They’ve ‘reorganised’ my local supermarket: the loo rolls are where the booze once was, shoe polish where there was tea; and one member of staff had to ask two others before they could find the spices – how stupid, I should have known they’d be near the DVDs.
It would be a nightmare; but for the fact that I quite enjoy shopping.
There’s a big danger if you’re a politician, still more if a Minister, of becoming detached from the lives of those whom you are supposed to represent.
Shopping is normal, a shared experience. If you like talking to people, as I do, it’s a way, too, of finding out what’s on people’s minds.
Whilst I don’t mind supermarkets, it’s shopping in markets which I most enjoy.
And the new Blackburn Market is best. I may be biased, but it’s true.
You’d be hard put to find a better market anywhere in the country.
Along with a really well thought-out design which shoppers plainly enjoy, what’s striking about the new Blackburn Market is the combination of quality and price.
For fresh food, it beats our leading supermarkets on both – for all the latter’s BOGOF offers, and other fancy tricks.
New potatoes – really tasty – for 99p a kilo; you couldn’t find the same in any supermarket for less than £1.49 a kilo.
Extra large eggs (most with double yolks), 99p for a half dozen – £1.60 at least in supermarkets.
At the end of August, two large punnets of strawberries for 99p.
My wife pronounced them the tastiest she had eaten this year.
They were twice this price in the supermarkets.
There’s a similar story on fish and meat: On virtually every item, whether it’s cheap cuts, expensive steak, fresh fish, the Blackburn Market’s on top.
I’m sure some supermarket chain will respond with their own price comparison, though I’ve been keeping one too – but they almost certainly won’t be comparing like with like.
And, in the market, if you want two sausages and no more you can get it.
On top of this, the stalls don’t move, and you’re not subject to the mind games of the supermarket chains.