Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Deputy Lola

As Lola I’s last post said, I visited her at the weekend. Now with her last words ringing in my ears - “I can’t believe I have to go back to prison camp tomorrow…”, I am guessing that the prison camp regime has completely consumed her(boom-boom!) and so blogging has had to take second place.

I once had a fortune cookie that read “It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others”. If I had a Blog fortune cookie, it would probably read “It may be that your Blog entries in life are simply to make Lola I look good”.

So, the weekend. The number of things we managed to fit into a short amount of time is remarkable – amongst other things, getting a car washed, buying a pair of shoes, sausages & mash (an enormous wait but lots of gravy to make up for it), a visit to two shops looking for caustic soda (successful), a big box of herbs (successful), a paint pad (unsuccessful) and a lampshade (semi-successful). We took photos of glass dishes that we then emailed to Mum (doesn’t everyone?), watched Galaxy Quest on old-fashioned video with Mr A, watched a little bit of the Olympics, and made an obligatory visit to the pub.

But it wasn’t all play. Oh no, Lola had some homework to do. She had to complete more of her famous workbook. She had already looked at quantities and prices of certain supermarket food items on the internet, ultimately working out the nutritional value of them. Or something. Her mission (and she had no choice but to accept it) was to do the same in a non-supermarket shop.

Our first attempt failed. The shop assistant said he would get in trouble with the manager, since we could be from a supermarket wanting to compare prices. Next door at another shop, we overwhelmed the poor shop assistant with our enthusiasm and obvious student-like appearance. Waving the impressive chopped-down tree, otherwise known as the workbook, seemed to convince him that Lola really was a student and that there would be a hefty detention for her if we didn’t get this assignment done. Either that or he was scared of getting a life-threatening paper cut.

There was a fair division of labour. Lola read out the item we needed, I identified its location, prioritising our plan of attack so that we handled everything at the back of the shop first just in case the manager was to return and throw us out. I whispered weights, prices and mumbled helpful things like “You look at the jam, I’ll find out how much the peas are, do the sugar whilst you’re at it, but let’s not do the crisps until the end”. I’m sure to get a mention in her dissertation.

Eventually when we emerged into the bright sunshine with a bar of chocolate each (well it would have been rude not to have bought anything), it felt like being released out of neon prison. I imagine Lola is feeling like that in Rotherham every day…

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