Invigorate

Brand: Innocent

Cost: £1 (Meal Deal)

Found at: Tesco

Every Sunday, I go for a walk. A long walk – as far as I can go on food before my hips stiffen up and I start waddling like an adventurous penguin. It’s become the closest thing I have to travel during quarantine: I choose a spot outside of town and I walk there. In the past two weeks I’ve walked past a stoic BLM protest, an angry mob defending a local statue, and a squadron of police on horseback, patrolling the streets. Sometimes I stop and watch, but sometimes I just keep walking, intent to keep moving after a week of stillness. On my Sunday walk, I am a captain at the helm of my own adventure, and pilot in the direction of my choosing.

Inevitably on my walk, I pass a Tesco and stop to buy my lunch. Tesco has a meal deal where you can get a drink, a sandwich, and a snack for £3. It is a matter of personal pride that I always attempt to make as much profit on the deal as I can – selecting only the most expensive juices and snacks that I would never normally buy. Armed with this feast, I continue on my way until I decide that I am hungry. I have picnicked on hillsides, in parks, on benches overlooking the city, and on quiet curbs in front of boarded shops – enjoying my discount BLT more than all the carefully cooked meals of my weekday life.

I drank this smoothie in the pasture of an old country estate, now converted into a park for the masses. The unmown grasses spread out around me, and for the first time in months, the sky was uncropped by apartment buildings. I had walked a long way, and my feet were getting sore, so I sat in the grass and watched the groups of mountain bikers and dog walkers in the distance. I can’t say that I tasted much more than apple juice, or that I received any significant boost of energy, but it was pleasant and fruity and sweet. More importantly, it was flavored by the relief of rest, the beauty of nature, and the delightful joy of being somewhere new. Like the rolling green hills on the label, the land of country estate rose up in the distance, urging me to keep going towards yet another new place. But for the moment I got to sit and savor an expensive fruit smoothie and a moment of quiet in a tumultuous time.

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