“Enjoy the little things in life because one day you`ll look back and realize they were the big things.”
― Kurt Vonnegut
I have just returned from a walk through Notting Hill, to Provenance Butchers, the best in town for the meat eaters in my family. London is busy again, many shops are open and on Monday many more will be too. But life is not the same and I am feeling miserable about it all.
Today I miss people. I miss my friends and my family. I miss my dog. I remember going for coffee and cake and having long chats, without feeling rushed to leave. Those days are gone and I wonder if they will ever return, or if this new way of living will be the norm. Now you have to know what you want when going to a store or shop, keep your distance, order quickly and get out. Gone are the days of taking your time browsing. I went to buy the girls a blueberry muffin each from Paul Rhodes bakery but you can’t really go inside to look, you have too wait your turn outside and then one at a time go to a counter and order. The shop assistant was taking so long serving the customer inside, I gave up and just got muffins from Tesco instead. It isn’t the same, but all the joy is gone from the shopping experience now. Last time I was there I felt so rushed to order what I wanted and leave, that I never bought half the items I would have, if I’d been able to browse. Maybe it is good for the budget. It certainly is bad for their business.
At this rate, I may not bother with shops at all and stick to just ordering things online. But that doesn’t work well with everything. I was looking at getting a scented hand wash and candle and looked at ordering from Ritual Cosmetics online. Such beautiful things and so many good offers. Then I realized, some things, like fragrances you just can’t order online if you are not familiar with the scent. It just doesn’t work. It is guesswork and I’d hate to be stuck with a whole lot of things that smell horrid. I know many companies allow you to return the items but that always feels like too much trouble to me. I am the type of person who would just end up keeping something I don’t like, to save myself the hassle. Not a great characteristic, I know, but I know myself well and that is the sad truth. So, online shopping isn’t always the solution.
So it looks like the ‘new norm’ involves a world where there will be no more testers or tasters, no more browsing and taking your time interacting with the assistant and choosing. Shopping will be a simply mechanical process.
I think of the not so distant past and reflect on just how much we took for granted really. All those little things. It really was the simple things that mattered. That is a lesson in itself.
Photo by Renate Vanaga on Unsplash