Visualize the List


My mum is one of life’s marvels when it comes to list-making. When she goes shopping at the supermarket for example, she doesn’t just make a list of what she needs; oh no! She makes a list of what she needs in the order of on which aisle they can be found. As she begins to make her list, she visualises the layout of the supermarket and walks each aisle in her mind’s eye. It’s marvellous to watch!

I remember a few years ago, disaster struck. My mum had made her shopping list, faithfully using her tried and tested system, only to find, when she got to the supermarket, that they’d rearranged some of the product aisles. Where she had expected to find tins of peas and carrots, there were boxes of tea in their stead. Bottles of cordial and fizzy drinks had been replaced by biscuits and crackers. For her, it was a nightmare! I can see her now, walking through the front door, looking more frazzled than a slice of bacon in a US diner, declaring; “What a bloody palaver that was! They’ve only gone and switched the aisles around. Even the assistants didn’t know where things were. It’s coming to summat when your Jammie Dodgers have been swapped with knicker stickers!”

For those of you who have never heard of them, Jammie Dodgers are a kind of biscuit (or cookie, for my readers across the pond). They are essentially two disks of shortcake biscuit with a splodge of gooey, sticky raspberry jam (or jelly *nods to my US readers) in between. They are utterly delicious and terrifically Moorish, especially when dipped in coffee! As for the “knicker stickers”, I’m afraid it doesn’t matter where you happen to hail from, I guarantee you will have never heard the term. It is my mum’s unique name for “panty liners’.

They say the apple never falls far from the tree. In my case, I think that perhaps it didn’t actually fall far from the tree, but it did land on the crest of a hill, roll all the way down and land in a muddy brook at the bottom. For you see, I am not a list maker. Never have been, and I guess I never will be, although I have just recently started Bucket List. Item number one was: Buy a bucket.

Seriously though, I am not, by nature, a list maker. I did try to be. A few weeks ago, when I found I had to go shopping, I decided to try and make a list using my mum’s method. I know the layout of our local supermarket pretty well, so I sat quietly and visualised the store, from walking through the door to traipsing the aisles and looking for products. By the end, I was really pleased with myself. I had quite a comprehensive list of everything I needed for the weekly shop. Buoyed by my newfound sense of organisation, I grabbed my purse and keys, jumped on my bike and headed to the store.

I felt ten feet tall as I stepped through the sliding doors. There’s no one more organised than me today! I told myself. However, all my confidence and enthusiasm disappeared the moment I slipped my hand in my pocket.

I’d forgotten the list.



11 thoughts on “Visualize the List

    • True! I tend to remember things if I write them down. It’s kind of a way of committing them to memory. I find if I tell someone something, it has the same effect. The only thing is that people aren’t usually ready and willing to listen to a shopping list!


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