Empty shelves in Tesco

Armageddon in Ashby

Tonight, I am concerned that the apocalyptic prophesies attributed to the Mayans may not have been wrong, but rather just out by a few weeks. What has caused me to raise this concern? A trip to Tescos in the normally sedate Ashby de la Zouch.

I stopped on the way home tonight to pick up a few bits and pieces. To be fair, this is not a normal occurrence for me, as I am normally an advocate of Internet based grocery shopping, however, given the inclement weather and living in the countryside, I thought that it would be a good idea to stop to get a few items as we are entertaining this weekend as friends come to celebrate Berta’s birthday tomorrow.

I was relieved that the supermarket was relatively lacking in customers for a Friday evening, but I quickly found that it was equally lacking in produce. Half of the goods that I wanted were fruit or vegetables, and when I went to the relevant aisle, I was presented with this scene:

Tescos Ashby de la Zouch is low on food...

I walked around the corner, hoping to discover forests of broccoli, but instead this was my view:

Tescos Ashby de la Zouch is low on food...

“Surely just a blip”, you are thinking. “What did the legumes aisle look like?”. It was like this:

Tescos Ashby de la Zouch is low on food...

Herbs and Spices?

Tescos Ashby de la Zouch is low on food...

With the lack of proper food, I thought that I would have to make do with a ready meal for the evening. However, thankfully I was prevented from doing this when I looked at the ready meal aisle:

Tescos Ashby de la Zouch is low on food...

“At least there will be some hot food”, I thought. “I can take a cooked chicken with me”. Again, my plan was foiled.

Tescos Ashby de la Zouch is low on food...

I can, however, commend the staff of Tescos Ashby de la Zouch on their knoweldge of the contents of their warehouse. The first staff member that I asked for help – I did ask several – was coming out of the warehouse. I asked if there were any raspberries. He looked at the shelf. “No, we are out of raspberries. I know that we’ve run out”. Next person that I asked, when I eventually found someone, was one of three staff members in the wine aisle. I presented them with an empty box of tomato puree, and asked if there was any more. He looked at the shelf, and said “That’s odd. No, we must have run out. And if there is none on the shelf, there will be none in the warehouse. We would have it out if we had any”. I pointed out that there were a large number of items that seemed to be low on stock. “It’s been snowing”, he told me helpfully. I was unaware that Tescos staff had extended their services through to meteorology. Every member of staff that I asked knew instantly that what I was looking for was out of stock without having to go anywhere near the warehouse.

I would have taken more pictures, but my phone was joining in the Armageddon state of mind and ran out of battery. That prevented me from taking a picture of a particularly well stacked aisle. Under a sign saying “Seasonal Goods” were shelves packed with Easter eggs. In January. The particular season to which the goods relate was not specified.

I took what goods I could find to the checkout, and headed off, making a mental note to return to my normal approach of Internet shopping, noting that if a bin lorry could get down my lane without incident the previous day to collect the rubbish, then I was sure that a supermarket delivery van could.

As I drove home through Ashby, the end of the world theme continued. Walking down the main thoroughfare were two people dressed in matching onesies. (That is quite possibly the first time I have used the term “onesie”. Another first). Shortly afterwards, was a young lady out with her friends, apparently dressed as a dragon. Really. I will return to Ashby tomorrow, just to check that it is still there.