Bulk Buy Bye

I got back into the car at precisely 10:59am. I put on the radio and wondered why there was silence broadcasting on the wireless. (I was tuned into KISS for the record!) As it clicked over to 11am, the penny dropped. It was Remembrance Sunday and the moment the nation comes together to remember those that have given their lives in conflicts past and present, for our freedom. My mind flashed back to the same moment two years ago. I was in Newbury and had a quiet moment to reflect and did so again now. However, it was amazing how different things were for me and how much I had weathered the storm. (I knew little of the impending storm that frosty November morning…) How was your week? Mine was rather hectic and for various reasons busy outside the hours of work. On Monday and Thursday I had to dash over to Uxbridge (meaning the gym sessions never happened). I was looking forward to Friday and being able to work from home but it was another long slog but I was disciplined, promptly at 4:30pm I logged off. Plus, I had stuff to get on with, I caught the bus into town and got my haircut. It had been over five weeks and my hair was a mess, it was good to finally get it cut. Although, the journey was in the cold dull black rain, it was something I dare not put off a day longer. On Saturday morning, I arranged to meet up with Michelle and go to CostCo (I needed to get a replacement card, well that was my excuse in any case!). However, before we left Langley, we had a few jobs to do and I queued at the local village Post Office. It was open until 4pm, which is completely alien notion to me. In my neck of the woods all the local post offices close around midday on Saturday (if open at all). The queue was out of the door, so we had a good fifteen minute wait to be served. The woman on the shop counter, could also serve Post Office customers, but was very selective on whom she called up. Eventually we were seen to and got out of there, but not after being stuck behind a middle agled Polish couple, who had decided to pinch an envelope from a greeting card for their posted item. This annoyed the Sub Post Mistress behind believe. She was not going to have it and would be charging them the full price for the card. The words, “Get a grip!” came to mind! I did not want to use this post office again but feel as it is the only one I know of open until 4pm on a Saturday it will be somewhere I visit again. We then headed down the M4 to Reading. Our first visit to CostCo together – oh how romantic! All my previous visits, have been with Pav, going way back to May 2007.¬†Thanks to Michelle’s profession, I was able to get a spouse card, but then duly lost it during the Reading Festival weekend. The store was busy as you would expect for a Saturday afternoon but we had time on our hands. I found a parking spot and we headed into the store, with Michelle’s card check prior to entry. Looking across at the Membership Desk, there was a long queue, so we decided to sort out my replacement card at the end of our trip. I love a bargain and buying in bulk, also appeals perhaps to my Asian heritage. Michelle wanted to make a beeline for the main items she had come for (her Mum had given her a list) whereas I prefer to have a browse around and check out any potential items for the trolley. Michelle was quick to jump on the calculator on her phone and discover if the purchase was really the great offer it appeared to be. Many were, and when we saw that some items were discounted further with coupons, I wondered if Michelle had been sent a voucher book. (Ironically she had, but only earlier than morning but we would not discover this until later that afternoon). However, once at the till we were informed that there was no need for coupons, any items due for discount would have their value automatically adjusted at the till. Fantastic! Overall we spent nearly two hours in the discount warehouse and bought two trolley’s worth of goods, which we squeezed onto a single trolley! However, the punishment was over for me as we drove home. Michelle had to return to CostCo the following day with her Mum, Dad and Aunt to grab even more bargains as one trip was not enough! My attitude to shopping and the entire retail experience has changed a great deal over the past few years. There was a time when I avoided going into town centres, particularly on Saturday mornings. Within a few months, I found that this was the only day I could venture into town myself and get all those jobs done (Sunday was an option but most of the important establishments, such as the Post Office were closed). Now, I find myself mesmerised by amazing shopping centres, The Bull Ring, Westfield, Bluewater and more locally The Oracle. I am not sure when or even how I turned but I did. Even so, I still shop like a bloke, having a pre-determined idea of what I want to purchase before even stepping foot out of my house. I just wish, girls shopped with the same mindset!

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