The Lives of Others (or Das Leben der Anderen) is a brilliant Oscar-winning film from 2006, directed by Florian HendKel von Donnersmarck and starring Martina Gedeck, Ulrich Muhe and Sebastian Koche. The blurb reads: In this outstanding Oscar® winning, psychological and political thriller, we get a fascinating insight into the lengths and depths that the East European government went in order to keep tabs on the lives of its population in the 80s. The DVD release also has extras including a gallery of original Stasi devices.

This blog entry has shamefully borrowed the title of this poignant film to highlight my slightly voyeuristic tendency to collect other people’s shopping lists. Only the interesting ones of course. My favourite example is shown above on my office pinboard, an exotic concoction that could only have been found in a shopping trolley at Waitrose in Lewes (perhaps I should date and locate each list for future reference). This list involves olives, garlic bread (with cheese), bruschetta, calamari, oysters, crabs, salmon and mussels. I muse on whether they were planning a major seductive meal with all that seafood or whether it was the shopping list of a part-time mermaid, although I’m not sure mermaids eat garlic bread with or without cheese.

Hopefully, this weakness of mine is not quite at Stasi level and does no harm, or perhaps I should work for some retail research company and go pro. I’d love to hear if anyone else has found a discarded shopping list of note and what conclusions were drawn from it.

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