Friday, March 13, 2009

Shopping Trolley

One of the afflictions that gets worse with age is any problems that we may have with our backs. Days off work as a result of back and spinal problems costs the country billions in sick leave. There's no question that all those crashing falls I took as a child out of trees and off ponies have returned to haunt me in my boomer years. Indeed they have flowered ever since I took a crashing fall on a marble floor some six years ago.

Until last week I resisted the thought of making life less painful to negotiate by getting a shopping trolley. I hardly need say why I fought the impulse for so long ; it can't just be me who associates them irrevocably with tiny old ladies .

But under pressure from a sensible friend I have caved in and bought one of those very items. I was worried that a trolley would make me look old and invisible but do you know, I think I have managed that all on my own without any help from a bag on wheels? In fact the solution is to dress particularly smartly when using it no more trackibums and bad hair days for supermarket runs.

There is a lot to be said for the dear old trolley. One of its virtues is that it is extremely green you just chuck everything in and you don't need plastic bags or any bags at all. They are also extremely good for those of us so very many of us whose backs do not like us lifting anything heavier than a hairbrush and they are massively convenient as you leave one arm free to fight off the suitors (just kidding).

Occasionally designers try to rehabilitate the shopping trolley and add them to their ranges Cath Kidston did them briefly but no longer. And I was given one from Top Shop by a witty friend. But I'm afraid if you are really serious about not hurting your back it's only the old lady option that works.

To hit the spot for back sufferers, a trolley needs proper wheels that don't fall off at the sight of two bottles of wine and an adjustable rigid stick or handle is essential. My new one looks redolent of Prada (only very, very faintly, sadly) in that it is made of black nylon. But it will look a lot better when I graffiti Saga Lout onto it in white paint. And speaking of which, it is incredible what a swathe one can cut through a crowd with a trolley. I am now thinking that all I need are knives on the wheels for the Boudicea effect to be complete.

So two pretty pleases: firstly will some bag designers turn their trend obsessed minds to addressing the problem of providing us with cool but functional shopping trolleys ? I will be happy to roadtest the product. And a secondary one - where do you get the wickerwork baskets on wheels ?

Next, can anyone tell me what the etiquette in supermarkets is for trolley owners? It really isn't possible to push a trolley and pull one at the same time. Is it acceptable to put everything into my own trolley? Or am I going to find the hand of shop security on my collar if I don't use one of the wire ones provided? Maybe little old ladies are allowed to fill their bags with booty. But I'd rather not find out in court.