• Chloe Sullivan

ON TOUR WITH THE KID - The Happiest Place on Earth

On the list of things that annoy me, and it's a long list, is a rant I recently saw on social media. This is the short version of what was a three paragraph long complaint. It was penned by a female acquaintance, who had been waiting for three months for her husband to install the brackets so that she could hang her curtains. A string of replies followed, the summation of which seemed to be "yes men are hopeless aren't they" and a chorus of "you go girl".

Here is my question, why on earth would a seemingly sensible woman in her 40's be waiting ninety days for anyone else to do something she could have easily done herself. It has always been my understanding that the phrase "you go girl" is meant as recognition that said girl had done something empowering. In this case, I feel like it should have been replaced with "for goodness sake woman, go and buy yourself a drill!”

Why you wouldn't use any excuse possible to take a trip to the utopia that is Bunning's is beyond me.

This may be a good time to mention that I have a Bunning's obsession. For a while, the kid and I were spending so much time there, that the greeters at the front door were using our first names. The alluring smell of the humble sausage sanga that hits you as soon as you enter the car park draws you inside, and once you walk through the doors, it's like a whole new world (cue the theme song from Aladdin).

A world where, thanks to some simple DIY, you could build your own retaining wall, grow your own vegetables and find the perfect storage solution for the clutter that is currently taking up space in your dining room.

Aside from the products on the shelves, it's the staff that makes Bunning's stand out. I have my favourite man in the paint department. We talked about his charity work and his wife as he helped me pick the perfect paint to spray on old car tyres so I could make my redneck snowman in time for Christmas. Not only did he remember us on the next visit and ask to see photos of our little project but congratulated the kid on her sensational decorating skills.

The guys in the timber department were all very helpful when I purchased everything I needed to make the kids outdoor kitchen with the new drill I had received for Mothers Day. They didn't blink an eye when I told them I was buying a sheet of marine ply so that I could use it to write our letter for the Breakfast Club and hang it in my kitchen.

Even when I don't know what I'm looking for, they help me. I once walked in and told the staff I had seen a guy in Seattle do artwork on the footpath that only appears when the concrete gets wet. By that afternoon I had a piece of magic in the driveway that sends the kid running outside when she hears rain begin to fall.

They have never made me feel silly for asking what I'm sure were very silly questions, and I always walk out the door knowing something I didn't know before. There are workshops and classes to teach you anything you could possibly think of and even DIY for the kids.

Wandering the aisles last month, just when I thought I couldn't love the place any more than I do, a man named Howard approached me to ask if I'd like to use the power tools. In less than five minutes he had helped me turn a chunk of wood into this beautiful cheese board that now takes pride of place in our kitchen. Let's face it, Howard is a legend.

They really shine on special occasions like the recent Mothers Day event. There was free pizza, moving dinosaurs, craft for the kids and a jumping castle. We stepped outside into the car park to find one of every fire pit they had alight, outdoor furniture set up as if for a party and a very cheerful staff member cooking us corn on the cob over an open flame. Bunning's really is the happiest place on earth.

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