Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Now I regret the passing of Woolworths

Grit drags her gritlets off to St Albans today. They stay snug in the warm, dry, heated education room of Verulamium Museum, where they craft Roman villas out of shoe boxes.

Grit is thrown out into the cold pelting rain. Abandoned. Yet the rain beats on, nails studding the ground, hammering upon the uncovered head of the poor, sad, discarded Grit.

But! Grit has one brain cell remaining active after years of abuse by despair, confusion, social expectation and 85% strength chocolate, and she applies that brain cell to her problem called Facing two hours being soaked to the skin and Thinking what to do about it.

She determines upon bravely walking into town and buying an umbrella. First she seeks the path under the guidance of St Albans' superior pedestrian signage system.

Then she must walk across the park into town while her head slowly dissolves under a torrential deluge of acid rain.

Twenty minutes later, liquid in human form, she arrives in town. If only! If only Woolworths in St Albans were still open and sold umbrellas!

Millets, close by, cannily prop girly pink peep-through umbrellas against their shop doorway. I examine them, dripping. But far too posh (£12.99) for mean Grit.

No. Not the Millets golfing umbrella, either. Grit already looks like a wet twerp. We don't want to advertise the fact. And I will at some point be forced to hand over the new umbrella to one of the gritlets. Imagine what mayhem and eye wounds they can cause with a 6-metre wide golfing umbrella down your congested High Street at 11 am in the mornings.

The search must go on. Oxfam? No umbrellas there. Not even fairtrade ones. Cancer Research? Nope. Far too upmarket.

God knows what madness drives me into Monsoon unless it is to flaunt the new bedraggled water rat look, and have the staff watch me suspiciously while I leak puddles over their nice polished wooden floor.

By now, nearly an hour on, I am too far watery to care. Sloshing, I follow this bloke into a faceless shopping sluice.

I may never find my way out the twilight zone. But at least I carry my own water supply in my pockets.

Then! Wilkinsons! Nearly like Woolworths! And £2 buys a nearly functioning umbrella for the walk back through town and over the park!

Behold! My lovely, lovely new umbrella! Aloft, like my dignity, my chins and my chipper. At last, two hours on, I am happy. Satisfied. Delighted!

Even though by now it had quite stopped raining.


Pig in the Kitchen said...

Oh you are a good, determined shopper. I had to stop myself yelling at the screen, 'Go for a coffee woman! Relax and read the paper!' But a trip to Wilkinsons is far, far better than a coffee. I LOVE Wilkinsons!

zooarchaeologist said...

OOOH on my patch there, you could have enjoyed coffee in my luxurious office very very close to that education room...
I love how you have managed to make St Albans look so utterly dreary!

MadameSmokinGun said...

I dream of Wilkinsons. I want flat baking trays for £1 and replacement non-spill cup lids. Noone does this. Wilkinsons is my last hope but I have seemingly moved away from Wilco zones. Sigh........

Heather said...

£13 for an umbrella? Scandalous!

Grit said...

pig, i nearly did this, except that the cafe was closed. i still had to walk into town. by which time, i was drenched.

zooarchaeologist! next time, invite me in for coffee! i actually like st albans. except for the resident-only parking places. i don't like that.

wilkinsons is occupying a new important place for me, mme sg, and i may yet fondly yearn for £1 baking trays.

yeah heather! just what i thought! tell it to millets!