Support the little Hampshire shops that supported you in lockdown | Emma Kay

Who remembers being beady-eyed in a desperate hunt for bread? Who remembers pitifully searching supermarket aisles for pasta?

Tuesday, 21st July 2020, 4:39 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st July 2020, 4:43 pm
Emma's corner shop, Highfield Stores, Waterlooville.

Who remembers finding a jar of beetroot and feeling like you had found the last vegetable on the planet? Or the ever-evasive loo roll?

Your local corner shop remembers. They certainly remember the weeks of hell when buying food was a battlefield. There was panic and pandemonium.

These little saviour shops played their part to ease the strain by helping to reduce the extensive wait in the two metre snake-like queues at the supermarkets.

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At the beginning, when we had people scrabbling for sanitiser, these shops were a safe space for those seeking harbour from the viral storm.

Corner shops have undoubtedly played their part in reducing Covid-19 cases.

By supplying essentials like meat, bread, eggs and flour, they have kept the vulnerable shielded from the unforgiving crowds.

My local, Highfield Stores, in Waterlooville, has not only been bringing in the beef, but delivering it too.

Every weekday morning while we were still snoozing, the owner was lining up at the wholesaler to procure as much as possible for those who needed it most.

Telephone orders were taken and volunteers were cycling up and down to deliver the supplies, with no extra charge, to those who were shielding, ensuring essentials were on their doorstep.

With products once again plentiful on the supermarket shelves, it is easy to turn a blind eye to the corner shop. But we should not neglect them.

More and more newsagents face closure each year as people rely solely on their phones for the news. Within 10 years the newspaper will likely vanish, becoming a faded memory of paper and ink.

Without newspapers, where will it leave corner shops? With a second wave threatening, we must be prepared.

And what better way than by supporting the newsagent corner shop?

Supermarkets can survive. Your local shops won’t, they still need you. And they were there when you needed them.

Litter erupts in beauty spots like multi-coloured boils

It is depressing when you notice the sudden accumulation of litter on your woodland walk.

The woodland hues should be a familiar mix of brown and green and not the silver glint of a coke can!

If lots of people throw litter, others will simply place their lot on the pile, since they were not the original perpetrator.

The litter continues to erupt around them like a cluster of multi-coloured boils made of foil, tin, plastic and paper.

People neglect to see our woodland for what it truly is, a home and haven for animals that desperately need their own space.

Litter does not care who it chokes, poisons and destroys. But we should.

You cannot blame salons for trying to protect customers

The latest increase in hair salon prices may be hair-raising to some.

We have emerged from our homes looking like cave-dwellers, our hair frolicking haphazardly on our faces and needing to be lopped off.

But at what cost? Gloves, cleaning products, visors and masks are expensive but vital to public-facing business wanting to reopen.

Social distancing means fewer clients in the salon which equals less money. Extra staff hired for extra cleaning all adds up. This is the way for now. We must pay for extra precautions.

We can’t place the blame on industries for needing to keep their businesses alive. Prices may be up, but hopefully, so is our reasonability and commonsense.