I write these posts generally on the way to work, then reflect on them over the course of the day before the final write up. I realise my ability to screw up even simply spelt words would seem to disprove any such reflection, but nonetheless this is the process. It does mean that at times I can find myself at a loss for a topic - not beng ready to indulge myself in political rants at this point - though by no means ruling it out for the future.
So I am left thinking of the scene in my local Tesco Extra as it occurred to me yesterday. Three figures cramped into a column, framed by the gaudy colours of sweets and crisps on one side - an especially lurid pink glinting from the pork scratchings; whilst from the other side came strip neon that lit the chilled drink cabinet along with the sandwich and snack selection.
One figure faced me from the end of the row, having turned into the aisle, slowly and determinedly ready to complete his shopping. Carrying his basket, his gait compensating for the extra weight that hung from his side, his eyes glanced around seeking a route through the obstacles of other people. A second man stood in contemplation, his eyes scrunched as he peered into the cabinets, assessing the merits and failings of the various meal deals and foodstuffs; whilst the third figure, a tiny woman, fidgeted - debating the crisp arrangement. The three basked in drabness, with greys, browns and beiges broken only with the faded blue of denim, and the fleck of scuffed white trainers.
The whole scene seemed to jump out at me, a Hogarth made real in its deconstruction of the gluttony of everyday life. The aspects of concentration, the extreme grotesque of the bodies, formed into a composition that displayed their preoccupation with the consumer ease around them. This was a tableau of normalcy twisted into a knot, and lit with a corporate glow; both mocking and pitying its marionettes for their taste and their lot.
I witnessed this, envisioning how to capture this play of character and situation, when my mind cruelly panned around, focusing the gaze accusingly on the viewer, who stood, basket in hand, chocolate and cakes within, gawping at shoppers in a Tesco Extra.
At which point I coughed awkwardly, and stepped forward to pay.