Fresh Ginger, local supermarket!!!!! I would give at best a 50% chance of finding either peppers or broccoli but not both and they would certainly be pre-rotted for my convenience. Dave 21478 can take the credit for coining that phrase.
A few years ago I was going to cooking classes with a group of people hosted at Amiens by a retired chef, the deal was that he would buy all the ingrédients as even all the others who lived in the metropole were likely to come up short, each week he would tell us what the next weeks recipé would be, - probablement because he could not count on finding the ingrédients and may have to switch recipés.
We did some great dishes but I became wholeheartedly sick with spending up to a week travelling to Amiens, Arras, St Quentin etc to try and buy what to me are basic fresh ingrédients to make them later on, Ginger was one that I could rarely find.
I still have the tub of dried coriandre that you gave me all those years ago, only once since then have I found it fresh and that was at the arab market.
My father was from Sunderland, Croydon must have been like another planet to him back in 1930.