Life and Theft in the burbs

I’m in Wellington for a couple of days. It is a relief to be here without the entourage of a TV crew- the only other time I’ve had the pleasure of a trip to Wellington I was still a MasterChef contestant. We had a few hours here before experiencing the Inter-Island ferry to the Marlborough Sounds. Not that I am complaining about the travel opportunities with the show. That was without a doubt the best bit – I was so lucky to get to travel to new gorgeous spots both in and outside of New Zealand.  There is no denying, it is easier when you are not stressed by a looming challenge, or a potential elimination, or a camera crew racing to spot your tears or tantrums!

I was particularly glad not to have a camera on me yesterday when I found myself doing wheelies on a pedestrian crossing in Newtown. I had completed a hefty shop at the Countdown just down the road from the hospital. It had a taken a while – as it does when you are faced with a new supermarket for the first time. Although the formula is the same, there are still those little differences that can unstick you – some ingredients that are not popular in a particular suburb or city, and of course, a slight change to a store layout that could have you confused. As I was shopping for a team build at Ronald McDonald House, Wellington, across two nights, I was laden down with groceries by the time I made it through the checkout. Having had a few back problems recently – too much standing and chopping and not enough stretching – I decided not to try to carry things (not that I really could have anyway) and to wheel the trolley down the 400m to the House, unload and return. Being a rather naive and innocent type of customer, who had every intention of returning the wandering trolley, I trundled my way down to the corner and began crossing the road at the lights. Within a couple of steps, my trolley took on a life of it’s own. I was trying desperately to go straight ahead – as I had successfully done for the past hour, yet, my trolley was heading straight for the idling cars. Meantime, the time limit for pedestrians had passed and the lights were changing. In a confused state of disbelief I found myself going in circles on the crosswalk. A hospital outpatient was gesticulating and attempting to communicate with me about a front wheel. It was all rather awkward because he was deaf, and I didn’t realise that, and we kind of miscommunicated and he gave up helping me. A lady took immense pity on my plight and assisted me getting off the road before I got run down by drivers, shaking their heads at my folly.


As I calmed my mind on the footpath, and analysed my wayward trolley, I realised that one wheel had a lock type attachment and indeed I had been auto-halted from committing a crime! So, in mortified embarrassment, I stumbled back over the road, semi carrying my trolley (ruining my back saving attempts from earlier) into the complex from which it came. I had to make an SOS call to Ronald McDonald House for assistance, laughing at the stupidity of my situation. A local construction worker, who had apparently had his eyes on the entire episode, commended me on my humour filled reaction to the unfortunate scenario. And I thought to myself – yes, since being a contestant on MasterChef NZ, not a lot can faze me. Every situation is manageable to a point.  Don’t however, underestimate my capacity to display my emotions, and boy when I get angry you will certainly be well aware of it.  It’s just that now I tend to laugh at the little things…………..and share them!

PS.  I have just had the pleasure of a conversation with Beau of Countdown, Newtown who installed the trolley magnetic lock system – to alleviate the $78,000 loss due to adventurous wandering trolleys from the store!  Today I had a far more ‘regular’ customer experience 😉


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