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...and shop in Wood Green for a change. 

According to Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management “A necessary qualification for a housekeeper is, that she should thoroughly understand accounts” 

My housekeeper has a limited grasp on such matters and regularly fritters away the housekeeping on baubles and balloons.  I’m taking her in hand and trying to educate her in the art of thrift.

Monday was my fortnightly foray into Wood Green.  I have appointments and linger longer than usual to browse the shops.

My first revelation is the classical music that is now being piped into the ticket hall at Wood Green tube.  It is both rousing and calming and, in my sleep deprived mind, creates a surreal cinematic experience akin to that sequence in the Fisher King, when all the commuters at Grand Central Station begin to waltz.  Watching the traffic cavort up, down and round the crossroads is quite jolly when sound tracked to Mozart.

My second revelation is that monster that is Morrison’s.  I used to shop there when living up North as we didn’t have a Tesco or a Sainsbury’s, not even an Iceland.  Poor us.  I’ve never used it down South as I availed myself of the supermarkets that I’d never encountered so this was a first for me.  And crikey Bob, there are more reasons to shop at Morrison’s.

I was mesmorised by the meat counter – yes, the adverts are correct, there are real butchers doing dangerous things with hammers, saws and axes.  The meat looks wonderfully fresh and there is so much variety: Beef skirt (you too can dress like Lady Gaga), Oxtail, plenty of offally bits and TRIPE! Fresh from Lancashire.  You can’t beat that.

The fish counter too delivers its promise.  It does all look freshly caught and is laid out beautifully: octopus, squid, scallops, skate and all manner of whole and fish fillets.  I used to be married to a fish pathologist so I know what I’m talking about.

I buy “Hedgehog Bread” from the bakery and an “Easter Bun Crown”.  I get a massive Pizza Express pizza for £2.49 (double the price in your other supers) and lots of bottles of vegetable and fruit juices.  I usually juice my own but I’m tired at the moment and can’t be fagged to peel, chop and compost 6 tonnes of vegetable matter in the morning.

A vicious but funny exchange of words breaks out in the frozen food aisle when two girls who clearly know each other, but are not shopping together, start screaming and accusing each other of “sucking”.  “Don’t you suck at me!” is the cry that ricochets past Captain Birdseye and the Findus Crispy Pancakes. I know what this means and it amuses rather than horrifies.  The fact that they are both independently talking on their phones to other people whilst conducting this show just adds to the dramatic tableau.

I'm slightly disappointed not to find the "Morinoff" vodka that is available in the Northern branches but am placated by the sight of a real ale called "Banana Bread Ale". If I was still a drinking woman I'd have bought some (and probably be discovered later, gibbering in Shopping City) but I just get a mini-bottle of claret for Mr Cupcake's steak and chips supper.

My shopping total comes to about £65 and I have much more than I usually buy for the same amount at Sainsbury’s.  I do however spend £7 on a taxi back to Crouch End so would need to factor that into the budget.  Must tell Housekeeper – she’s sturdy and strong and could carry the shopping back to N8 with no reliance on a taxi.

Views: 144

Tags: Crouch End, Hornsey, N8, Opinion8, Wood Green

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Comment by ravel cherry on April 8, 2011 at 11:10
Boys on Green Lane seem very rough. All have same hair and bad jeans. Crouch End different. People in Crouch End more cool!
Comment by CrouchEnd Cupcake on April 8, 2011 at 10:33

Ravel, I'm sure Crouch End girls would be delighted to know you deem them pretty but I've seen some lovely ones in other postcodes too.  I hope you are abiding by a good manners code though and not making these pretty girls uncomfortable.  You seem like ever such a nice chap.  There are reports on Green Lanes that girls get harrassed by local boys in the form of whistling, rude comments and kissing noises.  We girls HATE that and find it very irritating and sometimes threatening.

Good for you for shopping for bargains too - there are bargains to be had in Crouch End too.  We should perhaps start a bargain spot thread so people can post when they see something.

Comment by ravel cherry on April 8, 2011 at 10:24

I too sometimes shop in poor areas. Later as weather is good I will go to Green Lane for bargains. Not only is it cheap but it makes Crouch End even nicer when I get back. Crouch End is lovely in sunshine and the girls so pretty to!

Comment by CrouchEnd Cupcake on April 6, 2011 at 12:44
Oh indeed Ravel, you must be kind to your staff. 
Comment by ravel cherry on April 6, 2011 at 12:01
My father is stern man who value only money. That is why I come to London. How you treat your house-keeper? I think to be kind is better than angry.
Comment by CrouchEnd Cupcake on April 6, 2011 at 11:33

Perhaps your father would like to follow the advice of my dear Mrs Beeton. 

On servants she declares "The treatment of servants is of the highest possible moment, as well to the mistress as the domestics themselves.  On the head of the house the latter will naturally fix their attention; and if they perceive that the mistresses conduct is regulated by high and correct principles, they will not fail to respect her"

She goes on with all sorts of helpful and terribly modern advice.  Do you own a copy of Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management?  Your father may find it helpful.  She was the quintessential Englishwoman until she had the misfortune to die of syphilis.  All her husband's fault, you understand.

Comment by ravel cherry on April 6, 2011 at 10:27
We to have house-keeper in Hong Kong who is no good with money but very strong. My father would shout at her but she not learn.

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