Seeing as I am off work this wek, just using up some holiday, and live just round the corner from the County Oak retail park, I went for a stroll this afternoon to look round the big shops. Actually, to be more accurate, I had to go to the pet shop to get yet another collar for Diego, and got drawn to PC World and Comet on the way back.
Sometimes it feels like I spend more on cat collars than I do on petrol, and since I hardly ever use the car that is entirely possible. I am tempted to let him go naked, but he needs the collar to hold the magnet for the cat flap and I can’t leave the cat flap unsecured or the ginger menace comes in the house, terrorises our cats and pisses all over the floor, so I just had to go to the pet shop and the inevitable detour to the toy shops.The thing is, I find less to get excited about being in electrical and computer shops these days, and find myself lingering in the sections I never used to venture into. Today, for example, I had a cursory glance at the shiny laptops in Comet but spent ages looking at fridge freezers and toasters.
At one point I stopped and looked at the monstrous stereos, full of buttons, holes, displays, protuberances, grilles and lights and had a sudden realisation: I don’t have a stereo! In fact I haven’t had one for ages. My old Sony midi system used to be in our old kitchen and then the attic but now Charlie has it. I sold the turntable, and Frankie had the rest of the separates. Jayne has a little micro system in the kitchen but I don’t actually have a stereo any more.
Music has always been important to me. Ever since I left home I always had a stereo. I had my own place for a year before I thought about getting a TV, and I was very late getting a VCR, but I always had a stereo. I still listen to music a lot but it is mostly on the PC either from the hard drive or streaming. If I listen in the bedroom it is by plugging the iRiver or Creative mp3 players into speakers I keep there and if I am gardening, going for a walk or taking the bus or train I will have the Creative with me. I have a portable DAB radio on my desk (mono) and if I really want to listen to a CD properly, or get the full surround effect on an DACD or DVD-A, I will play in on the DVD player through the AV amp which sorely needs replacing, but I don’t have a dedicated music player any more.
So I was only mildly interested in the stereos. It might be nice to have one, but I wouldn’t know where to put it. I didn’t even bother looking at the massed ranks of TVs, HD TVs, 3D TVs and Blu-Rays. I had a little closer look at PC base units because Jayne reckons she is due an upgrade this year, and had a stab at some of the tablet and touchscreen PCsbut that was it really. The only toy of real interest was the Kindle on display in PC World.
At first I thought it was just a cardboard dummy display and then realised it was the real thing – that screen really does do a fantastic job of looking like paper.
Even with the fridges I knew there was little point looking. I love those big American-style fridges with a water and ice dispenser in the door. When we still had all three kids at home that would have been such a great thing to have, but the old place didn’t have room for one unless we took out a work surface and blocked the window with it. We could fit one in this place, but such a cavernous device would look pathetic with the small amount of food we now keep – and even less next week when the boy leaves home. Again.
I should have been like a kid in a sweetshop today but instead I was more like a diabetic in a sweetshop.