I have re-discovered the joys of Primark, though to go in there one must be prepared to enter a wild place full of heat, mystery and untameable beasts.
Think Indiana Jones. You can definitely get your treasure – a great look – but only after you have completed progressively more dastardly tests.
Your task is to create an outfit, collecting pieces from all over the landscape, while navigating the first hurdle: beasts (toddlers) in four-wheeled chariots who might stickily grasp at you, throw things or scream with anger.
Stripped temporaily of their freedom, these beasts don’t hold back.
The second challenge is the ‘drapers’. These previous shoppers leave clothes where they don’t belong to hide what you’re after. Knickers on sports goods, jeans on blouses and towels in the suits.
Your next task is mapping. You’ll travel so many paths, you’ll need in-built GPS to find anything.
Not only are the disposable fashion items priced to be disposable (very cheap), but also they’re piled so high and so frequently that finding the gaps between them is like negotiating a mountainous maze.
You’ll need all your senses to guide you through there and around random stoppers. Also, watch out for the teenage selfie-snappers, another trip hazard in a deadly zone.
It wasn’t until my third trip in two weeks (I think I’m addicted), that I braved the changing rooms. It was late on a Saturday, which might account for the mess in there.
The queues of customers and their stuffed baskets were so long that the doorway to change-land just couldn’t cope.
There were empty cubicles inside and a queue outside, but a crush situation in between. An arch of doom manned by ever-smiling assistants.
The final challenge is the tills. Massive queues, massive numbers of staff, but a pinger system with a long walk to the counter means extreme testing of patience.
Be warned, carry water as the temperatures soar. And my final tip? Make sure someone knows you’re going and will come in to find you if you don’t make it back out.
STOP RELYING ON THE ‘EXPERTS’ TO TELL YOU WHAT TO BE EATING
The diet and nutrition world is at odds this week as a new report claims something along the lines of how we shouldn’t be as worried about consuming fat as we have been.
Apparently it’s okay to eat some. I say this rather broadly as, quite frankly, I can’t be bothered to read pages and pages of yet another communication telling me what I should eat.
I know (we all do, don’t we?) Avoid everything processed – especially sugar – eat in moderation, take plenty of fruit and vegetables.
It’s time we stopped relying on scientists and nutritionists to tell us what to do.
If you’re overweight, change your diet to healthy foods, take some exercise and cut out the crud. It takes effort, so make some. Time I followed my own advice...
COME ALONG FOR A DIFFERENT TYPE OF WEDNESDAY EVENING
One of my plays is on at the New Theatre Royal tonight. It’s called How To Be A Girl! and is a relentless black comedy about the pressures of the media on women.
It’s not just for women though – men will certainly enjoy it too.
I mention the play because it was sold out in the theatre’s studio space and many people couldn’t get tickets. Thus the theatre has rather wonderfully moved it into the main house, so there are plenty of walk-in tickets available for you tonight.
It starts at 7.30pm and costs £7.50. There’s a Q&A after the show with members of the cast and the director.
It also features a fine array of costumes (from Primark).
So come along for a different type of Wednesday evening.