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Leaving old habits in the shade

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By Wendy Roberts

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As shops across the country flung open their doors and spending on non-essentials was permitted – even encouraged – I ventured out!

After months of lockdown and my ‘treat’ purse bursting with spends after my BIG birthday, I was craving a shopping haul.

Overnight, lockdown transformed our buying behaviour and apart from the weekly supermarket run, I have hardly spent a penny.

So, with a two-hour window where I wasn’t needed to sort the kids, walk the dog or attempt another culinary masterpiece in the kitchen (Joke: I can’t cook) I set off to splash some cash.

I fancied a new pair of jeans or perhaps a blouse. At the very least, a much needed restock of my almost empty make-up bag or lovely new bottle of perfume.

In my head, I recreated the scene from Pretty Woman where Julia Roberts struts down the Hollywood boulevard looking stunning with an armful of shopping bags. That was going to be me, I thought, laden with lots of loot by lunchtime!

It was great to be in a real shop that wasn’t a supermarket. It was great to not have a trolley and buying stuff like bread and cheese and milk.

As my eyes scanned the rails of clothes, I was overcome with excitement.

The retail experience felt different with screens at the tills, queues at shop entrances and stickers on the floor telling us which way to walk around the shop floor – but I was OUT and that is all that mattered.

I wandered round for ages looking at stuff, waiting for something to take my fancy. This was my belated Birthday blow out. I deserved a little pressie, right?

Then I saw it, hidden under a pile of stuff and pushed to the back of the shelf. It looked neglected as I dragged it out, but my eyes filled with delight.

Every woman will tell you when they have money in their pocket and a plan to buy jeans or a sweater – or both – it never happens.

The battered and broken lightshade was calling me, and I knew I had to have it. After haggling on the price with a sales assistant, I got it for a fiver and left the store feeling hugely accomplished – just like last year when I bought the packet of loo roll in Tesco.

I hadn’t spent a bomb, the pretty pink lightshade wasn’t on my shopping list, but I’d enjoyed being out and I knew it would frame my outdoor dining table and bring a bit of fun to my garden.

On my drive home, I questioned my purchase. I realised that lockdown life had probably curbed my desire to spend, giving me greater appreciation of the things that cost nothing.

It occurred to me that I hadn’t missed the material stuff – just the company of others, great conversations and a belly lot of laughs. It’s a nice lightshade though!

To see how Wendy could shine a light on your communications, contact us for a chat and a coffee – we would be delighted to see you!

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