Then Helen asked me what the best bargain I'd had was - ever.
All I could think of was chocolates and turkey. Could you tell it was lunchtime?! Were these the best bargains I'd ever had?
Why didn't I tell her about my gorgeous £35 wedding dress?
.. or how about that I was only charged labour costs for the jewel bouquet due to the generosity of my friends collecting pieces for me. My purple chiffon - £2 from the market and pressie feathers from another friend.
As I write, I'm wearing a very sunny dress (given to me for nowt by my friend the stunning and amazing comedian Leanne McKie - she's given me loads of clothes, lovely lady) and some bargain £20 DM dolly shoes from the factory outlet shop in Wollaston, saving probably £40 on the full price. Similar outfit to here in fact (only I am a squidge slimmer now). Most of my wardrobe is from the chazzas.
How about all those fabulous trips to the theatre over the last year for between nowt and a tenner for me and OH? And how about paying NOTHING to go and see X-Men First Class and Anchorman 2 at the Picturedrome, NOTHING to go see The World's End at Cineworld (with chocolate wrappers) and just £3.50 for the pair of us to go see The Lego Movie on the Kids' Sunday Matinee (incidentally, it's awesome, very funny).
Some of the cool stuff to be had out there for little or nowt is for everyone and anyone to find. I would say, only take advantage of the stuff you know you will appreciate if it's a material object, there's a limited quantity, or if there's a cost. But if you're talking about a thing to experience, potentially a good memory for the future, why be a stick in the mud? Just go for it!
Speaking of which, here are some from this weekend. I went to see my university friends in Southampton. After we bid goodbye, I tried to get back to the train station. I got stupendously lost, but hey, Southampton has some cool historical stuff dotted about the city centre, from sections of the old city wall and castle, to the elaborate gate, gun dock, and a memorial to citizens who died in a terrible fire in the 1830s. Good exercise, taking in the sights. Also good for clearing hangovers. not that I get such things...
|Big gate thing|
|Great Fire Memorial - or recycled church, if you will.|
|Castle gate, with gun docks|
What was not so good for a hangover was the continued session that resulted from going to Northampton Music Festival the following day.
|The festival site was the whole town|
|Surprised to see Avril Lavigne get such a low billing... perhaps that's why she didn't show. Maybe it was the shame from that awful Hello Kitty thing.|
|The view from the beer garden - which could be the title of a future biography, I like to think.|
|Two-string shoebox guitar and tea-chest combo at All Saints - I think this was Kenneth J Nash.|
|I believe this was Hannah Graham at BBC (Black Bottomed Club - Northampton College) stage, not Avril Lavigne.|
|These guys were pretty good - I think they were The Celebrities.|
|Brighton beach? No! It's the Summer Terrace at NN Cafe|
|King's Gambit - I'd always wondered what they sounded like. Folksy gutsy music. Very good.|
|Alan Lynn of NN Cafe creates a masterpiece of a salad with turkey, pear and blueberries.|
|Whilst many band members looked like extras from Mumford and Sons, the keyboardist of Sean Grant and the Wolfgang resembled Sherlock's arch villain Jim Moriarty.|
|Cousin Avi. A bit Jamiroquai/Maroon 5. Not really my thing, but the crowd loved them. Well, we can't all like Mumford and Sons, can we?|
Food-wise, I've been very lucky lady. Vouchers found on moneysavingexpert.com have got me a free Danio yoghurt, and a free sushi roll this week.
|Taken on the bus. It's okay, I had the duck.|
|We had free Super Theatre tickets to see Tom Kerridge and Michael Caines.|
|Great displays in the Garden Show|
|This was part of an RHS garden commemorating the First World War.|
|My nephew, taking part in a free craft session to make a candle from real beeswax.|
|The haul! Mostly freebies. Total spend £7.60. The bag contains 2 fresh kippers for £1.60. Awesome.|
So, anyway, in this blog, which is essentially an exercise in over-sharing, it seems I am perhaps not sharing enough. You may be here looking for advice in grabbing bargains, but reading about what I have managed to find after the fact may be as useful to you as extra dentures would be to Luis Suarez. Even though I do hunt down more bargains than Tim Wonnacott (what do you mean "who"? The antiques fella. No, not the orange one, the one who dresses like Peter Davidson era Doctor Who), I am pro-mimalist spending; pro-local industries, pro high-street, pro-ethical shopping and all for paying the creator their due. These things do not always go hand in hand with being a bargainista.
Ah well, I can but try.