I’ve recently returned (mentally, not geographically) from a staycation, exploring some areas around my home patch in West Sussex, England. For the uninitiated, please know the staycation was a fabulous holiday, eliminating all the stress and hassle of travel while still experiencing everything I enjoy while on vacation. We explored a castle, a winery, some new restaurants, some decent walks, and a couple of speciality food stores.
The speciality food stores were chief among the many highlights. For there is nothing I enjoy more when on holiday (at home or abroad) than a spot of Cameron Diaz shopping in a really nice food shop.
If you’ve seen The Holiday you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Cameron Diaz, on her solo trip to England over Christmas, finds herself in a heavenly food shop full of every delight of which she normally deprives herself. Pasta, wine, chocolate truffles, nuts, crisps, bread, cheese, olives – you name it, if she wanted it, it went in the cart. The reckless abandon and complete disregard for the rules, whether real or self-imposed, is inspiring. I mean for goodness sake, who else can get away with opening a bottle of wine IN the shop, standing at the till with her bounty, glugging straight from the bottle?!
Now, I lead no life of deprivation, and I stop short of actually opening the bottle of wine IN the shop, but there is something truly freeing and really, really fun about going into a shop and buying WHATEVER the hell you like. Without reservation, moderation or common sense. If the staff at the checkout doesn’t assume you’re having a party tonight, you’re doing it wrong.
I indulge in some Cameron Diaz shopping in just about every holiday destination in which I find myself. I find it puts me right in the mood to let my hair down, relax, and start really enjoying myself. And after all, you’re in a food shop, not a Mercedes Benz dealership – how much damage could you do, really?
The only guiding principle I recommend is to buy things you will actually consume. It’s not quite the same lugging home a suitcase of squid ink pasta and harissa oil.
Among my Cameron Diaz purchases this time were a sourdough boule, two cheeses (a locally produced camembert-style wheel and a big wedge of Comté), a bag of the finest pappardelle pasta, some wafer-thin but huge slices of peppercorn-studded salami, black liquorice spirals, and a pot of celery salt mixed with cumin seeds and cayenne, for Caesars.
So go on, next time you’re on holiday, instead of going out for lunch, go Cameron Diaz shopping. With any luck, you may even find a Jude Law-figure knocking on your door…