Can M&S food delivery make me any more lazy than I already am?

Shopping at Marks & Spencer
Basket case: it's time to retreat from the shops, into our homes Credit: Chris Ratcliffe

I’ve given up. It’s wonderful. I don’t know why it took me so long.

Until very recently, I had always been self-reliant. If I could accomplish something, afford something, cope with something by myself, then it got done, bought or dealt with. If not, not.

I held out against most things designed to ease one’s passage through life. Apps. Ocado. Religion. And I managed.

But we’ve just moved house, a process that took nine months and was so ceaselessly dreadful that it almost broke me. We were downsizing, too, so on top of all the usual stress, I was also having to say goodbye to roughly one in every three things I owned, and as someone who is emotionally attached even – nay, especially – to all my towels, it was a difficult time.

The new house had no oven, just a microwave, so ready meals it was - nice ones, from Marks and Waitrose... I found myself putting off ordering the oven

The new house had no washing machine or oven and, of course, the area was not yet familiar to me. I could barely face going out anyway. And so the rot – the glorious, liberating, decadent, delicious rot – set in.

First came the ready-meals. We had our microwave but no oven, you see, so I couldn’t cook properly, just couldn’t.

So, ready meals it was. Nice ones, you know, from Marks and Waitrose, not going to do us or the child any harm in the short term, and so easy. So wonderfully, wonderfully easy. And I hate cooking so much. At least the way I do it, the effort-to-reward ratio is worse than just about anything. Except sex. At least the way I do it.

Of course, sometimes you get a hankering for something a bit more substantial – I’m speaking culinarily again now – so we started going out for meals occasionally. Then more than occasionally. Almost every evening, in fact. I found myself putting off ordering the oven.

Marks & Spencer is to trial a new food delivery service in the autumn Credit: M&S

And the washing machine. Do you know there are companies – plural! – who will do your laundry for you? You stuff it into bags, click a date and time online and then someone comes and picks it up, brushes off your apologies for being someone who cannot do her own washing (“Could you dry clean my ethically filthy soul?”), takes it away and brings it back a day later, washed, folded and ironed to almost your exact specifications. You just have to put it away. Which suddenly begins to look like a lot of work, but you manage.

After that… well, all bets are off, aren’t they?

Once you’re sunk that deep in the mire of depravity, you might as well see what all the Ocado fans have been banging on about for years. Oh God, it’s amazing. Especially if, like me, you don’t drive. You are not limited to what you can carry.

You can buy enough cat food to last for weeks, stock up on sugar and flour, and then chuck in whatever takes your fancy on top of that! And then someone brings it into your hallway. You just have to put it away. Which again, begins to look like a bit of a fag, but never mind.

Oh God, Ocado is amazing. You can buy enough cat food to last for weeks, and someone brings it into your hallway. You just have to put it away, which is a bit of a fag

You can hire a handyman to put the bed together after the removal men fail to do so because you made the mistake of paying them upfront. They will do other jobs while they’re there because you’ve paid for the hour. It’s like having a husband who’s not allowed to complain, or a friend who’s not allowed to judge.

You can’t put a price on that, except you can – he’s £30 an hour, and I catch myself wondering how much I’d need to earn to keep him here all day every day. Imagine having someone in the house who could leap into practical action at a moment’s notice. Like having your own personal superhero.

Because I don’t know bus routes or shops yet, I’ve been having everything else delivered, too. New school shoes for the child. Printer cartridges. New mugs to replace those smashed in the move. No need to go out and see things in the flesh. Everything will do. No need to go out, full stop. Just get a couple of onesies delivered (you need one to wear while the other’s sent out for washing) and you’re golden.

This is the way the world ends, of course. Not with a bang, but with gently atrophying muscles and social skills as we all retreat into our homes, adult babygros and lives of least resistance.

So I am taking steps to arrest my slide into moral and physical deliquescence. I have reluctantly ordered an oven. I have, even more reluctantly, ordered a washing machine. I am ignoring the news that Marks & Spencer is launching a food delivery service in the autumn. Maybe they will gain the edge over rivals by unpacking everything and putting it in the fridge…

No, stop. It is time to take responsibility again. I will rebuild my muscles by carrying cat food and ironing shirts once more. But oh, my friends, it was good – it was so, so good – while it lasted.