A Lidl Bit Spoilt

June 5, 2009

All right, I admit that, ever since my return from my Disney exploits (and I promise I’m not going to tell you more about them, really!) I’ve been just a tiny bit spoilt. I’ve now just about given up expecting a buffet breakfast to be set before me when I totter downstairs of a morning, but I have become all too dependent on Waitrose’s jolly primary-coloured Ocado vans delivering delicious tomberries to my door.

Yesterday, I decided all that had to stop. It was time to go back to Lidl.

The first thing I realised was that you so have to be in training for the Lidl experience. I had forgotten all its quirks. It was boiling hot inside (no aircon) and the lighting was beyond Cell Block H cruel, in fact, it was actively vindictive, for a woman of my years, ahem maturity, ahem lack of botox. Luckily, there was absolutely no-one there I knew, but in these credit-crunchy times, you can’t be too sure any more. I’ve heard rumours – no doubt untrue – that someone looking a teeny tiny bit like my dear friend Dulwichmum has been spotted in close proximity to the Peckham Lidl. I don’t believe it myself.

Anyway, I always seem to get the same trolley, the one psychotically intent on destroying as many ankles as it can ram itself into, and most of my energy was devoted to containing its rampages but I did notice that there were large signs over almost all of my usual staples (chocolates, roasted almonds, parmesan cheese, dishwasher tablets) saying they had won various consumer prizes – the dishwasher tablets, for example, were recommended by Which?, the chopped tomatoes had topped a Prima poll and the salami was heartily endorsed by Horse and Hound (no, not really!).

I was a little miffed that all my favourites have been discovered and even wondered whether they’ll sell out – until I got to the check-out, and discovered that I’d left all my bags in the car (again!!). The only boxes around had tiny sides, so everything fell out. In the car park, the trolley anti-theft device kicked in abruptly before I got to my car, meaning that I couldn’t shift the thing an inch, and had to get the bags out of the car, take them over to the trolley, fill them and then pack the boot, all while being watched by a large Dobermann who’d been left in the car next door and was being driven wild by the tempting aroma of prize-winning salami. Gah! They’ll never sell out. To wressl with Lidl is way too much hassl.

In other news, we’re loving our HP Photosmart printer, which is about as unLidlike as you can get. It’s sleek, top of the range, and works beautifully thus far, though we haven’t put it through its paces extensively. Despite my fears, it was very easy to install and connect, and doesn’t need a wire to be connected to the computer – though, with my hatred of visible technological devices, this doesn’t mean that it’s been liberated from the computer corner. The HP booklet says optimistically that you can put the printer in pride of place on the kitchen table!! No, no, no. It’s staying in the corner the printer always goes in.

Mysteriously for such a sophisticated beast, it has an integral fax machine. This seems like such an old money idea, rather like a spaceship having a horse and carriage attached. Does anyone send faxes any more? I remember the breathless excitement when the office I worked in got a fax – years ago. But now?

The scanner is quite another matter. I had braced myself for complicated extra installation and was reluctant to use it, until I looked it up in the instruction manual (a last resort, obviously) and it said ‘to scan, press Start Scan button.’ I did and, blimey, it scanned! Whatever will they think of next?

There are various other things you can do with the printer, like downloading greetings cards and printing mugs, and we will get round to them all. For the moment, though, one of our greatest excitements is to print off perfect lined paper. For some reason, Child One and Child Two are always desperate for lined paper and I never manage to buy it. Having a machine that prints it out for us is almost as exciting as having a chocolate factory next door. I said ALMOST!

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  • dulwichmum June 5, 2009 at 7:54 am

    I very beg your pardon sweetie. I once skipped up the isles of Aldi in Sydenham (I had a German au pair at the time and she begged me to take her)… Anything else you hear is a damned lie (stamps foot)…

    Gosh but haven't times changed in Dulwich? Will it ever be the same?

  • Exmoorjane June 5, 2009 at 8:00 am

    No Lidl round here, nor Ocado deliveries either.. so sort of struggling with the images but sounds pretty vile (apart from the Doberman). But your printer, on the other hand….woweeee – Think I might need one of those. Mine is circa 1990 (seriously) and sits unplugged in the corner (with Adrian getting hacked off because everything I wanted printed I email up to him)….

  • Coding Mamma (Tasha) June 5, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    We are Lidl-less here, though my sister used to go when she worked in Gloucester and would come back with lots of continental olives and biscuits.

    Award for you over at mine.

  • rosiero June 5, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    The other disadvantage to Lidl is that you are expected to pack up at the check-out at break-neck speed. They must get a bonus for how many customers they can check out in a single minute! But I do love the herring salads and huge jars of olives and all the German things I miss after our time living there. So the occasional desertion of Sainsburys or Waitrose is worth it, darling.

    Your printer sounds just what I need. Did you get that from Lidl too? You need a PhD to fathom out how to work ours! It has got to go.

  • Suburbia June 6, 2009 at 2:31 am

    Lidl beckons me daily. So far I have managed to grit my teeth and ignore the constant nagging………

  • A Woman Of No Importance June 7, 2009 at 10:29 am

    I adore LIDL, the Germans won't buy rubbish, you know…

    We bought an early digital camera from there, and it's practically bomb-proof for all it cost!

  • dulwich divorcee June 8, 2009 at 3:53 am

    Darling DM, I just knew it was a vile rumour. I think it was probably spread by some of your former au pairs, they seem to have set up a sort of encampment on the border with Nunhead (don't tell NMO!!). Yes, times have changed. I am thinking of having a – gasp – staycation this summer …

  • dulwich divorcee June 8, 2009 at 3:56 am

    Hi EJ, poor you sans Ocado and iPhone!! You simply have to move ….either that or I will send you Red Cross parcels of tomberries …yes, printer is fab, but your way sounds less hassle!

  • dulwich divorcee June 8, 2009 at 3:57 am

    Oooh, CM, haven't really tried the olives, may pop out after I've popped over to yours for my award, so exciting! Huge thank-you in advance xx

  • dulwich divorcee June 8, 2009 at 4:00 am

    Hi Rosiero, I think herring might be a taste I'm not going to acquire at this stage ….the printer is a loner from the nice people at HP, which I completely forgot to mention, I must put that right …completely fab but I am beginning to suspect it might cost as much as the total contents of my local Lidl, plus trollies and assistants …

  • dulwich divorcee June 8, 2009 at 4:00 am

    Oh, Suburbia, give in! You know you want to …..x

  • dulwich divorcee June 8, 2009 at 4:02 am

    AWONI, I know, I partly go to see all the non-food items, always a source of wonderment …we've had a couple of good painting sets and a waffle iron!

  • dulwichmum June 8, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    OMG! "Staycation"! I may just be having a staycation of my own (sigh). Could I be so bold as to ask you to change my link to I left Blogspot a little while ago and so the link has changed.

  • dulwich divorcee June 9, 2009 at 2:23 am

    DM, I'm mortified. I asked my handyman to do that yonks ago. Tsk! That's the trouble with taking pity on all these unemployed bankers lying around the Village these days ….xx

  • The wife of bold June 23, 2009 at 9:50 am

    We don't have a lidl (wha wha) but Aldi has finally won me over…if it's good enough for phil Vickory, then it's good enough for moi! I was amazed that they actually sold the brand nutella not just the cheapy versions, and with cherries at 49p a pop i'm now converted!