I was out in Newcastle with a modelling agency last week. On their Christmas night out.

Not because I am a model you understand, because I worked alongside their excellent founder for a couple of years to help shape the brand.

Drinks were £7 to £10 each I guess as we bounced around the cool bars.

I was buying for me. And friends. And people I didn’t know.

You know how it is. It’s Christmas.

Merry Christmas.

People bought for me too of course. It was a good night.

I had no idea how much I’d spent on the night in these times where waving your phone at a barista or cocktail maker results in a balance-reducing beep in under a second.

The following day I could estimate. But I wasn’t sure exactly as I did have cash on me a well.

But hey, it’s Christmas.


How strange it is then that, at ASDA on the following afternoon, I guarded my trolley (MY trolley) with my life.

Because it had my £1 coin in it.

I’d put my bags in the car and the trolley was about 20 yards away (I’d had to carry bags a little distance for some reason).

But I watched MY trolley with a steely gaze. Constantly.

MY trolley.

MY £1 coin.

I think that if someone had walked towards it I’d have skipped across, puffed my chest out, lowered my voice and said,

‘Ere mate. That’s my trolley.

And I don’t ever call anyone ‘mate’.

But this was serious.

This was MY trolley.


I thought about this afterwards. And smiled.

It’s amazing how our behaviours and reactions are so miss-matched to situations sometimes.

It’s silly.

I bought a £5 tin of instant coffee yesterday, impressed that it makes 52 cups. A graphic on the packaging told me this.

And I still paid £2.50 for a flat white on the way home.

How odd!

But this is not about money or numbers. It’s about control.

MY supermarket trolley, containing MY £1 coin was MY supermarket trolley.

And the social rules around the exact moment it becomes mine or his or hers are unclear. So it made me feel edgy.

When I bought a £7 cocktail the rules were clear. It’s mine.


I think I’ll relax more.

I don’t always have to control everything.

Have my trolley. And I’ll buy you a coffee when I see you. A 10p instant one or a £2.50 flat white.

It is Christmas after all.

Merry Christmas.

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