Friday, May 09, 2008

Something For The Weekend 37

My Dear Dave,

Please help me! I realise it’s been far too long since last we corresponded and I’m sure you’ve long since abandoned this site to hook up with some other interweb floosie – perhaps one with “downloads”? or “pop-ups”? – but I’m issuing this desperate plea to you because something drastic has happened to me and you’re the only one I can think of who might be able to explain it. Apologies for the epic retelling…

It all began innocently enough a couple of months back when I received a set of those thanks-for-not-f#cking-things-up-too-badly-in-‘07 gift vouchers from our mutual, benevolent employer. They were for “prestige” department store John Lewis and when I found out they didn’t sell pizza, I decided to buy a new duvet cover. For my duvet. Remarkably, despite discovering that I apparently have a King-Size duvet on a Double-Size bed, I managed to purchase the correct cover - with matching pillowcases - without much trouble. Even more remarkable was the fact that I managed to get a colour and pattern that vaguely matched the existing bedroom curtains. Result!

All was well until I decided a few weeks later that my smart new duvet cover was just way too chic and pristine for my 16 year-old duvet which, by the way, I don’t think I’ve ever washed! (Quick trivia question: Who used to say, “We don’t DO duvets!”) I mean… who in their right mind wraps lovely organic cotton around a hollow fibre duvet, right?

As luck would have it, I received some more of the prestige gift vouchers last week for my birthday (no belated greetings required) from my loving siblings. When my beautiful wee sister Rona arrived on Sunday for a relaxing few days of food and wine away from her young family, I immediately wrenched the Merlot out of her hands and marched her to the shops to help me buy a new duvet.

Dave, I don’t know if you’ve ever found yourself wandering aimlessly in the duvet section of John Lewis *wink* but the opulence and choice on offer is like a trip through the ancient Imperial courts of Eastern Europe… £300+ for Siberian Goose Down or Hungarian Goose Feather or Polish Duck Down and I swear I even saw a Russian silk-lined effort filled with the fluffiest down of cute, three-day old baby swans. Or cygnets if you feel like gettin’ all David Attenborough on ma ass. And don’t even get me started on the togs! What the f…?

With Rona’s help, I settled on a medium-priced, feather/down combination duvet from a duck(s) of non-specified origin. I had a little money left over and fairly quickly I started to get a tingling feeling in my toes; a strange unsettling sensation that my bedroom ensemble was not yet complete.

“Do you think John Lewis sell girlfriends?” I asked Rona earnestly.

“Don’t think THAT’S gonna be an issue if you carry on like this,” she mumbled quietly, almost as if she didn’t want me to hear. Weird.

As she later explained to me in hushed tones, there is apparently something called “accessorising” (from the Latin “access” meaning “get in” and “orising” meaning “to downward-spiralling uncontrollable debt”) and sure enough I had it bad. Before Rona could stop me I was off to the fitted bedsheet section to find the matching organic cotton gem on which I would lay my tender, recently-tanned but healthily moisturised skin that very night.

Later that evening we were driving through my home town to my favourite Indian restaurant – the one with Taj Mahal-sized nan breads – and happened to pass a retail park that had been built since Rona last visited.

“Hey look, they’ve got an Au Naturale store there,” she exclaimed with excitement. “And they’re having a closing down sale. Maybe we could pick you up a couple of scented candles tomorrow?”

I could tell she was having a little fun at my expense and I resorted to my usual big brother tactic of smiling condescendingly and smacking her round the head but inside I was thinking, “What a fanf#ckingtastic idea! And I could maybe get some new pillows while I’m at it.” Sure enough, next morning I was up early ready to spend my entire Bank Holiday Monday elbowing manic housewives out the way to grab the last packet of cinnamon-scented pot-pourri.

(Top Shopping Tip: If you’ve been for a curry the night before and are feeling a little “windy” during your retail therapy, do your “crop-dusting” in the pot-pourri section – the awesome power of the jasmine and lavender means that no-one will ever know.)

