The Village: The Back of the Shop

Posted July 22, 2009

The Village: The Back of the Shop

I recently had a bit of a ‘light bulb’ moment. Realising that I no longer wanted to chase the urban dream, I followed my heart and decamped to the country.

I’ve been tentatively nudging my way deeper into the Essex countryside for many years now but something was stopping me from taking that final step. I now know that it was the fear that I would no longer have easy access to the shops. What would I do if I couldn’t just hop on a tube and fast track to Bond Street for an injection of fashion, glamour and style? Where would I go to drool over the latest must have handbag or some drop dead gorgeous shoes?

I’m now trying to adjust to life in a small village where any reference to Jimmy Choo is likely to be met with “Jimmy who?” Don’t get me wrong; the village has heaps of charm but it undoubtedly suffers from a fashion famine. However, I am slowly getting to grips with everything. For my designer fashion fix, I’ve turned to the internet which is infinitely more enjoyable than schlepping around the shops trying to catch the eye of sales assistants who seem to be busy with a myriad of tasks other than ‘assisting’.

For everyday basics, the village shops come up trumps although I’ve discovered that the real secret to village shopping is understanding that things are not quite what they seem on the surface. No, I’m not alluding to any seedy goings on. I’ve simply realised, much to my amusement, that most of the things you need are actually lurking somewhere “in the back of the shop."I feel as if I’m playing a new game called I don’t suppose you’ve got? and so far every shop has risen to the challenge. On my first day, I was searching fruitlessly for a cosmetics mirror in the local pharmacy. Not seeing any on display, I tentatively enquired if they stocked them. I thought I’d get the customary “if they’re not out on the shelf, it means we don’t have any." Instead, the assistant replied, “Oh yes, I’m pretty sure we do. I’ll just see what we’ve got out the back." After a rummage in the back, the assistant returned smiling with an array of styles for me to take a look at. I had expected her to come back with nothing.

Similarly, when I was looking for brackets for my hanging baskets, I could find none on show in the hardware store. Then I heard the, by now, familiar refrain, “I’ll have a look out the back." This produced an assortment of white, black and green brackets and led me to consider whether I should perhaps bypass the inside of the shops entirely and seek out the mysterious cavernous recesses tucked behind the scenes. Heaven knows what else I’d find.

However it was the grocery store that produced the funniest incident. I asked if they had small mushrooms (I could only see large cap on display). “Give me a moment,” said the manager as he dived behind a curtain at (you’ve guessed it) the back of the shop. I could hear a slight rustling and then, as if by magic, a disembodied hand appeared, waving a packet of freshly packed button mushrooms. “Thanks very much,” I said to the hand in the curtain. “Not a problem,” it replied.

I’m now convinced that if I was to say, “I don’t suppose you have a combine harvester in the back?”, the answer would surely be, “As it happens, yes I have. What colour do you have in mind?”

I may even try for Jimmy Choos. You never know.

add a comment  no comments

Previously on Vanity Fizz

Bad Hair Alert

Posted on July 13, 2009

Well, it looks as if I managed to survive against all the odds. In case it.. >>> more


Posted on June 14, 2009

I think Lindsay Lohan is on to a winner. No, I'm  not talking about her.. >>> more

Blonde Ambition

Posted on June 10, 2009

Forget girl power, the phrase famously coined by the Spice Girls, that’s so.. >>> more