I love shopping - it’s my favourite thing. I’m talking about real shopping, not grocery shopping. I hate hardware shopping. That’s not real shopping - that’s boys shopping. My husband loves that sort of shopping. I do however have an incredible talent for finding good things in the most unlikely of places (think velvet coat hangers at Bunnings!), but that is because I am an expert shopper as a result of gazillions of years of shopping experience.
For me, there is nothing better than exploring those intriguing little boutiques that you find in those out of the way towns that pepper our countryside. I love Berry, love Katoomba and Leura, Mt Victoria can be good, Daylesford is fantastic, it’s what brought me to Morpeth initially – shopping.
It’s not just shopping, it’s real shopping. It’s the whole meandering along, discovering new things, some good, some not so good, stopping for morning tea, bagging the odd bargain or just finding that special somthing that you just have to have, breathing in the fresh air as you wander the high street. (Note: high street, not shopping mall) Taking time out for an extended lunch discussing all of the treasures that you’ve found. Ohh, I love shopping, real shopping.
My all time favourite place to shop is Noosa. I love Noosa and while I’m up that way, Eumundi - this would have to be the home of the best markets ever. I can always find someamazing artwork, piece of jewellery, tie-dyed doily top or overnight bag from Tibet. There is always something or 27 somethings that you just have to have, utterly useless mostly, but it’s that sense of real shopping that makes you do it.
I also love markets. Newcastle has an excellent fresh produce market. It’s important to note that this is very different from Woolies shopping. There is something particularly appealing about filling our cane shopping basket with freshly baked bread and organically grown tomatoes, figs soaed in Muscat, a wheel of fresh brie – yum. It all sounds so romantic, who possibly could not love this type of real shopping.
So what is it about real shopping. Some people collect stamps, some people love to cook, some people love the football, for mine, I just love real shopping. Here is a tip, it is always more fun when you have a few dollars in your pocket (yep, it's not that much fun when you are broke), but… real shopping is my Nirvana. It’s probably why I own a shop – I love shopping for my shop.
I spend my days off with the fashion agents in Sydney. I love it, there is something magical about seeing what’s coming in for next season from Europe – it’s not even like work. The downside is that sometimes not everyone is so passionate about the things that I am sure are winners (note to self: pink fur vests are fun and probably more suited to 7-yr-olds who want to be fairies, not the well-dressed ladies of the Hunter).
But what about Internet shopping I hear you say? Hmm, well, I don’t really rate it. It's just not real shopping in my book. Everything I’ve ever ordered has ended up in my child's toy box – that exotic black feathered fascinator that was a bargain at $49.95 didn’t quite look like the picture on the website. It was more like a mashed magpie and went straight to the toy box, along with beaded mules that the beads fell off, the gold eyeshadow that makes my eyes sting (actually that one probably shouldn’t be in the toy box but I’m sure that Barbie won't object), and the gold velvet jacket that’s a little bit too Kings Cross for my liking.
But anyway – there is that moment when your parcel arrives, all eager anticipation then that nasty after taste. This, however, never happens when you do real shopping.
You know what you’re getting with real shopping because you have hunted it down, seen it from all sides, touched the fabric, smelled the scent, tried it on – pictured it hanging in your already overflwing wardrobe.
And then there’s that feeling of walking down the street swinging all of your purchases in clever little shopping bags – it makes you feel kind of special, and that ladies, is the appeal of real shopping.