Monty Don’s first shopping trip in months blighted by ‘pang of loss’ at unforeseen news

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Gardeners’ World star Monty Don revealed he is a big fan of internet shopping and hadn’t been to the shops for eight months, because of the coronavirus pandemic and his busy schedule. During a recent trip to the high street to make an essential purchase before lockdown, the 65-year-old TV presenter discovered that a familiar face was missing and it made him realise what he liked about shopping in person.

Monty described internet shopping as the “ideal shopping experience,” joking that it was designed “specifically to make him happy” in his column for inews last month.

He said that his wife Sarah had done all the food shopping since March while he worked on three books and filmed his popular BBC gardening show.

The presenter went on to say that he found the process “slick” and enjoyed being able to easily order anything he needed online without any fuss.

However, his recent outing to buy dog and chicken food – at the same place he has been shopping since 1992 – made him realise he missed “humanity” when buying.

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On arrival in the store, Monty was greeted by a comforting and familiar smell, which he described as “lovely”.

He explained that straight away he looked for the shop assistant who had served him for the past 25 years.

The father-of-three noted that it was quite unusual, and previously the gentleman had not changed in the slightest over that time.

“His hair, clothes, face have been exactly the same for a quarter of a century,” he wrote.

“When I asked where he was, I was told he had retired,” the gardening enthusiast continued.

“He was quite grumpy and we never talked much other than pleasantries.

“But I felt a real pang of loss.

“My internet-shopping world, with its wonderfully easy, slick processes, has the one irreplaceable thing missing that I do like about shopping: humanity,” he mused.

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During 2020 and the coronavirus pandemic, Monty was incredibly busy, working on three new releases in between filming his gardening programme.

He said he had to put in long hours “day after day” in order to finish everything on time.

Two of his books went on sale this autumn and the third is set to be published in the spring.

With his writing work complete and the BBC show on a break, the presenter will no doubt be looking forward to some much-needed time off over the festive period.

A social media post earlier this week however, revealed that work in his garden never stops.

The horticulturist has already started sowing seeds to grow plants for his garden in the new year.

Alongside a picture of the inside of his potting shed, he gave his 683,000 followers an update.

“Have begun seed sowing for next year. I love these midwinter potting shed days,” he wrote online.

“This is why we still need Gardeners’ World on the telly in the winter!” one fan exclaimed in the comments section of the post.

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