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

Tradewind Recruitment: KS2 Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is a two form entry primary schoo...

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's Letter: Science versus religion in the three-parent baby debate

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
Kylie has helped to boost viewing figures for the talent show  

When an Aussie calls you a ‘bastard’, you know you’ve arrived

Howard Jacobson
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee