Asdal turned up trumps for the basics, such as crumpets, Dungeness crab and eggs which contain egg, but Wild Swans by Jung Chang, foot spas and The Full Monty (VHS) were all out of stock.
Fortunately Outer Spaceman had reminded us that all of these items are readily available in any charity shop, so I immediately took myself over to Staple Hill, a borough of Bristol which contains the highest density of charitable outlets in the South West. Staple Hill’s short high street boasts, amongst others, a Red Cross, a British Heart Foundation, a PDSA, a Cancer Research, a Marie Curie, a Barnardo’s, an Age Concern, an RSPCA, a Salvation Army, a Save the Children, a Scope, a Sense, a Sue Ryder, a Mary Beard, a National Bullying Helpline, a Meerkat Rehabilitation Society, a Relative Poverty Affirmative Action Squad but strangely, no Oxfam.
Naturally I found everything I needed in the Red Cross, but imagine my surprise as, driving out of that OAP’s Mecca, I saw the cement mixers, the men in hard hats, a rubbled Ground Zero where the Woolies and Blockbuster used to be, and growing in their place the skeleton of a colossus, and plastered across screens the ominous banner: “Opening Soon – Tesco Wild Swans and Foot Spa MegaPlatz”. Where, I wondered, is Paul Kingsnorth when you need him?