Monday, 1 December 2008

Solas Co-operative

After nearly two months since my last shop in there, I have returned to the Co-operative on North Uist, about 10 miles away. The next nearest supermarket is about 38 miles away, and an hour plus on several buses.

The Co-operative has changed. Significantly. (n.b. Only mainlanders say 'Co-op'. It's 'Co-operative' here.)

For a start, the shop now has a window. This has met with much approval (though I did hear one person bemoan it as "posh"), and has been the talk of the islands for a while:


It's really good, as it means the shop is lighter, and one can look out and see what direction the horizontal rain is coming from.

The till area is better. I've always found the staff in there very helpful, and the one in this picture actually comes from Wasilla, Alaska. Yes, there. And knows Sarah Palin's family well (she was taught at school by Sarah's father). She has a rather different perspective on Ms Palin than that which comes across the media. Small world.


There are signs et al up to promote Christmas-based food products, though a few of the signs are leading to some raised eyebrows and general 'tutting' locally about mainland ways of advertising things:


The shop is better stocked than it was before. The three aisles are now a bit wider so it is now possible for people to pass without the danger of anything indecent accidentally occuring. It sells essentials:


... and additionally fruit and vegetables:


And here's what I came away with in this, the highlight of most of my weeks:


The full set of pictures from today's shopping experience is on Flickr.


  1. AND they take credit cards, thankfully!

  2. Am I the only one dying to know the details of what your local shop-lady thinks of Sarah Palin?

  3. You must be s excited - is anyone on the island talking of anything else!

  4. This is a great, well stocked supermarket and I always enjoy seeing it loom on the horizon when I arrive on North Uist. I am usually starving after a long journey on my bike and end up buying loads more than I need! It's also well located for getting stuff to barbeque down on the beach that it faces which is one of the best I have seen on the islands.

  5. if you sizzle one packet of mushrooms in a very hot peppery olive oily frying pan - till they are singed and then dip them in the nutella you will have a feast to outdo any supermarket anywhere....

  6. Bet you're glad is wasn't a Woolies.

  7. A window in the Co-operative! It's not right. Whatever will they think of next?Actually, only about 25 years ago ago I went into a general store on the north west coast of Scotland to buy provisions. Collected various things and took them to the counter, and asked if there were also any vegetables for sale. The grumpy shopkeeper looked me in the eye and said "Vegatables! Good grief, mon, this is the West of Scotland. We don't sell vegetables here."