Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category


In a last minute rush before going to the States for Christmas, I ran into Lush, Covent Garden to get some cheapie Christmas presents. Upon paying, I was presented with a Golden Ticket, which entitled me to a free mini facial OR hand massage. I tucked the ticket away for a rainy day.

That day came last week, when I scheduled an appointment to redeem my goodies. Now, I know how these things work. They get you in there with some flawless skinned model who attributes her beauty to the product. So, I was prepared. I was only going to buy some face cleanser as I was out. Nothing more.

But, after spending time with the lovely girl doing the facial (she also did a hand massage while the face mask she’d applied was doing it’s magic), I was sold. All of Lush’s products are freshly made, and they smell good enough to eat. I ended up buying the face mask, two cleansers and some hand lotion, all of which were cheaper than my normal fare at Boots.

Lush is in the Covent Garden Piazza.

Sit on Dustin’s warm seat

From the Rat and Mouse (a great little London property blog):

Apparently, Dustin Hoffman’s having a clear-out at his London home (in Kensington we believe). Forty-two antiques from the property will go on sale at Christie’s on March 7.

Sounds expensive…my recommendation for getting some great cheap furniture (rather than something that’s halfway to the skip when you buy it) is Criterion Auctioneers on Essex Road. Go any time and pick what you like and your maximum bid; the auctioneer will bid for you at the weekly Monday auction and get you the best price they can.

We got a 1940’s bureau (desk/bookcase scenario) for £60 all in!

I’m off to the Sales

London may be one of the most expensive cities in the world but all of that changes in late December and January when all the stores hold their end of season sales. As a shoe-aholic, I look forward to this time of year to stock up on the latest shoes and boots at a fraction of their usual cost. Last week I managed to pick up a very cool pair of brown suede and sheepskin Miu Miu 5″ high clogs from Selfridges, before my son dragged me out of the shoe department, kicking and screaming, ‘You have enough shoes! I want to go home.’ He’s right. I have plenty of shoes. Some pairs are still in boxes, unworn. So far I’ve picked up 4 new pairs in the past 2 weeks – a pair of incredibly sexy, black patent high heels with an ankle strap from Kurt Geiger (definitely the coolest and best value shoe shop in London at the moment), another pair of black patent wingtips from Larizia (the best independent shoe shop located in St. John’s Wood and Temple Fortune) and a pair of platform, high heeled black boots with a red lining from Roco in Temple Fortune. Now all I need is a place to wear them all!

Boxing Day sales

About 5,000 shoppers queued through the night for the 4.30am start of the Next sale at Brent Cross Retail Park in north London.

People, we are talking about Next. That stuff will be in the charity shop within a year anyway. Head over there, get more than 80% off, avoid the queue, and give money to charity.

Link to news story about the Boxing Day sales.

Get Stuffed

Oh, I just love my job. Today I was handling a dead cat at Get Stuffed. I did honestly try to take a picture for you guys, but it was not allowed. Anyway, PJ’s new script to be shot in the 2nd week of September calls for a cat that will be tortured. Obviously we can’t do this with a real cat, so we were out and about looking for suitable alternatives. (It’s best not to ask what I’m doing with a guy who writes scripts about cats being tortured…he’s really, really a nice guy…really). This place had everything from a full lion standing in attack position to a giraffe neck and head (those suckers are bigger than you think) to no less than 25 posed cats. We were most interested, however, in the “floppy cat.” I was surprised at the ease with which I handled the thing. And, being the doofas that I am, actually asked “Is this a real cat” before I realized where I was. Get Stuffed rent out all sorts of dead animals as well as stuff yours if you want. Call for an appointment.

Fashionistas Unite!

