RogerBW's Blog

Everything is the New Sprouts, Briefly 14 February 2021

Shopping continues to be a bit strange.

I normally go shopping with a list of 20-30 items; for the last few trips, 2-3 of them have been missing. It seems to be quite random; free-range chickens gone, but battery and expensive free-range corn-fed still present. All frozen and fresh fish missing, and other things rearranged to cover the gaps. (Though this rearrangement is Lidl's usual policy, so that doesn't indicate much.) Naturally this phenomenon that began to happen at the start of 2021 must be entirely the fault of COVID rather than of anything else that affects the movement of goods into this country.

Most people are still wearing masks, most of them even over the nose too, though they're also still entirely incapable of keeping any sort of sensible distance. That is entirely my job, apparently, and I'm not allowed to use my half-spear to explain this to people.

(Which is one reason why I wear a mask when walking along the road rather than only putting it on when I go into a shop: if I come to a narrow bit of pavement and there's someone coming the other way, they certainly aren't going to step back and wait for me to get clear, and if I step back and wait for them then everyone else will push past. The other reason is that every time you apply or remove a mask is another opportunity for contamination.)

One person I know directly has had a first vaccine jab (as have several friends of friends), though of course with no promise about what or when the second will be. I assume I'm well down the list, and that's fair enough, though I do look forward to being able to meet people again in person.

The organisers of UK Games Expo are still talking about the possibility of a "socially distanced show" at the start of August (three weeks before Tabletop Scotland's planned date); neither show will say anything definite before April, which is fair enough. I can't really see publishers being willing to pay even more than the usual Expo eye-watering rates to exhibit at a smaller show with fewer people allowed in. Essen might still happen, but I'm not optimistic.


  1. Posted by Dr Bob at 04:40pm on 14 February 2021

    The corner shop suddenly stopped getting cucumbers, the 'bake it in the oven yourself' bread I like (made in France), and their huge range of soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, etc has dwindled to a couple of varieties and been replaced by UHT milk. They also suddenly had cherry tomatoes instead of normal sized tomatoes. And only had one variety of kitchen roll. My brother reports that his local shop in Aberdeen also suddenly wasn't stocking several things on his regular shopping list. And Tesco were going substitute crazy in his online order.

  2. Posted by J Michael Cule at 12:44pm on 15 February 2021

    I have a walking stick with a rubber end and I feel reasonably happy poking people who get too close with it.

    I'm not buying much at the shops nowadays: most of my calorie intake is in the shape of Miracles of Food Science delivered by the Try Our Crash Diet Company. (Alright, they're called Exante and their stuff is good enough that I'm likely on it for the rest of the year with occasional breaks like yesterday's for St Valentines.) And even they lost a shipment to me in a mysterious way. I can't think any one would commit theft for their powdered Shepherd's Pie Substitute though.

  3. Posted by RogerBW at 12:51pm on 15 February 2021

    I have to admit you're not making it sound wonderful, so I am now fractionally less likely to pinch it in transit. Congratulations!

  4. Posted by John P at 09:03pm on 15 February 2021

    Look on the bright side, we're not eating Soylent Green!

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