Rebecca Armstrong: I've never been to a supermarket so often in one week


FreeView from the editors at i

Share
Related Topics

I went to the shop and I bought ...

Anadin, bananas, coffee, disposable razors, Evian, fruit smoothies, grapes, hand cream, ice cream for my nephew, junk food, a KitKat, lots of tea bags, magazines, newspapers, omelette ingredients, pay-and-display tickets. It sounds like the game you play on long car journeys but it's actually just some of the stuff I've purchased in the past week since racing to my in-laws' house after one of them was taken seriously ill and rushed to hospital.

If going through what I've been buying sounds heartless, I don't mean it to - it's just that sitting in the visitors' room outside intensive care for hours gives you time to think about life, the universe, everything - and shopping lists are a welcome distraction from big, scary thoughts. There's nothing to do except wait, fret, wait, fret ...

That's when sweets, hot drinks and magazines help, not just consuming them but going to find them. I have never been to the supermarket so many times in one week but thank God there's a mega-Sainsbury's near the hospital. It has meant that there is somewhere to go for half-an-hour a day and feel useful, buying something for dinner so my mother-in-law can keep her strength up, sourcing spare socks and shampoo because my husband and I left London in such a hurry, meaning our packing left a lot (underwear, toiletries ...) to be desired, picking up some fruit so the entire family doesn't eat its collective bodyweight in chocolate. By walking to the supermarket, it means we can't buy more supplies than we can carry, giving us a reason to go foraging the next day.

Normal service has been suspended while we wait for the doctor to bring news, life has slowed down and spending on meals on the run, hospital car parks and soft drinks is up. Some things haven't changed though - my brother-in-law is still taking the mickey out of me (Fraser, if the hospital sold maps I WOULD buy one, just to stop you cackling at my non-existent sense of direction every time we leave intensive care).

Fingers (toes, arms, legs) crossed, the worst has passed. Hopefully, my father-in-law will soon be well enough to be the one wanting magazines, newspapers, grapes and sweets to help pass the time, and we can be left to turn our attention to buying things to make him, rather than ourselves, feel better.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Home Care / Support Workers

£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...

Recruitment Genius: Web Team Leader

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

Recruitment Genius: Client Manager

£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...

Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Separate lives: Boston’s streets illustrate the divide between the town’s communities  

Migrants have far more to offer than hard work and wealth creation, yet too many exist in isolation from the rest of society

Emily Dugan
Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird has sold 40 million copies  

Go Set a Watchman: Harper Lee’s new novel is more than just a literary event

Joseph Charlton
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate