IT WAS Saturday evening so I decided to give the long-suffering Mrs Bladder a bit of a night out. I swanned her along to take a look at Bridport’s new Lidl; do I know how to show a girl a good time or what?
I read somewhere or the other that it is situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, probably gabbled by some joker protesting about something or the other. Well, if St Andrew’s Road from about the vets to the Vauxhall garage fits that description, I really wouldn’t want to visit an Area of Outstanding Ugliness.
Sorry Lidl, your new shop is situated at the centre of a dump. In fact, if Bridport were a human body St Andrew’s Road would host the haemorrhoids. Still, it’s not their fault.
Of course I went prepared. Even I know that this is a German shop so, to make the lass feel at home I marched up to the first assistant I saw and asked in a polite sort of way, “œkannst du mir bitte den weg zum Pferdefutter?” I realised I had made a mistake when she turned and replied “yer wat?”
Ah, German-owned but staffed by locals. At half time it was Lidl one, Red Bladder nil.
So I took a look around whilst Mrs Bladder peered down her nose and tried to pretend that I was a total stranger – she often does that.
The first thing I saw was a bit of a surprise. Tungsten light bulbs, yes the old-fashioned proper bulbs that you don’t really see much these days. That will bring a fair few in, I thought.
Ready iced Christmas cakes, a lot of demand for those is there?
Then I got a shock. I had been told that this is a cheap shop and really only offers goods for the less discerning.
Before my eyes, I saw whole lobsters, partridge, venison, pheasant, ostrich steak and quails.
So there’s a lot more than baked beans and burgers in Lidl. In fact I would imagine that just about anyone could stuff their face to full satisfaction from the wares available in this rather small but well-rounded supermarketAt the moment there are more DIY tools and what-nots in stock than I could shake a stick at, I don’t really know what any of them are for or what they do so I passed them by. My beloved one gets a bit jumpy if I start looking at tools and things and starts thinking terms of forthcoming floods, power cuts or other disasters should I actually get my hands on any.
There are also a fair few television sets available at, what looks to me, to be, very good prices.
Then the highlight of this, or any, evening. The booze department.
I felt a bit let down to be honest. The choice is very limited. The selection of beers and wines is nowhere near as comprehensive as those offered by the local competition and the spirits all seem to be from unfamiliar brands. Mind you, to be fair the whole shop is full of brands that are unfamiliar to me. I don’t actually do an awful lot of shopping. Not since I got landed with those dodgy bangers in 1959 I don’t.
So I paid for my souvenir purchase of some beer and asked the expert if she would go again and do a bit of bare-knuckle, down-to-earth, proper shopping there.
“I might” was her less than enthusiastic response. So I took her off to a pub for a glass of something. I felt she deserved it and I felt the need. Mind you I often do.
So, Lidl? They flog stuff and a lot of it is at fairly low cost. They certainly offer a far wider range than I would have imagined and I daresay the place will soon have a dedicated following. Good luck to them – at least they have given the area few more jobs and that can’t be bad.
PS For those of you not familiar with the lingo of our Teutonic cousins I asked the young lady for directions to the horse fodder. Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
The Red Bladder is a former national newspaper journalist (tabloid & broadsheet).