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!