So much for ‘make do and mend’. I’ve been desperately trying to patch things up in the spirit of credit-crunch thriftiness but I am getting absolutely nowhere. This is because shops do not stock ‘the bits’ any longer. I have spent the last week trying to do DIY jobs around the house and I can confidently report that there is a highly organised global conspiracy to stop us mending anything.
This is why retail parks that used to be full of useful places selling spare parts are now resplendent with emporiums called ‘Kiss Me Hardy’s Wacky Warehouse’. On closer examination, this turned out to be a children’s soft-play centre attached to a pub — ‘Let the kids run riot while you take a well earned break!’ Lord Nelson would be so proud.
Anyway, having driven around looking for a retail park featuring a hardware store, and not a Battle of Trafalgar-themed toddlers’ indoor playground where parents can get drunk, I finally alighted on a collection of vast warehouse-style places off the A3 where I thought it likely I might be able to buy a bag of curtain-pole rings.
Oh dear, how wrong I was. We live in an age of manned space missions and hadron colliders and yet if you need five small metal hoops to make your new curtains fit the pole in your front room you are in for severe disappointment. The man standing in the curtain-accessory aisle in B&Q looked at me as if I had lost my mind. ‘What? Rings, to put on a curtain pole? Black, you say? No, definitely don’t have those. Don’t think we’ve ever stocked such a thing.’
I pointed out that as they stocked black curtain poles one might assume, if one wanted to use logic, that this could lead on quite naturally to their supplying the rings to go on them.