Archives for posts with tag: middle class shopping

This image is a work of the National Institutes of Health, part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain. Via Wikimedia Commons.

At the bottom of my road is a lovely green space poetically known as Cherry Tree Wood. Like the promised verdant idyll of Heather Green (explored in my poem of the same name) the Cherry Tree’s title is slightly deceptive. There are neither cherries nor much of a wood, unless you count the encalve of tress at the far end as woodland. But it is still a wonderful spot for adolescent boys to ride their bicylces and play football, for parents to bring their children to the playpark, for mums and toddlers to have playdates. Young lovers disappear into that shadey enclave and perspiring fitness hopefuls meet with their personal trainers alongside the tennis courts. Dog walkers greet each other by name and, since the newly refurbished café has re-opened, sometimes they stop for a coffee or juice.

Cherry Tree Wood is a rare site for mostly uncommercial communal gathering. The local schools make use of it for fresh-air time. After outings to the Phoenix, the reputable local indie cinema, the schoolgroups picnic on the grass before shepherding small groups of the children to the nearby facilities. It was from observing such a group on their outing that the poem ‘Packed Lunches’ came into being.

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Saturday 14th Jan.             Yesterday I met

a friendly piebald cat and ladders.

So today I took the plunge:

£299 on Strand. Friday the 13th

 

passed unscathed.          If I don’t spend

the money now, it won’t be anymore.

A dinky 11.6” this HP Pavilion (dm1-4020sa):

£299 on Strand. Sunday morning, 00:05

 

15th Jan. one two.            I’ll get the job

and find the flat. This is that year!

My laptop will bring all of this at

£299 from Strand.

 

Reminiscent in tone and spirit of “Now here is something to marvel at…,” the poem above (which comes from the same time period) echoes a recurring personal obsession with the cost of things. It’s a very middle class trait, which has provided me with poetic material on prices and bank balances.

At the moment my local chain grocery store is offering 2 for £1 on boxes of green tea (20 bags; usually priced at 80p, which is up from the 60p they used to cost). At the risk of providing free advertising, it’s that giant with the orange logo. But then last week I spent £3,99 – the equivalent of two plus bus fares, a tube journey into town, three weeks’ worth of soya milk – at the local florist on a pot of bluebells for myself.  At the moment I would balk at spending £3,99 on cosmetics. But after a couple of days planning and sleeping on it, if I just plunge and don’t think, I’ll spend it on a pot of bluebells or (as I did recently) a ticket to a Xu Bing exhibition.   

I found a red and white chequered tablecloth that evokes a laid table from a sunny Bonnard painting. With my bluebells in the corner, I catch a glimpse of an imaginary Provence in spring bloom and my inner bohemian’s budgeting priorities. 

I’ve been writing poetry since 1999. You can read selected poems in my volume “Shining in Brightness,” which is available for preview at Blurb Books.

Follow me on Twitter as @BeadedQuill. I tweet regularly about chasing my bohemian dream while trying to live a middle class, suburban existence.