Summer is always a weird time for Men’s fashion. Your typical Londonite seems rather uncomfortable grappling with weather for the warmer weather. I’ve become particularly fascinated with the ‘city shorts’ that have found themselves in fashion this summer. Let’s be honest, not all of us can pull off the looks that we see in the magazines. The city shorts are interesting because I think that a certain male can pull them off really well. The same type of man who can pull off any style, really. You have to be tall, skinny, and looking like you could use a few more meals a day. Shorts are always a really big issue for most men. Many men try to avoid shorts at all costs because their legs are either too pale, or too hairy. I’ve never really been a big fan of them, because I feel ridiculous with the shorts and trainers combination. Flip flops are not an option because it’s just awkward for me walking around with them through the city. I have to give it to women who can run around all day with just flip flops on. It’s a admirable task.

Even more perplexing is the revolutionizing of men’s fashion in welcoming back skinny white jeans. Have you seen those hipster kids walking around at night with these things on? I spent one day going through all the pros and cons on an acquisition of a pair of skinny white jeans. Ultimately, I couldn’t bring myself to do so. The same rules apply to any part of the latest crazes. You can’t really pull off this look if you’re not 6 feet tall, with legs comparable to ski poles. It’s unfair that we can justify how the catwalks and magazines are full of these model type men who can pull off any look they want to. For the rest of us, we know what we can and can’t do. Summer in particular, is full of the can’t dos. One day our revolution will come. As for now, I’ll stick with jeans, trainers and a t shirt. I’ll leave the trends to the skinny indie boys.

Late Night Shopping


When you hear the words ‘Late Night’, what time of day comes to mind?

I suppose it depends on your perspective. Late night as defined by, say, club-goers is surely different than late night as defined by… oh, hypothetically speaking… me. Late night in New York is surely not the same as late night in Kabul.

And then there is there is the definition of late night in Stratford, East London. I love this sign on the shopping centre there. 7 pm! Every single Thursday! What a convenience! It’s no wonder this cultural metropolis was chosen to host the Olympics.


Seems the sun is back!
I was really sceptical that is was going to happen due to the winds and nearly losing my skirt winds of yesterday, but wow it looks like its going to be V. Pleasant today.
Luckily for me, my Nephew and his Momma are picking me up in a few hours to go and terrorise the Chavs of Bluewater – Yurby prefers the Mall there to the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street and London’s other Main shopping areas – personally I wouldn’t like the idea of Portobello or Covent Garden with a 8 week old in a carrier either…

However spotted this nice little tourist guide thing on Virgin Radios Page – I kinda like it as it misses out the typical stuff like Buckingham Palace and Tussauds, and has nice little write ups on the other stuff people like me forget about; and subsequently think… OH yes!

Anyway, enjoy the Sun, I hope its no fleeting visit this time! ; )

IKEA Founder Cheap, Flat-packed.

GENEVA (Reuters) – IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad, ranked 4th richest man in the world, drives a 15-year-old car and always flies economy class, in part to inspire his 90,000 employees worldwide to see the virtue of frugality…

Asked to confirm he drove an old Volvo, he said: “She is nearly new, just 15 years old, or something like that.”

Interviewer Darius Rochebin teased that Ikea employees were always told to write on both sides of the paper.

“Why not? If there is such a thing as good leadership, it is to give a good example. I have to do so for all the Ikea employees,” Kamprad retorted.

(Full article)

Devil Bunny Needs a Gift


Probably grossly inappropriate for Mothering Sunday, but Cheapass Games make great stocking stuffers for the rest of the year.

Believing that all boardgames were a) alike and b) overpriced, they cracked open a six-pack and went to work putting together some of the most bizarre tabletop games ever seen. From ‘Devil Bunny Needs a Ham’ (pictured) and ‘The Great Brain Robbery’ to ‘Witch-hunt’ and ‘Kill Dr. Lucky’, these guys really know how to kill 25-30 minutes of your time (ages 10 and up, of course).

And, of course, they’re damn cheap (see the company name). For under a fiver a pop each, a friend of mine brings a different one home with her whenever she’s visiting her attention-deprived nieces… Clever…

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