Adventures with
Mum and Aunty Norrie

Tuesday is the day my sister Cathy and I take my mother and my Aunty Norrie shopping. We have found that it is important to keep a routine. Any changes create confusion and discomfort for my mother and aunt.

Both Mum and Aunty Norrie (Spinster), who are sisters, live in independent units about 100 yards apart, in the same suburban Retirement Village. Every Tuesday morning my sister checks Mum’s cupboards for her shopping requirements, while I mark off Aunty Norrie’s shopping list in her unit.

I realized over the past couple of years, that it would be easier to know what shopping Norrie requires by making up a permanent list of the groceries and toiletries that Norrie uses. All it takes each shopping day is to go through the prepared list and tick the items she needs. That way I don’t miss anything and alleviates the need to have to go to the shopping centre again the next day.

Her needs are simple. She doesn’t like change and only wants me to purchase the products she is used to and the brands she knows. The only variant are biscuits. She likes her biscuits and is willing to try something new – providing it doesn’t cost any more than her regular biscuits.

I’ve noticed her taste buds are going for sweeter things. Desserts are high on her list as well as biscuits and some confectionery. Her doctor has said not to worry – provided she is eating some fruit and ‘greens’ each day, it really doesn’t matter at the age of 85 if she wants to indulge in a few biscuits and some ice-cream at tea-time.

On shopping days we start at the bank so she can see her pension is entered into her passbook, then we take scripts to the Chemist; Newsagency for Lotto, then grocery shopping at Coles Supermarket.

We have to shop at Coles – she worked for Coles first as a shop-assistant in the 1940’s, then as ‘Head Girl’ of the major state department store, then from the 1960’s to the early 80’s she was co-opted by the management to work as a ‘trouble-shooter’, overseeing stores all over Australia.

So we can’t shop anywhere else – her loyalties lie with Coles Ltd! She just wouldn’t understand that Coles is now owned by Wesfarmers Ltd, and no longer by the Coles brothers/family.

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