Right before I left for the US in April Stephen bought a car. Having a car in London is still a new experience for me. For example, this conversation happened on Saturday:
Stephen: Do you want to stop at Sainsbury’s?
Me: Why? For what?
Stephen: Um, food?
Me: But I go to Sainsbury’s on Monday.
Stephen: We have a car now, you don’t have to walk to Sainsbury’s anymore.
Suddenly I had visions of myself rocking back and forth Rain Man-style on the floor of Harrod’s (because that place brings out the worst in me), muttering, “But it’s Monday, I go to Sainsbury’s on Monday.” I didn’t realize how dependent I was on my grocery shopping routine until it was almost taken away from me. So we drove to Sainsbury’s on Saturday — which is much more crowded than on a Monday — but I still insisted on going again today because I finally decided on what meals to make this week, and because today is Monday, and on Monday I go to Sainsbury’s.
I also went because — get this — there is a new grocery store in town. I go away for two months and an Iceland pops up in my neighborhood. I had to check it out. Turns out they don’t carry the cuisine of Reykjavik (whatever that may be), but they specialize in frozen foods (get it? Ice land). That’s right, friends, an entire grocery store that just sells frozen stuff. And you thought Americans were lazy!
When we first moved to London we went through a frozen/microwave meal phase, because we didn’t have any pots and pans for what seemed like months as we waited for our ocean freight to arrive. I used to see adverts for Iceland back then and thought, “Wow, look at all the ready-meal choices! I want to go to there! Why isn’t there an Iceland near me?” And now there is! So I stopped in on my way to Sainsbury’s.
It was incredibly new-looking — bright lights, stark white walls. And aisle upon aisle of frozen stuff. Their website totes the amazingness of frozen food (“Freezing is a natural process and does not usually require the use of any preservatives”). While I’ve been trying to cook more, relying on fresh ingredients, sometimes I’m lazy — and freezing is natural! (Ha ha). I wandered around and picked up a few items to test them out. I was surprised to find the one frozen food item I eat every day — frozen fruit for my smoothie — they had a limited selection of. They did have better prices on spinach and cherries, both of which weren’t frozen (they have a tiny non-frozen section). I guess my life isn’t very exciting lately when a new grocery store is the highlight of my week. I’ll have to test everything I bought to decide whether Monday will be deemed Sainsbury’s AND Iceland day.
*”That’s why mums go to Iceland” is Iceland’s slogan and apparently a favourite to parody in the UK.