Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

Flippin 'eck! From scoffing pancakes to sexy lingerie in space of two days

Valentines Day:Heart shaped boxes.
Love hurts: save your money?

It'll be a busy time in card shops this week. No sooner will they have the Happy Pancake Day! cards out on the shelves for tomorrow, (NB: You aren't allowed to say Pancake Tuesday anymore, it has to be Pancake Day, the same way Easter Sundays become Easter Day, for some reason ... ) than they'll have to take them down and get the 'Thinking of you on Ash Wednesday' cards up.

(For some reason it's still allowed to have its day of the week in the title. We haven't reached Ash Day yet ... )

Then, of course, the poor staff will be up to all hours on Wednesday night, stripping the shelves and window displays of all things Ash-related, to fill them with all things Valentine-related for Thursday's love celebrations.

Phew! From creamy batter to grey ashes to red roses in the space of three days?

There'll hardly be room for the early St Patrick's Day and Happy Father's Day stuff at all.

It's so hard to know what to do these days when it comes to buying things.

We're being urged on all sides to support our local shops and businesses. But we're also urged not to be too materialistic, to conserve the environment, to simplify our lives. So do we buy products or not?

And what if your local business is actually an online retailer? If you buy from them online is that ok?

Are we saving energy by using a mouse rather than taking the car or bus to a real shop? But if we don't go into our towns and cities aren't we putting hundreds of people out of work?

And what to buy when we DO get there? Cheap deals are being thrust at us hourly. BOGOF, 2 for 1, Buy One Get A Second for a Penny (Who the hell came up with THAT one? Why not just BOGOF and be done with it?) 3 for 2, Spend Over £20 and Get A Free Bag/Money off Petrol/A Trip To Mars And Back.

It's getting to the point where we'll be coming out of the supermarket with them giving us money.

Isn't it great? But, no, hold on there one cotton-pickin' minute. (That's organically grown cotton, obviously, from sustainable sources, picked only using well-paid labour, none of whom under legal working age).

Cheap. Can that mean it's also quality?

What about our health? We're supposed to be watching our weight, exercising and not thinking depressing thoughts too often (good luck with that one if you live in NI).

Our food has to be high in nutrition and low in fat, salt and sugar while being fresh and tasty. Hmmm, maybe those cheap frozen lasagnes were too good to be true after all ... Buy One, Get a Free Saddle and Whip?

I knew there was something funny, nay, downright suspicious about THAT one!

Never mind 'Find us in the freezer section', it was more like "Findus in the stable block".

Whoever designed this week, it obviously wasn't a woman.

The idea that you could go from stuffing your face tomorrow (Mardi Gras meaning Fat Tuesday) to being able to squeeze into some questionably "sexy" red lingerie two days later is a joke.

Maybe save your card-buying until after Thursday and get one that covers all three days: "I over-ate, I'm sorry! I just wasn't in the mood."

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