I always try to get to Aldi when they open at eight  it takes three minutes to drive there so I leave at 7.50 and usually arrive to a near deserted forecourt. Not so on a Saturday. All disabled spots in the car park are filled and there is a small crowd of impatient characters waiting for the grand opening. They shuffle their feet restively –I’ve often seen people outside pubs of a Sunday in the bad old days, eager faced perusing their watches. Twitchy. I remember myself on one terrible Sunday when the clocks changed and I arrived just in time for last orders to be called, chagrin! We, naturally had a major blaming session between ourselves and successfully ruined a perfectly good day. Those were the days eh?

And to be fair the first person I saw today exiting as I entered had a large trolley full of booze but most of the crowd were food shopping. Saturday us clearly the day of choice and the crowd is various. There are tiny women with trolleys that look bigger than themselves filled with food – I always spot something I have missed and am tempted to dive back to get it – causing a rupture in the proceedings at the till. Today I had forgotten my bags which languished in the boot. I didn’t even TRY to go for them but stuffed the trolley full of my eclectic cargo. Nobody looked askance, and why would they? Though once at Waitrose when I left the shop with a trolley full, some impertinent female told me she hoped I had paid for that, I gave her a suitably dusty answer and I was delighted to see her facial rivet and change hue toward purple.New vocabulary madame?

You get a better class of person at Aldi!

I divide the people into rushers and lingerers. I am a wannabee speed freak but get absorbed in articles for the garden, things I hardly recognise. Even the kids’ stuff fascinates me & the underclothes too, socks & oddly formed shoes – for oddly shaped feet? I take time over my choice of flowers as I calculate between the longevity of Chrisanths with the undoubted joy of roses, today I lashed out a mixed bunch for four quid at least a pound more than usual – beautiful days bring out the magnanimous in me. So my progress is fairly stately.

Time to peruse my fellow shoppers. There are a few ancient chaps doddering and meandering with time to spare – that’s what they think! But mostly men bring their corporations along as they watch the missus, also large as she does her stuff. Too early, praise be, for the onslaught of fractious brats bored out of their minds and kicking off- these come later. A few people just come for the cheapo booze and student types load up with beer but not this early. There are couples who have their strategy down to a fine art, swiftly one loads while the other works the trolley. I admire these characters with their lists and lack of hesitation – in and out in fifteen minutes. Brilliant.

The staff are young and very effective, kept on their toes by firm management and a stipulated  length  of time for each customer at the till. Thus speed is of the essence and you are outsourced at a remarkable speed that occasionally leaves me dizzy. But they are all pleasant and friendly though with very little time to chat. I enjoy my early morning Aldi events in part because it makes me feel virtuous for the rest of the day, no matter what mischief I get up to. Also I dislike queuing and it makes me bitter. I don’t actually approve of my thoughts of mass murder when in a queue for any length of time…..

Now, back home with my lovely stewed tea I can relax. And share with you all, or all of my acceptable thoughts on Aldi & shopping.

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