When both her children are at home from University for the holidays, Helen Smith often has to go shopping. Mary and Charles eat her out of house and home. Usually Helen does a big shop once every two or three weeks. On these occasions she drives to a supermarket near her home. She takes with her a list of all the things she wants to buy. If John goes with her, he takes a calculator to add up the price as they go along and to work out the most economical buy. At the entrance to the supermarket, Helen collects a trolley. She then walks up and down the aisles picking out the items she wants. If Charles is helping, she usually ends up with things she doesn't want as well.
When all the aisles have been covered, Helen goes to the checkout and waits in the queue until it's her turn to pay. Then she packs up her car with the goods she's bought and drives home. Helen does not often buy fruit and vegetables in the supermarket, because they are cheaper at the market. Every Friday lunchtime she meets John there and together they buy enough fruit and vegetables to last them the week. When the children are at home, Helen will often have to stock up at a local greengrocer's or small supermarket, which are within easy reach of her home.
If Helen wants to buy something other than food, she goes into the city centre. Often she will take an afternoon off from her work and browse around the shops. If there's a sale on she may find a good bargain on a skirt or jacket. Helen buys most of her clothes when she is not looking for anything in particular. Whenever she needs something, for example, a new outfit for her cousin's wedding last year, it is impossible to find the right thing. Helen is not as gifted as Mary in that. She cannot find any old outfit at a jumble sale and make something stunning out of it. However, she is good at buying presents for people. At birthdays and Christmas, she delights her family and friends by giving them just the right thing. She picks things up when she sees them and often visits Stratford. This is the town where Shakespeare was born. It is not far from Birmingham and is a tourist centre, so it has many gift shops.
With all this shopping and with her translating work, it is surprising that Helen has time for housework. She cleans the house twice a week. One time is a thorough going-over. The other time is just a quick flick. When Mary and Charles are at home, they help a lot. Charles will sort the washing out and put it in the machine. Mary will do the ironing. Having children at home may mean buying more food, but it also means more help around the house.
1. Check-out - a desk in a self-service shop where one shows the goods one has chosen and pays for them.
2. Jumble sale (Br.E.) - a sale of used articles to get money, esp. for some good work.
3. Eat someone out of house and home- make life difficult for someone by eating more food than one can afford to provide.
TASK 2. Read and translate the text. Answer the following questions.
1. Does Helen often go shopping? 2. Does John help Helen to do her shopping? 3. What does John take a calculator for when he goes shopping? 4. Where does Helen buy clothes? 5. What is Helen good at? 6. Where does she prefer to buy presents for her friends? 7. How often does Helen do her house? 8. Who helps her about the house?
TASK 3. Confirm or deny the statements.
1. Helen never buys things and food at the market. 2. Every Friday lunchtime Helen goes to Stratford. 3. Helen buys most of her clothes when she is not looking for anything. 4. John hates going to shops 5. When Mary and Charles are at home, Helen buys more food.
TASK 4. Describe Helen's visit to the supermarket/the Department store.
TASK 5. Make short conversations in the following situations:
Helen is going to do some shopping. She is not sure whether there is enough food in her refrigerator, in her cupboard.