Thursday, 25 June 2009

my name is chocolategirl and I'm a collector....

.... of other people's shopping lists.
It all began with this one
I found it under the floorboards of my old house, all crinkled and dusty and yellowed.
Written in blue and purple fountain pen and titled 'Weekend 22 + 23rd Aug; '53, George and Joan down for weekend (M,D + Mg, V at Butlins, Clacton).
Not only does it list everything they bought for their eating pleasures, it also chronicles the weekend events along with prices for train fares and treats ~
'8/- knickerbocker glories at Crescent'.
It's a beautiful snapshot of the times and a little bit of local history ~
'Sunday. NeverNeverland (walk along the front to Chalkwell in the morning)'.
The total cost *38/10* split down the middle ~
'we paid 19/2, George & Joan paid 19/8'.

This treasure switched on something in my brain.
The next time I was at the supermarket, I saw a piece of paper in the trolley.
And it started ....

.... my collection and compulsion to keep these discarded pieces of someone's life.
Little clues are left on an anonymous list ~ the handwriting, type of paper, things to buy, methodically scribbled out as they walked around the aisles, folded or scrunched, spelling mistakes, junk food, items underlined, extra instructions.
I make up images in my head of the person that wrote the list ~ older lady, widowed, careful about her diet, likes to keep herself youthful.

What sort of paper are you?
Pretty floral purpose made from a pad, with the heading 'shopping'.
A square of card cut from a teabag box.
An old birthday card or unused postcard.
Recycled envelopes or office a4 paper.

Do you write the list in a virtual tour of the aisles?
Fresh on one side ~ the rest on the other?
Long hand or block caps?
Most misspelled words are yoghurt and broccoli.

My boxful of paper lists has grown and I really should curb my habit. But it's not easy when I see that little piece of paper fluttering in the breeze at the outside trolley park of the supermarket ....


  1. Ooh that is so tempting - love all the usual list and then - ? Hat

  2. and 3 tomatoes ~ very specific along with 1 soda
    wonder what boutique =2 is all about?


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