Sunday, August 26, 2012

Too much shopping! (Out of Cyprus continued)

I'm not a fan of shopping, unlike Richard. However, when we're in the UK, I do quite like looking at charity shops, and kitchen shops, and also places where we can buy things so much more cheaply than in Cyprus.

There are two shops which I hear about a lot from the various online groups and sites I belong to. One is Lakeland, which has a lot of kitchen equipment. I've been looking at their website quite a bit lately, and seen all kinds of intriguing items. But I'd never actually seen a real Lakeland shop. When I mentioned this recently, I was told that there's one in Eastbourne, which isn't far away. When I said I'd never been to Eastbourne, Richard decided we should go there for part of Friday, and find Lakeland. And an indoor shopping centre/mall, as he particularly likes those.

So after lunch yesterday we drove to Eastbourne. And found Lakeland.

It was indeed surprisingly interesting; we spent an hour there, discussing various wonderful gadgets and devices, all of which looked intriguing.. but none of which we needed. We were very tempted by the dehydrator but I wasn't convinced I would use it much. The silicon egg poaching pods looked fun, too. And so many other non-essentials. We did buy some extra muslins (for coconut milk etc) and a large bottle of vanilla essence (much better value than in Cyprus) but resisted everything else. At least for now...

Then we went into the shopping centre, which wasn't terribly interesting. There were lots of standard shops, including Boots, and as I was still tired and not really concentrating, I found myself miles away, not thinking at all about where I was... and then had a sudden, momentary panic... wondering where our departure gate was. Then I remembered that we were not in fact in an airport...

Also in Eastbourne we saw the other shop I keep reading about, which comes highly recommended by many: Lush. It sells bath products and toiletries, supposedly with natural ingredients. I did start to head towards it out of curiosity, not that I planned to buy anything, but by the time I was about three metres away from the entrance, the smell was so overpowering that I had to move out of range. I had a similar experience a few years ago near the Birmingham Lush shop, so I think probably my rather sensitive nose is not cut out for this kind of product.

This morning we accompanied Richard's mother to Waitrose, a local supermarket. It's not a huge one.. and yet we found some of the product choices enormous. And so many delicious looking foods... at prices so much less than in Cyprus. We went to look at dairy-free 'milks'... there were dozens! Not just almond milk, rice milk and soya milk (each in several variations) but hazelnut milks, oat milks, flavoured versions of all the above, as well as long-life goats' milk, and even coconut milk!  We can get it in cans for curries in Cyprus, but not in litre cartons with added vitamins (and grape juice) to use with cereals or coffee.

So we picked it up, and Richard had it in his coffee after lunch. There wasn't much smell to it - unlike our usual home-made version - but Richard said it tasted much the same. Just as well we can't get it in Cyprus, really, as it would be very tempting to buy it - yet the cost is considerably higher than home-made coconut milk.

In the afternoon, realising that it was our last opportunity, we went back to the town on our own so we could scour the charity shops for books  -  we only bought about half a dozen - and get some birthday cards we needed. We also went to Argos and bought a new hair-cutting set and hairdryer, both of which we needed, and which - together - cost us a grand total of 14 pounds sterling. They would be more than that EACH in Cyprus.

So it was a successful afternoon, but by the time we'd been out for a couple of hours I was feeling back-achey and totally 'shopped out'. I'm glad that tomorrow is Sunday and Monday a bank holiday, then we'll be driving to Birmingham on Tuesday, so there's no further opportunity for shopping for a while.

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