The 'Sale' sign waves at me in the shop window. It would be rude not to go inside.
'50% off' banners are hung like tardy tinsel around the ceiling. Music is blaring and the shop floor buzzes with bargain hunters. Their arms are held away from their bodies like branches that sprout carrier bags. H&M, Topshop, and the yellow fruit of a Selfridge's bag.
Piles of clothes on tables and on the floor. Jackets and dresses half hanging off coat hangers. The queue for the changing room trails half way around the shop until it nearly makes a full circle with the queue for the tills. Did that woman just push her buggy over a sequin dress? Two women are fighting over the last pair of size 6 leopard print pumps, one holding the right shoe and the other the left and neither loosening their grip. Maybe I should intervene. Or leave.
But hold on one minute; is that a raspberry pink jacket I spy on that £10 rail? And does that tag for that t-shirt over there really say £2? Surely you can't go wrong with a £2 t-shirt? I suppose it does have a picture of a skull and cross bones on it, but still... £2.
I make a beeline for the t-shirt, snatching the pink jacket on the way. My arm is quick like the tongue of a lizard seeking its prize. It is unfortunate, of course, that it clips that elderly woman on the back of the head. But she really was standing in the way.
Suddenly I am moving towards another rail. I am getting the hang of this. My arm swings back and forth to the rail, grabbing hold of hangers as I go. £5! £12.99! Half price! I work up quite some speed as I make my way to the next rail. A child is crying on the floor. I am sure she was already falling over before I bumped into her... It was just a case of bad timing.
Everything becomes a blur.
Protectively cradling my load I head for the till. £2 for a t-shirt... this stuff will be gone if I don't get in quick. What a bargain.
I leave the shop with a smile and a full bag. That was surely worth a visit, after all, it is not often that you find a t-shirt for £2.....
(Two weeks later)
.... Why is there a t-shirt with a skull and cross bones in my cupboard? And those lime green leggings? How did I end up with such luminous legwear vandalising my wardrobe?
Oh have pity on me. January is simply the hardest month for we Bargain Hunters Anonymous.