it was just the way things were done then
I went to Bermagui today on the back of the bike to Saltwater for fish -broadbill- and chips. we sat on the edge of the water surrounded by a host of seagulls. warmed by the sun and entertained by the goings on. pelicans glided their large bodies around clear water their bills ready for a quick snatch from the fish cleaning tables. across from us the road busy with movements of cars trailers and boats; pulling the boat out of the water and hosing it down, checking tackle,buckets and fishing rods , bait and gutting the catch. behind us people at tables on the verandah lunching and children soaking up the playground on their last day of freedom. a pleasant scene a seaside tableau of holiday makers and locals. I wondered then how a giant Woolworth’s will fit into this fishing village scene. I remember the arrival of the first supermarket to our town, Lower Hutt. I went with Mum to give it a go, she was a bit nervous, it was a Big Thing. I was excited but then I was only 10 or 11. up until then we bought from a little grocery store down at the local shops , Taita where the woman behind the counter was my friends stepmother and lived five doors up the street from me . for other items there was home service. our milk was delivered every evening to our letter box I had to put the bottles and the money out. the bread was dropped off by the bread van every morning unwrapped, into the letter box and I had to run out and get it in for the school lunches. obviously the letter box was bigger than letter size, and once a week the fruit and vege truck pulled up outside our house. we would climb up the steps into the back and put carrots and parsnips,oranges and bananas into our basket. not a lot of packaging in those days eh. every few months the rawleighs man visited with his basket of products things like polish and menthol rub and even though I knew Mum didn’t need anything she always bought something. it was just the way things were done then, same when the brownies or boy scouts came to the door selling raffle tickets, it was understood that you would buy them, that you were a supporter. so from the vantage point of a remembrance of life before supermarkets took over I know they spell doom for local family run businesses. I watched the local shops decline replaced by boarded over windows and graffiti. and people like Mrs Pickering across the road were no longer jobworthy, they were too’ordinary’ perhaps or too working class, in a world that was fast becoming upwardly mobile. it seems the supermarkets came hand in glove with increased packaging ,more processed food , faster food , a more slick presentation and the profits disappeared into pockets somewhere else. perhaps it will be great perhaps it is just what bermi needs perhaps pigs will fly. Oh and P.S. dad came out of hospital today has gone to kays for a bit doing really well after his big triple by pass. and all that crochet I have been doing, all those brightly patterned squares, I stitched them together and sent it over to him. it was placed over his knees and he loves it.