Saturday, December 27, 2008

It all makes me shake inside

So the shops opened today, oh woe, and the sales were (and are) on. It's bad enough knowing this is the case, but what's infinitely worse, I had to go into the churning consumerist hell-hole which is departmentstoreal down-town - I had promised the older son a winter coat for Christmas (yes, from the post-Christmas sales), and besides which, I catastrophically broke my cafetiere at about half-past one on Christmas Eve, some thirty minutes after all shops had shut, to remain that way until today (yes, that was a total, global, monstrous disaster in the making, it was looking like a coffeeless Christmas was stretching ahead of me, like a loveless desert, but as it happens, my parents rode to the rescue and gave me their percolator thingumy to use and borrow - they have been making their Christmas coffee by a method so ancient even they had a hard time remembering how it went, but little do I care - or did, as now, thankfully, I have a new cafetiere, so the visit to the shopping inferno was not all bad). My son is pleased enough, too, and so he bloody well should be, but I am feeling mostly like my soul is a wrung-out and spent dish cloth. Why is it that some people seem to actually enjoy shopping at the sales? I saw many women, out doing the retail-therapy thing, complete with a friend, clearly having A Girls' Day Out. I bought my son's coat (and exchanged his mobile phone (also a Christmas present) for one which actually, you know, worked) and (while I clearly should have) didn't run straight home, for I still had 28€ on a gift voucher I'd been given by the employer for Christmas (and we paid tax, so enough of your cries of "corruption", k?), and I thought I could maybe find either something reasonable to wear for my up-and-coming Trip Abroad (of which more later), or a new cafetiere, but it turns out my 28 poxy euros would get me nothing whatsoever in the department store to which it's linked, save maybe a couple of pairs of socks, and their cafetieres seemed to cost 40-odd, and so I was forced to go to another shop and buy my cafetiere there, hurrah, but all this left me in the afore-mentioned dishclothy state, to the extent that, once at the foody shops, I realised I was becoming paralysed, when I found myself staring at the various kinds of creme fraiche, totally unable to pick one (and why do they have to have a dozen different types, I ask you?), and then the same again, at the tagliatelle shelf. Horrible. I'm just happy I made it home - I could have, you know, frozen there, and be there still, in the locked-up and darkened shop, looking at alternately the cheap supermarket-brand pasta and the bit-more-dear pretendy-Italian stuff (which I did choose, in the end - but it was spinachy, you understand, and I had to break free and leave).

Apart from all that, I see that Harold Pinter's died, poor sod, but it's not exactly a surprise, given the state he's been in, and that it is estimated Finns will use between fifteen and twenty million euros on fireworks between Christmas and New Year. Excuse me - what? That's a huge fucking sum of money, is it not, and in my opinion there should be a law against such wasteful, polluting, noisy, stupid, spend-thrifty nonsense (not to mention that inevitably, every sodding year, some young eejits manage to rid themselves of their sight and a bunch of fingers, setting the fuckers off whilst pissed).

And apart from all that, I hope you've all had a lovely and peaceful Christmas.


trousers said...

Yes indeed I have had a loverlee Christmas thank you - I hope that my current post has something of Christmas in it without actually mentioning Christmas itself (not that mentioning it or not is an issue).

It's perhaps a shame that your 40 euro* gift voucher cannot be exchanged for a pound sterling voucher of equivalent value for your upcoming sojourn. The way things are going, 40 euros could go a long way here, especially in the sales - though I realise that that is surely not how you wish to spend your visit to these shores.

*I'm annoyed to see the euro sign absent from my keyboard. I'm sure I can summon it up with a crafty combination of ctrl-shift-this-that-and-the-other, but I don't know how, and that's disappointing.

word ver = cingona, which for once seems not to have direct relevance to the above comment. I may be wrong, of course.

trousers said...

...although this word ver = coatiers, which is presumably the place you got your son's garment from.

Anna MR said...

Yes, housut, you are spot-on correct: the way I am currently feeling, I don't mind if I never set foot to another shop as long as I live. Mind you, I also know these things pass, and I am as prone as anyone to a lovely pair of shoes or a new perfume or whatever the feck. But still. Not today, thank you, I'm trying to give them up.

I thought the idea (and execution) of posting your fire was delightful. Totally lovely in the right-minded spirit of Christmas - and I'm glad to know you've had a good one.

(I can't help you with the € sign dilemma, I am afraid, for I have a Scandinavian Mac keyboard, and I can't even remember whether you're a Maccer or not. I have € right here, though, see, just above the number 4. It's most likely hiding under your E, though - that's where I'd look first.)

(And just to show off - I have a £, too - it's cleverly hidden in my 3 key - alt-3. And yes, it is a shame I can't exchange my voucher for £s, for I understand the £ is doing pretty badly and I get nearly as many £ for my €, which is pretty much unheard of. I'll shut up now. Both cingona and coatiers were fine words.)

trousers said...

Well I do have a Mac, but my internet access is via PC.

I did try ctrl alt and e, and all I got was é, which is useful to know should I need an é, but I don't, not right now anyway.

So I googled, and found that by holding down alt and typing 0128 on the numbers pad on the right (not on the row at the top) I get €.

Not the most straightforward way, but it works. Once again, knowledge is power. Thanks too for your lovely words about my fire.

...and now I feel very silly indeed: I'd already checked the 4 key and there's a $. Somehow I missed the fact that printed just to the left of the 4 (on the same key) is a €, which is ctrl alt 4. Knowledge may be power but I think my mind is in one of its tundra moments...

trousers said...

...another word ver = dogxinge.

Thakn goodness dogot cannot read.

Anna MR said...

housut of tundra mind, hei. All's well that ends well, now, is it not? You have € now, at your straightforward disposal, so a bit of silliness here or there matters not.

Dogxinge? Sounds like a Shaolin Dogot or something. You're right, it's just as well she doesn't blog.