I am standing in the new John Lewis's in Cambridge. (Whatever happened to Robert Sayle's? The old name seems to have been junked with the re-opening of the shop.)
I am in the women's tights section of the shop - I have in my hand a piece of paper with a detailed list of 'Things Lynnie Likes.' Wolford black small tights. Easy enough, I am thinking to myself. But no. There is an array of the said beasts displayed before me with more choice that can possibly be healthy.
I am nudged. It is the Village Speech Therapist's Wife nudging me. She asks if Lynnie knows that I spend my time in this section. She trys to help by suggesting that Lynnie wouldn't be seen dead in the support hose and steers me towards the smaller numbered dennier collection. Between us we choose the tights.
I enlist her help with the next item on the list: Chanel red lippy. Of course there is none in Cambridge. The power of advertising. All sold out. The vacuous over painted lady behind the counter shrugs. The VSTW drags me sobbing over to another counter, where another vacuous over-painted assistant finishes her conversation with her friend behind the counter of where she would really like to go on her holidays next year before she deigns to serve me.
No red lippy here either.
I am a dead man. I head for Don's for a beer to re-group.