I went to Fenwicks today to buy a set of shoe laces and a some nutcrackers — an eclectic mix, I’ll grant you. Fenwicks is a department store which specialises in confusing geographical layouts. It’s taken me quite a while now, but I do have some basic idea of the organisation there; when I first arrived at Newcastle, I used to get lost and once had to phone the fire brigade to come and rescue me, entering in the morning and leaving in the early evening.

Today, I went first to the kitchen section, forgetting that it now sells shoes, and that the toy department downstairs sells kitchenware. So, I popped downstairs to the toy department for the nutcrackers, came back upstairs to the kitchen department to get some shoe laces. Sadly, they didn’t sell shoe laces — this would have been considered too logical and, therefore, against standard retail practice. Instead, they directed me to either the haberdashery department or the in-store Timpsons — people who cut keys and mend shoes. I decided against the haberdashers on the grounds that "haberdasher" is a stupid word. The Timpsons is to be found, straight-forwardly enough, in the food court, where I found the shoe laces (75cm, black, round). Sadly, Timpsons is not Fenwicks, even though the tills said "Fenwicks departments store", so while they could sell me the shoe laces, they couldn’t sell me the nutcrackers. So, I walked through the sushi bar to the perfumeria which is convieniently located next to it (raw fish and perfume being natural bedfellows) and paid for the nutcrackers there.

The shoe laces are a bit short.

Originally published on my old blog site.