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Personal shopper


Diary of a home bird
Ciara Galvin

THERE’S a lot to be said for a weekly shop. Presses full and meals planned out in advance. As I like to live more on the edge (perhaps I’ll just have biscuits for dinner today), the whole weekly shop and meal planning thing doesn’t really happen. I tend to pop to the shops most evenings after work while googling ‘something healthy and tasty for dinner’.
Thirty minutes later, and with a basket of herbs, spices and some ingredients I don’t know how to use, I set off to rustle up a Michelin-style masterpiece … or not. More often, I’ve spent so long in the supermarket that A) I’ve lost my appetite, or B) I’m too hungry and impatient to cook a recipe from scratch.
What takes me so long? Well, if it’s not decisions between blueberries or raspberries (okay, Dairy Milk Oreo or Chips Ahoy), it’s bumping into people.It’s not just random friends and neighbours I blame for my lengthy ‘sojourns’ down the supermarket aisles. Family members – aunties, cousins and even the roomies – are just as likely to be lurking in the frozen food section or trawling the toiletries’ aisle.
One accidental meeting with the male roomie a few weeks back sparked a protracted search  through lightbulb boxes to help him find an elusive wattage he was seeking.
“Well, just the woman I was looking for,” I heard as I walked past the domestic supplies aisle.
“I’m looking for a lightbulb,” he informed me.
Me: “OK. What about a 40 watt?” The male roomie: “No, see it’s for the outside light.” Incandescent, halogen, fluorescent, LED, energy saving, there wasn’t a lightbulb package left unopened. After some funny looks from staff and other shoppers, we finally found the proverbial needle in the haystack. Don’t ask me what type it was, some oval ‘screwy-type’ one. With that taken care of, off I went with my mustard seeds, chicken, coriander and coconut milk. I still haven’t got around to cooking Kevin Dundon’s signature creamy thai curry.
At another ‘spontaneous’ meeting (call me crazy, but I believe the male roomie is following my shopping patterns), there was a fruit salad issue. The male roomie was just back from Dubai and he wanted to continue the holiday diet. I directed him to blueberries, raspberries, some apples and forest fruits yoghurt, and I was once again on my way.
The supermarket staff could be forgiven for thinking I’m just a kind soul.
In truth, the more nice stuff he buys, the more I can rob from the fridge. Win, Win.

In her fortnightly Diary of a Home Bird column, Ciara Galvin reveals the trials and tribulations of a twenty-something year old still living with her parents.

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