Thursday, September 27, 2007

There is no Piggly Wiggly in Beaconsfield

We were moving in. The day had finally arrived and I was breathless with excitement. The moving in you have to understand, was much faster than the settling in. It only took a day for them to unload the moving van, but it took me weeks to unpack the boxes and find a place for everything. Also, I found that in this wonderful house we had stumbled across, there was an actual box room. It was more like a huge walk in closet constructed for storage and it was a wonderful thing. It was paneled in cedar, so all the woolens and blankets would be stored in here and be safe from the dreaded moth, something I found was feared here as well as at home. Well, in the States, as this was home for now. I had walked into the small shopping area outside our village to pick up a few things. I found the Wavy Mart, a sort of grocery store where you could find nearly everything. There was Green Grocer next door where you purchased, well, green groceries and fruits. It was here that I found out the common turnip that I wished to purchase was called a Swede . A swede? And my wonderful purple eggplant was an aubergine. The butcher shop was like stepping back into time. (I was used to the large grocery stores with quaint names like "The Piggly Wiggly" and "Bi-Lo" and "Food Lion". You went into one of these mega shops and bought your groceries. Everything. Milk, bread, eggs, meat rice, potatoes...just everything.) Here, there were specialty shops. Now I already knew from my reading of English writers that the German Shepherd was actually called an Alsatian since the Great War. I really didn't understand that, although I did understand why the Royal Family finally picked themselves a British name. Oh, I love the Royal Family, I loved The Queen and the Queen Mum and often stood at the road waiting for the Royal Convoy to come through on the way to or from Windsor. But , in the shops I was learning that while we speak the same language, we don't actually speak the same language. I went into the Tobacco shop to arrange for the delivery of the Daily Mail (I loved that newspaper, mainly because no naked women graced its pages to undermine my authority with my two sons). I called the Dairy to arrange for the Milkman to DELIVER MILK TO THE HOUSE! My God, I had arrived in civilization and I was just discovering the depth of it. Milk delivery. A Milkman. Mr. Gwaltney was his name and he was quite nice. I didn't tell him that his family on the other side of the pond were wealthy meat packers...Gwaltney's Bologna, Hams and Bacon...I was afraid that he would up and leave willy nilly for the states and then who would bring my milk and EGGS, my Lord, did I tell you I had stumbled into civilization? Milk and eggs, delivered to my front door, with a warning...be up early to get the milk in because the cream rises to the top and the birds peck through the foil lid to lap the cream. My God I had landed in fairy land. The milk is not Homogenized into a tasteless stream of what otherwise would be white water. I could pour a bit of cream into my morning coffee (alright, I love the Country, I admit it, but give up my morning coffee for tea? Let's get real here. I didn't give up coffee for pregnancy.) And then he closed the deal with informing me he would also deliver Mother's Pride Bread! If not for the fact that we are meat eaters, I would almost never have to leave the house to shop for groceries. I'm telling you, we are the deprived ones here. Why were we so anxious to cut the ties with the Motherland? Were we out of our tiny minds? Please excuse the excitement here, but I think I may be planning a move. My eye is twitching and my heart is pounding. The only think keeping me in my seat is this. Unfortunately I never had a decent cup of coffee outside my own house the entire time we were there. I am afraid there lies a deal breaker. Well, it was a wonderful thought while it lasted. I am quite sure that WTHF is going to be pleased not to be moving again.

9 comments:

Sophie Honeysuckle said...

Now that's another cultural difference between us! I had no idea that you don't get milkman deliveries in the States! Down my road, we also get the vegetable man deliveries weekly too, also meats and fish if you want them!Although, looking at it from your eyes, it does seem kind of 'step-back-in-timish' doesn't it lol!!

Sandi McBride said...

Step back in time? It's like another world completely...look at all the convenience we've given up for...CONVENIENCE? Where did we get off the path?

Abbie said...

I love this, I have a feeling I would have been happy in England. Deliveries??? Ah, what joy just wishing we had that here in the states.
We do don't we. You go online, pick out your groceries and get them delivered? I think that's how it works.

Kari said...

I don't know if I would have seen the milk and egg thing as a bonus, to be honest. I won't even eat brown-shelled eggs because they look too "fresh farmish". lol What can I say? I like my eggs from a nice blue styrofoam carton and my milk homogenized into blandness. It's how I was raised!

Sophie Honeysuckle said...

Me again! I was confused by Abbie's comment, does that mean you CAN get all your groceries and shopping online? That's very popular here to shop at the big supermarkets online and book in a time to get your shopping delivered, but that's different from the milkman etc who aren't online. You just pop in and arrange deliveries. Another burning question from me-see told you I'm obsessed Sandi lol!!

Sandi McBride said...

Okay, now I live in the sticks here, my grocery people don't know what a computer is and if you ask them if they ae on line, they'd want to know for what. Maybe in large cities you can get that done, haven't heard of it...small stores USED to deliver, but that was before there was mugger on every corner instead of a chicken in every pot.

Wanda said...

I'd love to have the small shops instead of the mega stores. But it is fun to say, "I'm going to The Pig".

Jodie Adams said...

Oh my goodness, I remember the Piggly wiggly. They had one in the town I lived in when I was in elementary school. They had little barrel drinks that I loved. How funny? Oh yeah and sorry I've been MIA again. Nick got home and I have been feeling rather lazy. Forgive me. I will be better this week.

Country Cottage Chic said...

I'm sitting here with my cup of TEA enjoying your story - but you know, we do get good coffees these days - we even have...dare I say it..Starbucks - we've been invaded!

By the way - I've posted the Christmas cake recipe as requested.