I am known among my friends as pretty dire when it comes to making shopping lists.


I do not subscribe to the idea that you should never go food shopping when you’re hungry. I only go food shopping when I’m hungry. If I wasn’t hungry, I’d come back with a packet of seeds, a magazine and a bunch of flowers. I need to be thinking ‘dinner’ in order to do anything approaching food shopping.

However, I have never eaten better in my adult life than when I did online food orders. I found whole aisles in the supermarket that I hardly knew existed. I started eating Greek yogurt and taking vitamin supplements. I never ran out of washing-up liquid.

At the time of the online shop, I was recovering from surgery and here we reach the second reason why online food shopping is tremendous: I could leave a note for the driver, asking him to bring the shopping into the house for me.

I was twenty-nine at the time and probably looked in pretty good shape. Apart from the walking stick. I probably seemed healthy enough to manage a few sacks of shopping.

Luckily, I had the nicest delivery guy imaginable and he not only brought the shopping into the house for me, he stacked it on the kitchen table so I wouldn’t have to lean down to pick it up. He even offered to unpack for me.

No one needs to know how much coffee I get through so I spared him that.

Having not lived through the appalling winter we had in this country in the early sixties (from what I’m told, there was snow for five solid months), I never learnt to drive on snow. Not properly. I can manage a slight dusting but anything deep enough to leave a footprint in, and I’m stuck.

I live between four hills. If it snows, I’m not getting out.

And yet, even in the thickest of weather, half a dozen delivery vans make it along my road pretty much every day. It’s comforting to know that, if it comes to it, if I’m broken by flu or it’s snowing, I don’t have to struggle to a shop. Someone in a brightly coloured van can bring chicken soup.