Friday, December 03, 2010

In praise of Pound shops

First there was the Richard Dennen's gay column in the Evening Standard, now my friend Ashley has found A weekend eating Poundland food. The article's joy sings from word to word, but you will go BANG at "my daughter, Dory... if she saw the pink label Heinz Barbie pasta in tomato sauce she would never eat broccoli or quinoa again!"

As Ashley points out, the Standard champions itself as the paper of the dispossessed - then runs a sneering article about Poundland food. As someone comments on the article "You don't do your weekly grocery shopping in Poundland any more than you do in WH Smiths."

Earlier this year, my friend Gary did a play called Mrs Reynolds And The Ruffian. It was about many things, including an old lady brightening up her estate by planting flowers in the abandoned plots. Through it she forms an unlikely friendship with a wayward youth. LIFETIME AMBITION.

Ever since, I have been doing this on my estate - with shrubs and bulbs almost entirely from pound shops. You get a fucking hardy rose bush from Poundland - if it can sit for three months on a shelf tied up in elastic bands, it can survive the nuclear winter that is Somerstown.

It's a brilliantly satisfying thing to do - and an utterly unaffordable bit of whimsy without pound shops (I am mean and selfish - this is as good as I get). The other day while I was working on a bed, a woman rapped me on the shoulder and asked me what I was doing. So I told her.

"Good," she said, "Council says we don't deserve flowers."

Yes, the frost has dented the primroses, but my quid bulbs are still ticking away, along with roses, redcurrants, and lord knows what else but it-looked-nice-on-the-box. All from a pound shop. Take that, yummy mummy.

5 comments:

Hugh said...

I always knew you'd fit in well up here in Glasgow

http://www.glasgowguerillagardening.org.uk/tag/seedbom/

Orchis said...

Lidl - you have to be quick, but they have regular cheapo bulbs, corms, tubers and plants. And if previous years are anything to go buy it will soon be seed time there. You can also discreetly take cuttings from public displays - bizzie lizzies, begonias and geraniums are the easiest ones to root in a jar on the windowsill but there are lots of others that can be 'recycled'.

Skip said...

oh mercy! This used to be about random Brazilians. We're now swapping tips of cuttings.

JahTeh said...

I would love to help, being an old lady, but I am cursed with the black thumbs of doom and can kill any plant just by waving at it.

Ashley said...

And of course the Daily Mail have to up the Eurgh stakes: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1335550/Merry-Christmas-Along-millions-middle-class-families-I-afford-says-CHARLOTTE-METCALF.html