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Little Leaf vs. the retail giants

A few years ago I was getting chucked out of pubs, this weekend we were ushered out of Carpet Right. I used to run to get to clubs before 11pm to miss both the queues and entrance fee, this Sunday saw Danny and I running through the car park worried that they wouldn’t let us into IKEA for the last 15 minutes .

I’m beginning to wonder what happened to weekends where I woke up on a leisurely Saturday morning to wander down and have coffee with my girlfriends followed by a quick jaunt around the shops to buy something for that evening’s night out. These days no weekend is complete without the requisite ‘dash’ around giant stores where I get whiplash trying to look up at what’s on the top shelf.

Stores that have been purely hypothetical to me most of my life are now my weekend’s entertainment. Enormous warehouses that sell tiles, white goods, carpet, bathroom suites (in boxes no less) fill my weekend, tempting us both with crazy price cuts, bright yellow price tags and signs that scream at you to BUY NOW lest the ridiculous prices disappear to leave you high and dry, poised on the verge of buying that washing machine that was just perfect.

I’m getting quite used to spending £2,000 in a weekend. It’s terrifying but it’s true. Take this weekend for example, Danny and I had to buy all the curtain fabric and our bathroom suites, that’ll be two grand please. Two weekends ago we bought a car, that’ll be two and a half grand thank you very much, and just after Christmas we spent a mere £1,400 in Comet.

Oh how my life has changed. In its previous iteration I would never have discovered digital showers where you can change the temperature via remote control. I would not have known that curtains are measured in ‘drops’, or been able to tell you the price of a can of beans. I couldn’t say that I’m not nostalgic for those days, but these days are quite a lot of fun too.

We are coming across some fantastic people. Everyone we talk to loves our story and goes out of their way to help us out. Far from feeling taken advantage of by people who know what they’re talking about and can see us coming a mile off, I feel protected and looked after by DIY enthusiasts, curtain lovers and carpet experts: All of whom are singularly amused by our ability to choose a shower system based on the ‘button feeling substantial and not tacky’, or our willingness to buy an extra 7sq meters of carpet just so we can have stripes on the stairs (FYI we decided against this one).

We keep saying that doing all our purchasing in January has been great timing what with the sales and everything else, yet I must admit to not having any kind of benchmark. Someone in B&Q could tell me something is 20% off and I would feel like I’m getting a good deal. Equally I’m sure that shopping is more fun when there are great big signs everywhere telling us that we’re saving money, even if we are haemorrhaging GBPs at a rate of knots.

I’m quite sad to be coming to the end of our ‘buying time’, even if it is because we’re quickly running out of money, as while choosing it all is a good laugh I’m far less looking forward to taking delivery of it.

Did I neglect to mention that I can be a bit of a Princess? Good with the credit card, less good with hard labour.

Louise says:

Just think of the fun you will have with the remote temperature control showers. Any feisty guests…..