Friday, 20 July 2018

Dunroamin...or Dunelmin

Something is amiss with the weather down here in Sussex. It's been sunny. Very sunny. And hot. According to my diary the last time we had rain was on the 23rd June. Every morning since then has dawned bright and clear with the promise of yet another beautiful day. It's not always possible to take advantage of this meteorological largesse. Something called work gets in the way. But even work doesn't seem so bad when the sun is shining. Being a part-timer there's still plenty of time when I get home for a stroll on the beach.

And it's not always work that gets in the way. Sometime it's Dunelm, formerly called Dunelm Mill. I wonder why they dropped the 'Mill' bit of their nomenclature. Perhaps the company thought 'Mill' conjured up the image of those Dark Satanic Thingies mention in Blake's poem, or the thought of small children gathering up scraps of cotton from underneath dangerous and unguarded looms whilst stern overseers looked on. Or I might be overthinking it. It may just be that removing the word 'Mill' from their fascia boards and their stationery saved a tidy sum in plastic letters and printing ink. And it was to the Emporium Formerly Known As Dunelm Mill that Mrs H and I betook ourselves a couple of days ago. The main reason for our visit was to check out the considerable selection of curtain poles, temptingly displayed on the shop floor. The old curtain tracks in our bedroom had seen better days, and, with the impending erection of some shiny new shutters, Mrs H thought poles would be just the ticket to finish the room off nicely.

But it didn't end there. And I should have realised that it wasn't going to end there. After all, what's the point of poles without curtains? Mrs H thought that blackout curtains would be most suitable, and set off to look for some. Now, I'm not sure if I had a death wish on that particular day, or just a touch of the sun, perhaps. I should have donned the solar topee (erroneously referred to by some as a Pith Helmet) my work colleagues bought me for my last birthday. But I foolishly piped up and said, 'But we're having shutters. Why do we need blackout curtains?' Mrs H gave me a look that was half puzzlement and half amusement. You know, the sort of look a parent gives when their small child asks, 'Why are clouds?' I should have stopped at that point, but I was hot and tired and wanted a cup of tea. 'Why not just get a blackout duvet?' I said. 'An extra large duvet that you can pull right up to cover your head. No need for blackout curtains then.' Mrs H said she had never heard such rubbish since the last time I ventured an opinion on pretty much anything.

We never did buy poles or curtains on that particular day. Instead we had a cup of tea and then a general wander round the shop. It being high summer, the management had rather helpfully set out a small area of seasonal products. There were a number of boxes of umbrella grapes; realistic looking plastic ones that light up and can be festooned around one's sun umbrella. Always supposing that one could be bothered to drape the things from a garden parasol. I remarked to Mrs H that 'umbrella grapes' sounded like a bit of a euphemism. I also noticed a toucan solar stake light. This had a long spike that could be shoved into the ground, and topped with a fake branch upon which was sat a plastic replica of ramphastos toco albogularis. 'Nothing,' I said to Mrs H; 'Nothing says summer like a toucan solar stake light'.

Mrs H said she thought I should get out more. So we're off to Homebase next week. Let joy be unconfined. Oh, and it's started raining for the first time in almost a month.

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