I woke up full of smiles this morning, with the wonderful thought that all I needed from the supermarket was loo roll, corn crackers & toothpaste. 'Great!' I thought. 'I'll just zap in, grab what I want and be out through the Express queue in no time!'
I should have known it was too good to be true.
And I definitely shouldn't have started thinking...
For as the thoughts bounced around my head, it occurred to me that we really should get some food in for the kids coming over on Sunday to celebrate our son's Name Day. And some of those nasty sugar-laden drinks they crave too.
And whilst I was at it, shouldn't I lay on some adult grub for any grown-ups who might choose to hang out and cast a critical eye over us? So, I loaded up with bread sticks and veg to dunk in the hummous & cheese dip I planned to make. Then it occurred to me - most grown-ups don't eat like me. They wouldn't know one end of a tapenade from the other, though they'd probably try it and smile politely at me before turning gratefully to the crisps and sausage rolls.
Of course, we'd be needing a bit of booze to see us through the evening too.
What about dessert? Do we traipse off to the patisserie and fork out another 40 Euros? No! I'll save money (Ha!) and do Chocolate Cups. And, as not everyone likes dark chocolate, I'll do two types - white & dark. So, into the already heaving trolley with the wheels of death went a couple of bars of plain choc (my fave) and in the total absence of plain white choc, two big bars of White Chocolate Crunch - and a couple of tubs of cream into the bargain.
I have to admit that I approached the check-out with some trepidation, and not just because I was worried that the whole precarious lot would come tumbling down if I breathed too hard. It was the final number that worried me - I'd started the day expecting to shell out 30 Euros, tops, and I was pretty sure that I was at least 50 Euros over budget. Not really what you want to hear in the gap between the last of last month's pay packet trickling away and the next one dropping neatly into your account. But, what to do?
I waited patiently for three weeks in the queue, then tried to explain to the well-meaning but not-too-sharp check-out girl what exactly I was going to do with sundried tomatoes AND White Chocolate Crunch. I struggled to simultaneously unload my trolley AND load up the bags at the other end (something that requires a PhD in advanced Quantum Physics and the ability to bend the space-time continuum). And then I awaited the verdict.....
Ow! It was worst than I thought.
Rather than facing the humiliation of putting stuff back on the shelves in the midst of the manic Saturday morning shoppers (no round-the-clock Tescos here folks), I gritted my teeth and pulled out the plastic.
After all, we wouldn't want the other Mummies to think that 'the English one' is a bad hostess, would we? I just hope they don't expect jelly & ice-cream too...