I’ll have to stop going to the big Tesco. Any supermarket that requires binoculars and a stepladder to see the cereal aisle is too much to take on without a Sherpa or at the very least a golf buggy.
Last time I was at the Danestone store an assistant pointed towards the Coco Pops shelf but unfortunately due to the curvature of the Earth I couldn’t see it as it had dipped below the horizon.
Confining myself to within a half-mile radius, I found the next best thing, but let me tell you, I’m not happy about giving a kid a handful of Lindor Milk Chocolates for breakfast.
It’s really just a gateway to becoming hooked on ready-made Finest Potato Dauphnoise with Sausage Cassoulet for lunch – or whatever else I can reach that doesn’t involve hitting my 20,000 steps in a single grocery shop.
‘Small and local is better’
I know supermarkets like to stock high-end items near the front and essentials towards the back, but as my friend pointed out, putting the wine a taxi ride away from the entrance on a Friday night just seems cruel.
We both agree that small and local is better but like so many, we head for the bigger shops in an effort to keep costs down.
There’s a trade-off between prices and overall shopping experience and we’ve all seen what happens when we neglect what’s on our doorstep.
I’ve decided I’m going to make an extra effort to shop local this festive season, because if I have to wrestle a turkey around a store the size of an airport hangar, I think the turkey will win.
Pop star Rita Ora has also been thinking small by swapping five-star luxury for a Shrek-themed Airbnb in the Highlands.
‘If an ogre falls in a forest…’
The singer visited the quirky lodge at Ardverikie Estate in Kinloch Laggan with her husband Taika Waititi.
The couple dressed up as ogres Shrek and Fiona and posted pictures of themselves on Instagram.
As much as I admire Rita, why would anyone post their romantic getaway on social media?
It rather defeats the purpose of staying somewhere so secluded but that’s millennials for you; if an ogre falls in the forest and 16.1 million followers aren’t around to see it, there’s a chance it didn’t happen.
Calling all star-gazers
Over on Skye, it doesn’t get more romantic and secluded than star-gazing at a hotel that is without any light pollution.
Anne Gracie Gunn, owner of Duisdale House, has put together a dark sky package to capitalise on the hotel’s unique location over winter and talking to her I was reminded of how, during lockdown, we all became acutely aware of the natural world around us.
Anne said that when the majority of visitors go home after summer: “You get the real rawness, wild nature and the country experience back again. You see the sky as we all knew it while we were growing up. It was not so busy then.”
Anne said a large black otter had crossed her path that morning and the previous night she’d watched the Northern Lights.
She’d also just driven over the Cuillins in “incredibly wild” weather and when I marvelled at her mettle she shrugged it off with a laugh and said: “You get used to it!”
But that’s islanders for you – humorous, hardy, and closely in tune with their surroundings in a way that we townies quickly forgot as soon as lockdown lifted, despite our pledges not to.
Of course I generalise. A deep appreciation of nature remains constantly at the forefront of many people’s minds.
Stella McCartney sets her sights on home
Woodland Trust Scotland has objected to Stella McCartney’s plans to build a home in Glenuig, amid concerns for ancient woodland and wildlife.
The proposals, lodged by Brown & Brown Architects has attracted more than 50 objections and a small number of letters of support.
I won’t get into the middle of this argument until further research is carried out.
However, instinct tells me that the daughter of Linda McCartney, one of the most conscientious people the world has ever seen, and the eco-obsessed Brown & Brown, will have surely had “don’t wreck the environment” right at the top of their wish list.
If there’s one thing those McCartneys don’t do, it’s think small.