Leith's new Aldi has set the heather alight and I may resort to desperate measures if their special ham runs out – Susan Morrison
Much excitement down in Leith. A new Aldi has opened.
It’s much like the other Aldi’s, but it’s new and it’s here and, in a community that’s been denied any kind of excitement since March, let me tell you a new Aldi is enough to set the heather alight.
We are literally stopping each other in the street to socially distant gasp with excitement.
There was a time when the opening of a new discotheque would send me into a thrilling tizz, not a supermarket that sells cheap beans, skincare and 24-piece screwdriver sets, but let's be honest, who has the energy for disco bopping and a long walk home in high-heels anymore? Give me an aisle of value baked goods, outstanding fresh fruit and a discount wetsuit and I’m happy.
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It is very nice and they have very nice staff, who so far have managed to maintain that good humour in the face of some of Leith's more challenging citizens armed with new Covid-based grievances. Can I just say that yes, you might well have a face-mask exemption, but threatening to “lick all the apples” isn’t a battlecry to rally others to your cause.
To get to this new shopping Valhalla, I stroll along the Water of Leith. Very pleasant. I’ve taken to feeding the birds. The day before yesterday, the swans came up like feathered battleships, the gulls went mad and the ducks got in everyone’s way. Then there were the rats, about half a dozen of them. Turns out, stale baguette is rat caviar. Bonkers for it.
Rats don’t bother me. I was raised on Tales of the Riverbank and assume they have the faintly middle-class tones of Johnny Morris.
I know they have a bad reputation – the Black Death and all that – but we’ve got antibiotics now, and soap, so I think the threat has receded.
Quite beefy, these lads, I thought. Might come in handy in the event of a No-Deal armageddon. If Aldi’s shelves are emptied of special-selection cured ham (really good, incidentally) by panic-buying mobs then guess who you’ll find down by the waterside with a frying pan ready to turn Roland Rat into a fricasee? Only fair. I was the one chucking the bread when the times were good, amigo.