EDitorial ± 29-Jun-2012
Things You Didn't Know You Didn't Need
Mum's not with us anymore but we still enjoy our Saturday outings to Got The Lot. She's less vocal now and I can park where I want. You can tell from her tin that she likes being out and about.
Best part of a year now since she passed. Funny thing is that, if she was still around, Mum would know exactly when it was. She had a head for dates.
That Saturday - bright as you like - Mum had her cornflakes and I had my croissants, two of those pricey Finest ones. Of a weekend, I like to push the boat out a bit. It would have been nice to share a four-pack with Mum. Better value, too. She'd tried one once with her jam. "Not my thing, David," she'd announced after a tentative bite. I'd finished hers. Waste not, want not.
At 11 o'clock, give or take, we’d headed out to the car. Dad used to drive us. Then Mum used to drive me. Now I drive her.
Got The Lot is on the edge of town. Dad didn't like coming here. He called it Things You Didn't Know You Didn't Need. He'd point to the pile under the sideboard - a juicer, some cork tiles, never mind the rest - then say: "Are we off to fetch more Things..."
Mum would interrupt: "I haven't got round to taking those back yet." So, when poor Dad's heart packed up, we carried on our excursions and it was easier to find a free table in the caff.
The car park was heaving. "Shame," Mum said, winking at me. "I thought we might have the place to ourselves." We crawled past the prize spots. "Let's go round again." Fifteen minutes later we nabbed a corker outside the entrance. "That, David," she said, "is a peach.”
Once inside we did our usual tour from candles through picture frames to soft furnishings. Midday meant lunchtime. Upstairs was the in-store restaurant - "the caff," Mum called it - and we managed to grab a good table. Mum perused the specials, then chose the soup and roll. I went for the jacket with chicken curry.
My potato was good. "Go on, Mum," I said, "try some curry, it won't kill you."
"Since you're my only son," she said, and took a teaspoonful. She grabbed her throat, smiled, and slid to the floor. I thought she was messing around. She could be wicked, my Mum.
Before I knew it, there were paramedics all over the shop. One of them, George, said it was her heart and that she'd most likely recover in the ambulance. I could tell she'd gone.
Got The Lot were really nice about it, even letting me keep the bits we bought that day for free, including a stripy tin that Mum had picked out. She’s in there now.
Saturday, touch of rain in the air, and me and Mum’s tin are off to Got The Lot. I wonder if they'll have curry on today?