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Friday, 29 December 2006

The Sales

We hot footed it back down the M4 yesterday - well The Dulwich Trader sale started this morning at 9.30am, and I just could not miss one of the events of the season. I don't join the queue, or even buy much for that matter, but I like to chat to Chris, and join in the fun. Afterwards, we decant to Cafe Rouge for mulled wine and laughter.

I do love the sale at The Trader - it is completely guilt free! Much more serious shopping is to be had at Eclipse, where Elaine gives her regulars 'the edge' - I got a fabulous Missoni wrap knitted dress for 50% off in the most wonderful petrol blue and peacock colours the week before Christmas. James would expire if he knew how large the price still was - even with such an enormous discount. Shopping at Eclipse usually involves hiding the evidence in the car boot for a couple of days - until the coast is clear - and then the au pair hides it in her wardrobe for a couple more. I so love Elaine and her glamorous clothes, but they are usually serious investment pieces - full on formal work and occasion wear.

The pretty knits by Avoca and Fenn Wright and Manson at the The Trader are practically pennies, so 60% off on the first day of the sale - well it would be complacent not to!

I can't really compare the village in Wales to Dulwich. It is all rather hostile and anonymous. Yes they have a shop that sells Anya Hindmarch and Mulberry, and they have a wonderful Jewellers called Jenny Wren - but the staff are outstandingly rude and toffee nosed. There is also a dreadful concrete mall which appears to have landed from outer space with an enormous TK Max, Next, Urban Outfitters etc., all staffed by teenagers with the attention span and knowledge base of a gold fish.

When we shop locally in London, we know all the shop keepers by name - we consider Peter in Questionair to be a personal friend. Pulling around the corner from Croxted Road onto Park Hall Road yesterday evening, we had waves from Caroline and Maggie at Mad Cow, Elaine from Eclipse, Anne from Thatch and Co., and even the enormous man from Threshers! It is virtually Walnut Grove in SE21. Intimate and village like - without the attitude or the smell of live stock!

In the words of Judy Garland 'There is no place like home'.

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