Richard's been away for a week, with a heavy round of meetings in Cairo and Tunis. He got back this morning, pretty tired but otherwise fine. He's brought some rather bright material from Cairo to use in the studio room downstairs, which he's going to soundproof. Possibly this weekend since there's a stack of fibreglass padding lying in the kitchen, and a load of other clutter, and we have someone coming to stay next week...
We told him about the new Argos and decided to go and peruse the catalogue in the shop itself. It really looks nothing like a British Argos store - no little booth things to check catalogues, no obvious system for ordering or for products to be produced. Just a table in the corner with a couple of ladies chatting in Greek, and a friendly dog roaming around the store. Then there were a few stacks of merchandise, some of which didn't look at all like Argos products.
But the catalogues were the new Autumn/Winter 2006 ones, and they said we were welcome to sit at another table and browse. We asked if they could get all the products easily, and they said that they had some here, and there are more at their main store in Nicosia. But if we want items that aren't already in Cyprus, it will be a 4-6 week wait, and if we want furniture it will be a two-month wait.
We found some lightshades we liked, and decided to order those. We looked at mirrors but didn't see any we really liked. We browsed various other things - the catalogue is so much nicer than the online search facility - but decided in the end just to start with the one small order, and see how long it really does take.
Having made the order, we were given a free catalogue to bring home, so we can browse more at our leisure. They also gave us a free sunshade thing for the car windscreen (something we'd been looking out for but hadn't found) - advertising some completely different company.
I'm not sure that Argos will catch on at all in Cyprus .. but it will be interesting to see what happens.
Next we went to the Thrift Store to see if there was a suitable bedside table for Tim. We'd seen several last time we were there. This time there were only a couple of possibilities, and he didn't really like either of them. He says he doesn't really need a bedside table. However we did find a nice mirror and also a much better watering can than the one we had already. That's how shopping often seems to work here: we go looking for one thing, and find something completely different that we couldn't find when we were looking for it.