A Senior Moment: The times they are a-changing

Why on earth do they do it? I’m not talking porky pies from the politicians, or the gloom and doom merchants who talk up our woes and play down every scrap of good news about our economic recovery - albeit miniscule.

And I’m not talking about the barking mad jury at Tate Britain for short-listing another idiotic collection of irrelevances for the once prestigious Turner Prize – evolving with riveting fascination over the years from a pickled cow, mucky bed and now a dead dog holding a placard.

I’m not even talking about overpaid footballers behaving like one-year-olds trying out their first set of teeth.

No, this is serious stuff – the great supermarket conspiracy stealthily eroding our way of life.

Turning the once great British public into a flock of shuffling sheep, jostling our way dutifully along the aisles, blocking the gangways and bleating into our mobile phones “I’m at the eggs dear, did you want large, medium or small?”

Our lives are increasingly controlled by shadowy head office figures, forever confusing us with ‘best buys’ and ‘bogofs’.

Not content to take our money with humble gratitude befitting a nation of shopkeepers, they are on a determined marketing quest to squeeze the last drop of dosh from our plastic-lined wallets – with paradoxical aplomb – all the while bent on making our lives more difficult in the process.

Last week we turned up for our usual Friday ordeal – otherwise known as the weekly shop. Now I should explain this is not my favourite pastime, except for the preceding pleasure of a cappuccino and sticky bun.

Even the dubious delight at the hard-won battle to push the trolley is beginning to wear a bit thin but at least we know the layout and I am able to occasionally break the monotony by venturing off to pick up a regular item from its long-established resting place.

Imagine therefore my dismay to find the fruit and veg department in complete and utter disarray. Confusion reigning among the cucumbers, celery jousting with the cabbages, grapes and greengages ganging up on the garlic, apples disguised as avocados and pineapples popping up in the pomegranates. Shock horror!

“Why do you keep doing this to us?” I asked a young assistant, fully expecting the usual response: “It’s not us, it’s the computer.”

But no, he looked at the growing band of oldies milling around in disarray with a mixture of puzzlement and surprise at our lack of appreciation and proclaimed with obvious pride and satisfaction, “It’s our summer layout.”

Well Messrs supermarket suits, I have news for you.

Even if I could find them, I couldn’t give a fig for your summer layout.

It’s time for us oldies to unite and send a message to the bacon bosses - stop messing about with your store layouts. We know you have to make some seasonal adjustments but you don’t have to make a meal of it!