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Tuesday, 11 March 2008
I love to go, a shopping o, my knapsack on my back
There is a lot in the press at the moment about a proposal to ban plastic bags at the supermarket. I warned that with smoking effectively banned in public the control freaks would move on to something else. Although personally I think this is a ploy by the manufacturers of swing bin and dustbin liners to push their product as too many of us use the supermarket bags to line our bins for their liking.
The BBC magazine last month had a piece on what alternatives people use.
Rucksacks seem popular. Indeed my own husband and child have rucksacks for hill walking and fishing and suchlike outdoors activities.
“I carry everything home in a small rucksack. Much easier to carry, better for your back and easier on the hands than a couple of plastic bags”. Sara.
“. . . a rucksack has always been more convenient than any of the hand-held shopping bags." Andrew
I'm a student, and hence have to carry my shopping to a bus and then all the way home. I take a rucksack, and reuse carrier bags." Claire
Which for young single people is fine; plenty of time to visit the shops daily and a rucksack is well big enough for 20 Marlboro Lite, 2 recycled toilet rolls, an organic lettuce and a box of redbush.
I have to shop, and I only have time to do it once a week, for a family including cats, a separate list for an elderly relative and sometimes supplies for the toddler club. I wouldn’t need a rucksack, I would need an army Bergen. And a nice hunky corporal to carry it for me. And if he has been so good as to carry my shopping for me the least I could do is give him a meal. And the amount of grub the army tucks away I’d then need another Bergen full . . . you see where I am going with this.
Simon Hoggart in the Guardian is not happy either.
. . . but bad news that they have suggested people bring rucksacks to carry their food home. The increasing use of rucksacks is one of the new banes of modern life which crept up unnoticed . . . The point about a rucksack is that it goes across the widest part of your body, unlike a shoulder bag which sits lower, and a briefcase which you can put between your feet.
This doesn't matter much of the time, but during the rush-hour it means that rucksack wearers effectively occupy the space of two people. They always seem to be full, even when worn by office workers. What do they put in them, apart from giveaway newspapers, John Grisham novels and the inevitable litre of water? When I've been biffed in the face, or pummelled in the chest, it feels as if they're carrying a primus stove, or some light road mending equipment.
I had to really shove my way into the lift at Low Emission House today, the entrance being blocked by the pink and white rucksack on the back of a young woman wearing a matching pink and white anorak. To give her her due she apologised, which is more than some of the besuited shoulder pad and stiletto brigade that infest the place these days do.
I think now that I am getting older and curmudgeonlier that it is time I considered a tartan trolley on wheels. My late mother always refused to consider one but that was then, this is now. Even without Boadicea scythes on the wheels I should be able to take a few rucksack carriers out by the ankles each trip. 
Posted on 03/11/2008 5:36 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
11 Mar 2008
Send an emailMary Jackson is time I considered a tartan trolley on wheels...

No! Don't do it! That way madness lies! What next? Donkeystoning your doorstep in your curlers? Neighbours muttering, "She used to be a rock chick - what happened?"

11 Mar 2008
Send an emailHugh Fitzgerald

"a rucksack is well big enough for 20 Marlboro Lite, 2 recycled toilet rolls, an organic lettuce and a box of redbush."

With enough space left in the rucksack/For the mailman's daily drucksache.

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