins of Heinz Tomato soup, must be HEINZ.
Six tins of Ambrosia rice pudding – full cream NOT Lite.
Two packs of Green Grass Farm Extra Strong Mature Irish Cheddar, the pack with the green stripe and picture of black and white cows, not the red stripe and picture of auburn cows.
Three packets of Fair Trade breakfast tea leaves, NOT tea bags, not the supermarket own brand, the blue and purple box, not the green and red.
Seven packs of Tassimo L’OR Latte Macchiato Coffee Pods, not Costa latte and NOT caramel latte, six or five packs will do if they haven’t got enough.
When the day of expected on line delivery arrives, don’t forget to helpfully remind your kind neighbour that some of the shopping is for you by phoning or texting every hour to ask if it has arrived yet.
When at last they phone or message you to say the six shopping bags are now outside your door, reply quickly with a grateful message such as
‘I hope they are not too heavy for me to carry inside’ or ‘I hope they had everything.’
Finally, they may be too embarrassed to mention payment straight away, so don’t you mention it either.