- Any dependables
- A mode of transport
- Colouring in, (for dependables)
- Felt tip pens, every colour X amount of children (to avoid fighting)
- Your local supermarket caff
Get yourself and dependables in/on mode of transport. Travel to nearest supermarket caff. Relax. Order something with chips. Stare into space whilst everything is done for you. Go home to clean kitchen just as you left it. No washing up. Feel happy.
Most Thursdays we go to Morrisons for tea after swimming lessons. After the first time, I swore we’d never go back. The stew tasted sweet; there was no soya for me cuppa; and the stained fabri-plastic seats are….rank.
And yet the next Thursday came round and I found myself here again. Since then it’s become a habit and I really look forward to it.
I sit with an empty head and a cup of tea, occasionally helping the kids with colouring in (you should try it, it’s like therapy), or a wordsearch; and everyone is calm and gets on. Daisy starts sentences with things like: “I shouldn’t be telling you this, but…” and volunteers all the latest gold from school without me even asking.
Best of all, I’m not racing around trying to keep on top of the endless cycle of housework; of feeding and cleaning and washing up. My mind is calm. Morrisons is like meditation in the most unlikely of places.
There are other benefits: it’s cheap. Dirt cheap. Five pounds to be precise. For that we get :
- a mug of Clipper tea
- tropicana apple juice x 2
- salmon, chips & peas
- Fish & chips x 2
- Fruit pudding x 2
You couldn’t buy the ingredients for that! It’s supposed to be buy ONE adult meal, get ONE child free which would make it £8; but every week, no matter what we order, it’s £5. The young lad on the till taps furiously away on the keys then looks up smiling: “Five pounds, please.” I’ve tried chucking in a few sauces (10p each), he puts it all through: “Five pounds, please”. I’m tempted to go mad and add a trifle portion to see how far he will go.
There are some down-sides to Morrisons though. Don’t expect haute cuisine; and the clientele can be interesting. There’s the old woman with the Silver Cross pram and the two plastic babies. She stands joggling them as her food goes cold. Then there’s the guy on the mobility scooter who talks loudly to himself (maybe where Ollie’s phobia comes from?!)
One week I’d kind of had enough so I told the kids we were going to a more up market venue for dinner: Sainsbury’s. You’d think I’d suggested eating gruel for tea. They threw themselves on the floor and sobbed about how much they loved Morrisons: the free colouring in (with wax crayons in only primary colours); and the revolving door; and the discounted buns we get from the bakery afterwards. They see none of the things I see and I like that.
So there it is. If you want to find us from 5.30pm on a Thursday, we will be in Morrisons for the foreseeable future. I suggest you sometimes do the same.