RogerBW's Blog

Sprouts are the New Flour 19 April 2020

Not that I shop in person very often anyway. But it's gone a bit strange.

Decent-quality webcams vanished from Amazon the moment people in the UK started to take this seriously. I'll believe it's over when they're back in stock.

I went out again on 9 April. Last time in Lidl, two weeks earlier, people had been keeping their distance; this time they really weren't, though a few of them had basic masks on.

Everywhere that wasn't Lidl was enforcing shop capacity limits and sensible distances in queues. And people were rather better at staying away from each other, too. Perhaps having to wait with separation helps remind them of it before they go into the shop?

Good for Morrison's, too: a unified queue for the checkouts. Slightly less good that, I'm sure entirely by coincidence, the queue went up and down the chocolate and sweeties aisles.

As I was approaching Tesco, a young matron emerged exclaiming "I’m never going in there again", only with more glo'al stops. So I decided not to.

Still no flour. Not for bread, not for anything else. Last time there was cornflour available; not any more. I saw some terrifically special organic coconut flour, which I suspect only the desperate would touch. I've ordered a large sack from an online retailer.

And Brussels sprouts were missing everywhere. Lots of other veg, but no sprouts. Had somebody on Facebook told people there would be a shortage? The next day, back in stock.

Loudwater Can Take It:

Golfers. Never happy unless they're telling people what to do.

An actually polite version might have been: "Welcome to all the new people using the public rights of way over this golf course. Many parts of the course can easily be damaged by the wrong footwear, so please stay on the paths."

  1. Posted by Owen Smith at 02:05pm on 19 April 2020

    Plenty of flour in Holmfirth, we got self raising, plain, and pizza flour. There was strong flour for bread but we didn't need any. Broccoli seems to be the veg permanently out of stock here.

    The supermarkets here are Aldi, Lidl, Coop and a small Sainsbury's. Of those Lidl is the best organised and they had screens up at the checkouts two weeks before the others. I suspect a lot is down to the staff at the individual shop. None of them are terrible, the Sainsbury's is struggling a bit due to the small size of the shop.

    My brother plays golf. After trying joining some clubs, he decided to only play at municipal courses and pay to play for the day. He says golf clubs are full of stuck up gits who think they're better than everyone else. He makes a point of telling people where the public rights of way are across the various golf clubs, which most of the clubs have spent the last 30 years trying to get closed or accidentally parking rollers or other machinery in front of. Oh yes and only one of the golf clubs round here allows women to join as full members and play on any day, the rest allow wives and partners to play on one or two days mid week and that's it.

  2. Posted by DP at 07:10am on 22 April 2020

    Flour shortage in Victoria, BC (Canada) for last 3 weeks. I hear people stuck at home are doing a lot of baking!

    No vitamin C supplements for multiple weeks.

    Toilet paper rationed per customer but available again last 3 weeks.

    Fresh fruit available but selection a bit spotty. Canned vegetables much more hit and miss. All rice and many varieties of noodles sold out!

    No problem with dairy (except in first week of panic) but all chicken sold out at the supermarket. Might be related to an outbreak at a regional processing plant.

  3. Posted by RogerBW at 09:24am on 22 April 2020

    Toilet paper seems to be becoming generally available again in the UK, not that I've needed to get any because we'd just bought the usual big pack before all this started.

    The flour seems likely to be a supply-chain thing (I'm seeing the shelves getting unformly dusty, not with small piles as if people had been buying the packs as soon as they came in). I've heard a claim that the small paper sacks are not available, which seems very plausible given that the 16kg sack I ordered arrived with no problems… but there's been no particular interruption to the supply of sugar, which is sold in similar sacks.

    Still, the entire point of just-in-time inventory management is that it's just in time and there's no elasticity to cope with unexpected events.

    Dark Rumours of an upcoming egg shortage being spread by people who ought to know better.

  4. Posted by Dave at 06:38pm on 10 May 2020

    FYI The Flackwell Heath Golf Club are being quite accommodating - we can walk anywhere on the longer grass, but requested to stay off the shorter stuff. (Not quite sure if they just mean tees and greens, but we're trying to stay off the fairways too.)

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