Dave… I tell you… I was physically twitching as I wandered round the house waiting for Rona to wake up and finish her breakfast so we could head off to Au Naturale World. Here’s what I ended up buying:

- Wooden picture frame (1): to house the photo of victorious Team Edge, and which will sit in the spare room in time for Big G’s visit in July.

- Pillows (2): Snuggledown Bounce Backs at £6 a pair? Oh, I think so.

- Big White Bath Towel (1): Monica would categorise it “Fancy Guest”.

- Strawberry & Cream Candle Pillars (3): They match the colour scheme in my living room so I’m hardly gonna ignore them at £3 each, am I?

- Scented Candle Pots (3): These are candles that come in their own little glass containers. I’ve been thinking for a while now that the overhead light in the bathroom is too harsh when I’m lying back in a soapy bubble bath of lavender and ylang-ylang perusing Cosmo, so these are perfect for a more subtle reading experience. Not only that, but they are the EXACT same fragrance as the bubble bath. Talk about complementary accessorising! You see how serious this is getting Dave… throw in a little Kenny G and a glass of chardonnay and I’m ready for a guest spot on Will & Grace.

- Twig Lights (4): A fiver for these 3-foot high, twig-like stalks with little fairy lights wrapped round them for a more subtle lighting experience in the dining area. For all those dinner parties I have.

- Cream Vase (1): To accommodate the twig lights.

Dave… what’s wrong with me? I’ve still got some Amazon vouchers to spend and I find myself clicking on “houseware and furnishings” rather than conducting my usual “Gillian Anderson” search. Is it because I cut my hair short and shaved off my beard last week? Am I trying to compensate for the fact that Ikea is miles away? Do I just need a right good drink?

Please reply soon with an explanation and/or cure because the little tingling feeling in my toes is back and I have the strangest urge to spend the next Bank Holiday antiquing in the Lake District. I mean... is that even a real verb? Antiquing? Next thing you know I’ll be telling you I’m planning to “summer” in the Hamptons. Holy sh..

Yours in desperation.



At 10/5/08 8:52 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aawh, sweetie, great to see you back on form, I've missed these kinda posts xx

At 10/5/08 11:48 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me too. So glad you're back!

At 11/5/08 11:24 am, Blogger Donald said...

Soaps, Great post - it's good to open your heart & get all girlie - it shows that you've crawled out of your cave.

Was a bit concerned that while your doing duvets & that, a certain "Friend of Ours" has gone & got, not one, but two classic axes man.But, I suppose farting in the pot-pourri section is a bit rock 'n' roll.


At 11/5/08 9:45 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...


It has taken me all weekend to read that posting! There was also a serious lack of pictures. So that's my excuse for the delay in replying. That and the fact that I bought Grand Theft Auto for the xbox and have been spending way too many hours playing it. Which does make me a sado. Anyway, topics like this are best discussed over a cup of tea and scone in our favourite store. No, wait, I mean in the pub when we are drinking pints of stella and talking about football and then somehow veer off onto subjects like duvets and scented candles (I reckon it's subliminal messages posted in the urinal or something that causes this). Hope the duvet is of a reasonable tog - one that will keep you warm in winter, yet cool and fresh during the muggy summer nights. You can tell me more at the sleepover you've invited me to - and yes, I will remember your favourite marshmallows for the hot chocolate this time.



At 12/5/08 2:49 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Did you smoke some special cigarettes when Rona was there? Seriously, accessorizing is key and when you pull in colours from your room with the duvet its almost as satisfying as smoking a drive 270 yds down the middle with a slight fade. On that note, if you really need a cure, jump on a plane and we will go and play some golf and and talk about cars, women and ehh vanilla candles.
Later dude


At 15/5/08 11:49 pm, Blogger Stuart said...

Extremely funny, but that's the last feckin time you're getting a John Lewis voucher for your birthday. It's a voucher for Wickes or Greaves next time.

Keith, only 270 yards? Losing your edge?



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