We went to the sales yesterday.
Considering how rotten I was feeling and how much my psyche was begging for some retail therapy to ease it, I managed to stay strong and resist all the bargain clothes reductions - I didn't even buy a pair of pretend suede ankle boots in soft beige with big buckles and stocky cowboy stack heels that I found in the sales reduced to 12€. That's how strong I am!
Phew - wipe the sweat of resistance from my brow, and then shamefully admit:
"My name is Monika and I am a bargain basement material-aholic"
Having taken Thea around all the trendy young thing shops - (so no temptations there at all for me), we also trawled a couple of the larger supermarket for their sale bargains.
I must clarify (and digress) - I love the French way of handling sales.
There are only 2 sales periods in a year, one in February and one in July. All the rest of the year you get the odd promotion, but not a real sale with knockdown prices and bargain bins of tat. Nor do you get that very UK things of non-seasonal items reduced all year round, so for instance, you can't buy your next years Christmas decorations in the New Year sales, because there aren't any, and by February when the sales are on, no Christmas things are to be seen. You have to buy Christmas decorations and cards etc before December 24th, and you may find things on 3 for 2 promotions or buy one get one half price then and only then.
This comes as a very real culture shock having spent the last few years in the UK getting used to being able to buy anything at any time and usually reduced.
You can't buy a swimming costume in France in the winter unless you go to a specialist sports provision shop. Fashion swimsuits and bikinis arrive in the shops in May, and are all gone by August, if you miss them, you have to wait till next year. Even the home order catalogues are seasonal.
I was struck by this after flicking through the summer La Redoute catalogue the other day. I saw a couple of things that looked quite nice and so when I got home I went online to see if I could get a bigger picture of it to try to copy it (see no buying new clothes - just plagarism instead). But I made the mistake of looking on the English version of the site and found all sorts of things including thick tights, winter boots, and mittens. On the French site - only beach cover-ups and swimwear - nothing 'wintery' at all. Very strange how different the stock levels of the UK/non UK catalogues are. In fact the two catalogues bear no resemblance to each other.
Anyhoooo - back on topic.
We went around the supermarket sales, and in one of the dark and dusty corners I found a cardboard bin of opened and ex-display bed linens.
Now I actually think I was quite restrained.
Material is very expensive to buy, as are bed linens, but I managed to hold back from throwing the contents of the bin into Brendan's arms and running off cackling manically for the tills. I actually sorted through the sheets and duvet covers and just bought those that fitted and the colours I needed for lining materials - and at 2 € a double bed fitted sheet they were real bargains.
I also bought a lovely voile tab top curtain for 2€, which I naively offered to Thea for a wall hanging, then when I got it home I squirreled it away into my studio instead to use as a door curtain to keep the flies out.
All that was required was a quick hem to shorten it, then a couple of hooks and a bamboo cane stolen from the garden to suspend it.
And just because Thea insists that I am biased towards Ferguson (well he is the most beautiful kitten in the world) here is a quick photo of Pond in the clover.