Everything for a pound.

This seems to be the mutli-layered marketing message* being blasted indiscriminately from every form of media outlet, although the input it triggers seems to be mixed. For example, Selfridges reported 2,000 delusional basket cases queuing outside since half way through Christmas day, whereas Ross-on-Wye was essentially closed.

Not entirely, but aside from some desperate window posters offering 70{45ac9c3234d371044e23e276755ef3a4dde8f1068375defba7d385ca3cd4deb2} off, a free holiday and first go on the owner’s budgie, it was all shuttered up and hibernating until the new year. Except for a good number of retail outlets that appeared to be closed forever, their little deaths confirmed by half iced windows not really hiding empty rooms filled only with uncollected post.

The BBC cheerfully quoted some Grim Reaper’s accounting committee who predicted the UK economy will shrink by nearly 3{45ac9c3234d371044e23e276755ef3a4dde8f1068375defba7d385ca3cd4deb2} in 2009 – a number so historic, our public service broadcaster was able to fire off a salvo of statistics likening such a downturn to the first year after the second world war ended.

Since my mum is staying with us, I asked her how bad that was. Apparently the problem was the country was entirely broke, and even if you had any cash – which nobody did – you couldn’t buy anything. Bread rationing actually started after the war, and those little books granting right to such luxuries as an ounce of butter were around until 1950.

But – sounding an optimistic note – she also told me this was fine, since nobody was getting bombed and a little Welsh fella called Bevan was promising the state would look after you. Completely different to 2009 then, where the UK has promised to try and stop bombing people, the state is going to hock itself up to the eyeballs with a level of debt so huge you need wide angle eyes to read it, but hey – GREAT NEWS – it’s unlikely we’ll return to rationing.

Every cloud and all that. The local outlet store (think of Bicester village and take it down a few notches, more poundstretcher with end of line duvet covers) promised massive discounts and indoor warmth, which led me to ignore the fiscal rules introduced since “Black Thursday – the day the Heating Quote Arrived” and go mad in the trouser department.

Four pairs of jeans for£50. Satorial elegance has never been my thing, but even at that price this stops me wandering the streets in my pants, while not constricting blood to my thighs, and er, other parts. We also bought a bin which cost twice that. It is quite a special bin tho and goes my the name of Derek (the Dalek Dustbin) – we didn’t really need a new rubbish receptacle, but Colin was looking for a bit of companionship.

I so need to go and ride my bike. Many reasons, but the one I’m citing here is that there are four pairs of jeans that’ll be nothing more than shelfware unless I either suck it and stop breathing, or get serious about reducing the girth of these “Buggery Grips“.**

* Coming Soon: “The Hedgehog Private Members Bill: Banning Marketing and shooting all the Marketeers. A vote for common sense

** A delightful phrase served up from Dave ‘the Man of Shoreditch’ Hoyland. Took me a while to work out what he actually meant, and then “urrgghhhh

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