Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Teapots and Weirdos

I have picked up vibes suggesting that "politics and religion" is not a great combination with which to start the year. This is not a dinner party, you know, but I have taken note. I have also noted that the person responsible for such comments has not yet left a greeting under my Happy New Year post...

So in racking my brains for something a bit more light hearted I have decided to relay my Christmas shopping experience in Horsham. Before you decide to stop reading now I urge you to give this particular anecdote the benefit of the doubt. It might turn out to be quite amusing. But if it doesn't, please don't sue.

So there I was, in Horsham, a town with which I was unfamiliar looking for a Christmas present for my mum. Specifically I was looking for a small two-cup teapot (I might have been at least partially responsible for the breakage of her old one). I'd not had much success in London the day before, but to be fair I'd not devoted much time to it. People, you would not believe how hard it can be to find a two cup teapot, especially one which even vaguely matches my mum's mugs.

It didn't take long for me to find something which could have spelled the end of my epic quest, but the colours weren't quite right. Plus I'd have needed to sell all of my possessions just to afford it, so I moved on. I would have come back to it as a last resort, but on a day where most shops seemed to be opening late, this one closed at 5. Nice.

Having left this shop however, I began to panic that I'd just turned down the only teapot in town. M&S and BHS both had tiny china sections and it suddenly dawned on me as well that I hadn't a clue where to start looking for teapots.

There followed an unknown period of time in which I bounced from shop to shop in desperation. If a shop looked like it sold teapots I would darken the doors, discover that any teapot it sold was unsuitable and ask the shop assisstant if they knew where else I could try. This was invariably followed by my need to ask directions, as I hadn't the faintest idea where I was.

I'm pleased to report that I was eventually successful, and from a random home shop I procured a small blue teapot with which my mum seemed pleased.

On my travels however I came across a character I feel is worthy of a mention. Crossing a car park, I was accosted by a wiry man with big tinted glasses. Someone who wouldn't have looked or sounded out of place in The Simpsons. He thrust a book in my direction and said in a spaced out voice "Can I interest you in a book about the future of the world? It's a novel. About the future of the world". As I made to inspect it more closely he asked if I could spare a few pennies. My response was not positive, and with that the book was withdrawn with a sigh of "Better luck next time".

In a way I regret not paying more attention to what the book was - it could have been interesting, but it's too late now.

Currently I am zipping through the Wiltshire countryside sipping tea and enjoying my train journey back from West Wales. It sure beats sitting in a car on the M4. But really I should be using my time far more productively than rambling about shopping in Horsham, so bye for now.

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