LESLEY KEATING: A little snow and supermarket shelves are empty

Snow joke - empty supermarket shelvesSnow joke - empty supermarket shelves
Snow joke - empty supermarket shelves
I'd expected there to be a few gaps on supermarket shelves for a short while, courtesy of the recent white-out from the Beast from the East.

After all, deliveries would certainly have been affected, given that this is Britain. The smallest sprinkling of snow sends most of the country into a tailspin as the wheels of industry grind to a juddering halt.

However, I would have also thought all the major supermarkets would have some sort of contingency plan, or at least a prominent notice apologising.

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One of the ‘Big Four’ (which shall remain nameless) appears to have neither.

For the past week, it’s resembled Armageddon. It’s like someone has hidden everything for a joke. I half expected a TV crew with Ant and Dec to pop up from behind a gondola unit to say I was starring in a TV prank as I struggled in vain to find husband Mike a lamb steak for dinner.

I’ve seen more meat on a sparrow than on the shelves of the butchery section. In fact I actually Facetimed him as he may have thought I was making it up in a thinly-disguised attempt to convert him to vegetarianism.

A friend was equally frustrated by the complete lack of potatoes there last week yet accepted the official response about a ‘national shortage due to bad weather’ until she nipped into the Co-op later and was overjoyed to find it fully stocked with enough Maris Piper to rebuild Hadrian’s Wall.

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The staff can be divided into two camps – those who seem vaguely mystified as to what’s actually happened and those who claim to not have the faintest idea what I’m talking about.

I voiced my frustrations to a checkout cashier today and she helpfully suggested I may want to speak with customer services and explain my issues to them.

‘You should tell them about this,’ she said solemnly adding: ‘They always like to know about this sort of thing,’

Call me old fashioned but, unless they’ve been living underground in a bunker this past week, I’m pretty sure they do already!


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During a shopping trip at West Quay recently, I headed for the central staircase to go to another floor.

Encouragingly for retailers, the place was heaving – jam-packed with shoppers despite being a Sunday morning.

So were the adjacent escalators; masses of children and adults of every age, shape and size, all jostling to glide effortlessly to the next floor.

The staircase, in contrast, was virtually empty except for one determined old lady labouring ahead of me, handbag over her arm.

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Considering the recent excesses of Christmas and the much-reported national epidemic of obesity, I was surprised how many young, fit and able people were just blindly hopping onboard instead of using their own legs. She certainly put them to shame.


International Women’s Day happened last week. I know this will sound a bit ‘chicken and egg’ but what do you think came first? That... or International Men’s Day?

The answer might surprise you as much as it did me.

International Men’s Day is barely 30 years old but International Women’s Day was actually an initiative devised by the suffragettes more than 100 years ago.

I didn’t even realise there was an International Men’s Day until I Googled it, and I’m not alone either.

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Google says the majority of searches for it are only made on International Women’s Day!

It’s also not anywhere near as profitable to the advertising world as something aimed at women. (It’s on November 19 in case you wondered). Makes you think.