for the love of Marks and Spencer

In Harpenden, there were five old ladies lined up on the bench waiting for the bus, and a small patch of grass ringed with flowers. It would have been easier to trod straight across to Marks and Spencer but there were five pairs of eyes on me, armed with sensible handbags and the odd umbrella. I never feel like cooking after a funeral. Marks and Spencer is a prepared food meca. They soften the blow with shelves of fresh berries in transparent boxes with a top row of double creams. From there you move to yogurts and juice, then breads and baps. And then row after refrigerated row of prepared food from every corner of the world. You can get a box for two of a complete Chicken tikka dinner with naan and onion baji or a tiny bowl of spaghetti already sauces with bolognese. No dinner takes more than three minutes in the microwave. There is a wall of wine and an aisle of chocolate. It’s a store for the very old and tired, the very young and tired, and me.

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