Tuesday, 2 July 2013

A trip to the supermarket

Today's writing exercise comes from The Creative Writing Handbook from my Open University course: write about a trip to the supermarket. So here's what I came up with...

Once she’d finally managed to park after several tours of the car park, Ellie cursed the millions of people who chose to live in London, always making everything so difficult. Then the reality hit her of what it would be like inside. Not a carefree float down spacious aisles perusing delicious delights at her leisure. Oh no, it would be heaving on a Friday evening. People crashing into her trolley, pushing past her without even acknowledging that she exists, and then the endless queues in endless traffic jams on the way home. This is why she gets the shopping delivered. This is also why she should move out of London. This is why it is very annoying that Nan has turned up out of the blue for an ‘at least a couple of nights’ stay.
The slam of the car door was so loud that lots of shoppers glanced over quickly before looking away again even faster. Ellie stomped towards the door then grabbed a big trolley and, for the first time in several months, walked into the big Waitrose. Her shoulders inched higher with every step as the glow of the strip lighting welcomed her in. But then she realised that it wasn’t so bad. Not as busy as you’d expect considering the car park fiasco. As the perfectly formed fresh fruit and veg appeared before her, Ellie’s shoulders retreated, just slightly, back the way they had just came. She wouldn’t let it get to her; she would make the most of this. Convenient as online shopping is, to feel and smell things then choose the fresh food herself, was a rare treat. Ignoring the Friday frenzy going on around her, Ellie headed straight to the fish counter. No point starting with the veg as what she needed to get there would be dictated by what it needed to go with. But as she approached Ellie could see the big queue and an already depleted fish counter. Deep breaths. This is a treat.
She went back to the pre-packed fish instead. Not brilliant but then Nan wouldn’t appreciate it anyway. Even if it’s been cooked perfectly and seasoned like fish has never been seasoned before, Nan will just shovel it in then say it was OK, a bit dry. She thinks I should have taken on board everything she taught me about cooking when I was growing up: boil it all until all flavour has departed; then got myself a husband, a mortgage and a couple of kids, instead of these fancy pants ideas above my station I’ve ended up with. Ellie shook her head; she couldn’t believe she was letting it happen so quickly. So what if Nan doesn’t like the way she lives her life. She stopped caring whether she did or not a long time ago. Still, she’d get really nice ingredients and wine to go along with the cod to make up for it being from a packet. Bruce will appreciate the food after all and she needs to make it up to him.

Grabbing a packet of raw king prawns and a salmon steak, Ellie decided that a fish pie was in order. Tasty, comforting and needs a fairly lengthy time in the kitchen. Nan will be happy in front of the TV for a couple of hours and Bruce and I can drink some delicious wine while we cook . By the time we have to sit down and endure the meal accompanied by a healthy dose of Nan’s always happy and uplifting news we’ll be floating on a calm sea of white that even she won’t be able to stir.

' Can I get to that shelf?'

Ellie’s hackles rose at the man’s tone but she just moved off without even looking. No point. Even if she said sorry it wouldn’t make any difference. She’d annoyed him by lingering around thinking for too long. She did it to people all the time. She didn’t move fast enough for London, even after all these years. Funny that she could work so quickly when she needed to, thrived on it really, but then so slow the rest of the time. Head in the clouds is what Grandad had always said, then ruffled her hair and smiled at her in a way that told her that was the best way to be.

Do let me know what you think of it! Or if you have any prompts for me to write to tomorrow.


  1. Nice story Amanda :) London sure moves fast I must say.. :)..

  2. Hi Sunita, thanks for stopping by and reading my writing exercise. Glad you like it and yes, London is very fast indeed. Which is why I moved away! :-)