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Sunday, January 29, 2012


Our search for the perfect piece of furniture was, once again, the focus of our Saturday.  Having been unsuccessful on our previous attempts, my orders were to finish my housework in record time, and be ready to leave the house by 6am.  Knowing my daughter's fondness of the snooze button, and the fact that it was the weekend, I translated an acceptable time be around eleven. I did rise at 6am, albeit a Saturday, and we left the house about half an hour before midday. 

My week had been erratic.  Joe, our coffee roaster, had returned from his annual trip to South America, and was in his warehouse on Monday.  An early morning cup of coffee is my preferred method of wake up call, but a freshly roasted cup of Joe's (no pun intended) is unbeatable.  We had been rationing our final bag of coffee, and to add insult to injury at the end of last week, the automatic beverage maker in our office, had taken early retirement, with no intention of returning to work, even with the incentive of a descaling.  I replaced it with a new model, ready for a fresh supply of grounds from the said, returned, roaster.  A fresh bag of coffee and a pre-work cup of brewed necter was the perfect start to my week. All was now right with my world!

I played truant twice this week;  Tuesday I spent an hour having my nails done.  Of course, by the law of averages, Tuesday was very busy, as was Friday, when I was away from the office for nearly three hours.  My haircut did not take particularly long, but the short trip into two more furniture stores, kept me away for longer.  We did see a couple of items that would be suitable, and Samantha took down details, for future comparison.
Our Saturday 'jolly' began with a trip to furniture consignment shops, but with no joy, we made our way to Costco, for petrol.  It was lunchtime and, therefore, the food samples were on the corners of most aisles.  Since I returned from England, I have been desperately trying to return to some sort of reasonable diet, having eaten half my weight in potatoes, bread and other unfashionable food, and the other half in chocolate, marzipan and all those things that I have been informed should never be consumed by anyone over 40 years of age.  Hoping that celery does indeed take more calories to digest than to eat, I have been munching at will, in between meals, and avoiding forbidden delicacies.  The international wholesale warehouse was not the place to visit when attempting to refrain from forbidden delicacies, and all good intentions that have been vaguely adhered to, disappeared within seconds of showing our card to the doorman. Weaning myself off chocolate (despite the one piece a day of  extra dark, for medicinal purposes, of course), is far preferable to doing 'cold turkey', and scrumptious as it may sound, celery does not have the same effect as the cocoa bean. The same premise goes for other items considered as death qualifying by those who insist that anything containing a modicum of carbohydrate will cause my very early demise. (I am still trying to find a counter-phrase for 'the whiter the bread, the sooner you're dead!)   However, weaning was put on hold, as the equivalent of breakfast, lunch and a three course dinner were being offered, and accepted.  Munching happily, we almost forgot our quest, as we stumbled across some very nice 'dressers', which although were slightly out of acceptable price range, were a possibility should the necessity arise.  The camera feature on Samantha's phone was charging overtime, as she made an image of each piece. 
We left Costco empty handed, but not hungry, and made our way to the furniture stores.  We entered the first shop and were astonished that we were not pounced upon by eager salesmen.  Previously, we had detoured through the sofas in an attempt to avoid the over enthusiastic staff.  'Just browsing' is not permitted without instruction.  I do understand that many salesmen work on commission, and of course, if sales are not made, jobs may be jeopardised, but it did become increasingly difficult to keep myself from saying, 'leave me alone!'  It is possible, although not probable, that I was recognised, and finding someone to help was almost an effort.  Eventually, we made our way to the sales center and spoke to a rather unwilling representative.  My question of. 'when would we be able to take possession', was answered, threefold.  Firstly, I was given the history of production, then the approximate time of delivery, followed by the cost of delivery.  I questioned the last point, and asked if it was possible to receive the item without paying a delivery charge.  The answer was 'yes', providing I was willing to drive for an hour and a half ,to collect it from the warehouse.  The lady behind the desk started to get slightly agitated as I suggested that perhaps there was a slight misrepresentation in the pricing of the items, as it was not possible to actually buy from the store, to which she replied; 'We are a showroom, not a warehouse.  Would you like to discuss this with a salesman'.  I declined. 
Slightly disappointed, we went to Walmart to have yet another altercation with the scanning machine.  Presumably the voice had previously been employed in a kindergarten, as she repeated her commands in a very precise manner, as if to a pre-school toddler, and demanded that I place the items in the bag.  I began to wonder whether my mother was consulted in the set up of these machines!
Having piled the shopping into the compact boot of the mini, we drove to the next group of stores.  The faithful floor walker appeared from nowhere.  Jumping in surprise as 'she wasn't there a second ago', we listened to the 'instructions'.  In response to 'so if you have any questions', I asked how long it would take to receive the item.  The same response was given.  Unfortunately, this store's manufacturer's were in North Carolina, so picking it up from the warehouse was not an option, as the hire of a truck and petrol would probably exceed the extra money they added for delivery.  They did not make a sale.  Of course, Samantha did not get her piece of furniture! 
Our mission was not accomplished, and no doubt we will spend next week hunting for the perfect piece of furniture.  My weekend, however, continued pleasantly.  Joe joined us for dinner on Saturday night, and Sunday was uneventful and relaxing, with the highlight of the day being the purchase of a container for my next purchase of bread flour.  Exciting is not always preferable!  I have come to a compromise, as far as my diet is concerned.  My fridge now containes equal amounts of celery and chocolate.  Whether I eat equal quanities will no doubt be included in.....another story.

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