The home of Shooting Times and Sporting Gun

The weekly shopping trip

The weekly trudge around my local food retailer used to be a banal routine.

After negotiating the greeter (complete with painted smile and Cybermen headset) it was always fruit then veg then milk then red meats and on and on until I reached the sanctuary of the freestanding stacks of 1664s that are permanently on offer.

I always seemed to be met by screaming infant in the cereal isle, and got served by the same dumpy fellow who really, really didn’t want to be there when it came to paying.

But recently, I’ve had a reason to give the greeter the ‘wink and the gun’, blow a raspberry at the four-year-old foghorn making her presence felt by the cornflakes and have now no guilt in giving the oaf behind the check-out a complete itinerary of my day has he counts down the seconds till closing.

At last, my multinational neighbour has started to sell game. I couldn’t believe it last weekend when I saw the words ‘venison steaks’ peering out from the shelf, and I made like Augustus Gloop to ensure I had a good share. As I bounded my way out of the car park (actually it was more like carefully manoeuvred) a thousand questions entered in my head ? Jacket potato or mash? What about a pudding? Did I get any tomato sauce? Are the French team worth a punt?

Five minutes later, my mind was settled. I put the venison alongside some chips ready for my evening in watching the quarterfinals of the rugby world cup – complete with ice cold 1664 in the other hand. My weekly shop will never be the same again.

My new best friend (the greeter) has since told me that pheasant, partridge and woodpigeon are all going to making an appearance soon and naturally, I’m looking forward to introducing each of them to those people I know who are new to game.

On a serious point, while it’s great to see more supermarkets stocking game now, I’m still going to buy most of mine from my local game dealer, farmer’s market and butcher shop in town ? after all, it was they who were selling it first.