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THE EDITOR'S DIARIES - SATURDAY 8 JANUARY 2000
A Funny Time Of Day To Write A Diary

Do you ever wish you didn’t have to sleep?

It’s Saturday lunchtime and I’m writing the diary – it feels kind of odd as I’m usually a midnight writer. I wonder if it will all sound different in daylight.

I’ve got half an hour while Mivi is having her lunch then we’re off shopping. Which is a good place to start with catching up with the last two days.

If I’d managed to write this last night before I fell asleep the headline was going to be ‘A Spoonful of Ashes – are corner shops a dying breed?’

We live in Chapelfields in Coventry – there are five corner shops within 5 minutes walk. At 9.10am I just popped out to buy some quick provisions for Mivi’s lunch before she went to the childminder. All I wanted was some bread, some ham and a yoghurt. Nothing extravagant.

The first shop was closed. The second one didn’t have any ham and their bread wasn’t very fresh. The third had neither yoghurt nor ham. The fourth was now in totally the opposite direction. It was only Huttons that could suitably fill my shopping basket.

But Huttons, good store as it may be, is not your average corner shop. The other four are all family run – Huttons is part of a chain of ‘8 til late’ style shops.

Will the corner shops survive? What they should be about – or rather what they have been reduced to – is convenience. Providing that last minute essential at any time of day.

Where am I off to in a few minutes? The supermarket of course – Safeways or Sainsburys are my ‘locals’. If anyone remembers my deep green origins they may shout "hypocrisy – support the small shopkeeper – shop local – don’t use the car". I stand guilty on all those counts.

But the corner shop can’t even supply me with the basics much of the time. And we’d really like to buy organic which Safeway and Sainsburys both now stock in abundance. Safeway has a creche too which Mivi loves playing in – although as an editorial aside the steep recent price increase seems a foolhardy commercial move if the aim of the creche is as an added attraction to entice the child-laden family shopper.

I’ll go to Sainsburys today.

And next week I might just try Tesco. Online that is. They’ve just extended their online shopping facility to the CV postcode area. I’ll report back on that one soon – I hope they do organic.

What else have you missed in the last couple of days: time travel, tea rooms and tiredness.

I'll leave you with the opening lines of the first poem I ever wrote for an English class when I was fifteen:

Out of somewhere darkness deep
Comes that dreaded monster sleep.

It's sunny outside - I'll see you later.

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IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO MAKE COMMENT OR RAISE A QUESTION EMAIL ME AT chris@cwn.org.uk
  

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CWN / The Editor's Diaries / January 2000 / 8 January

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