I suppose it is inevitable that, when there is an accumulation of the fairer sex (accumulation being defined as more than one), the Olympic sport of cross-country shopping should come to the fore. So it was today that, after a leisurely breakfast lasting most of the morning, we took Inger and Helge over to Milton Keynes to attack the shops in MK Central.
My first disappointment was that our usual “free at weekends” parking section had been changed into a paying section. Drat! This is something I find particularly objectionable – an area that exists to support businesses in their endeavour to encourage Joe Public to part with his money, then having the temerity to make Joe Public pay for the privilege. Even more irksome, though it’s really the same syndrome, are events such as the annual “Arts and Crafts Fair” in the grounds of Woburn Abbey. The “fair” exists purely for vendors selling mostly clutter and future gatherers of dust, yet it once again charges the hapless Joe Public a princely entrance fee for the privilege of parting with yet more cash. But I digress, park we did and off we went.
I was heartened to discover that, not only is the female sport-shopping gene universal, but the male shop-only-when-absolutely-necessary-and-as-quickly-as-possible gene is also universal. While Carol and Inger were as happy as pigs in … well, you know what … minutely examining almost every garment on every rail in Marks and Spencer, Helge was soon as bored witless as I was. Being a seasoned campaigner, Helge found two chairs, one either side of the fitting rooms, and he and I were able to sit like a couple of bookends while the ladies continued their raid. I noted another chap accompanied by two male rugrats all three of whom had resorted to sitting on the floor under a clothing rail. In a shop the size of a small town, there really should be more than two chairs available for the almost countless bored male hangers-on. Maybe I should go into the shopping chair rental business.
Eventually the frenetic clothes selection came to an end and we escaped with only minor damage to the wallet. After a relatively brief stop at an Arts and Crafts shop (arghhhh!), which at least didn’t fleece us for to park, we headed back for a very late lunch and some well-deserved medicinal vino.
Modern Scandinavian invasion forces also seem to use technology to raid stores. While yours truly was preparing another leg of New Zealand lamb for the trusty Weber grill, Inger, sharing with me a love of cookery books, set about thumbing through some of my cooking library. Before long, temptation got the better of her and a computerized raid began as she set about depleting the stock held by “amazon.co.uk”, there being no convenient “amazon.co.no” for her to use.
OK, so it seems the pillaging still exists, now where’s the rape?