1. Clinique Counter - John Lewis - £40.50
Please tell me I am not the only sucker for those Bonus Time promotions where you buy two products and are rewarded with a little box of freebies. I know, I know, you end up with a big pile of stuff you don’t really need but I just can’t resist those little boxes, even if they are filled with garish coloured lipsticks and eye shadows and that clarifying lotion which takes the top layer of your skin off and leaves your face looking like it’s been scalded. I was exactly the same as a child, I couldn’t resist those machines which contained the little egg shaped plastic containers with a completely useless toy inside. It didn’t matter to me that I could have got a bag of sweets and a comic for the same amount of money, I loved the surprise element of wondering which particular useless toy would drop into my hand once I’d put the coins into the machine and turned the little silver knob. Obviously when I’d got it I didn’t want it any more than I want my box of equally useless Clinique freebies. Those marketing executives must see me coming!
2. Monthly Gym Membership £26
The fact that I love the gym comes as just as much a surprise to me as it does to those who know me best. As a school girl, I loathed PE; I was the one who always got picked last for rounders due to the fact that I couldn’t catch a ball to save my life. Hockey was the bane of my life with all those aggressive girls wielding hockey sticks whilst bearing down in my direction. The girls who were good at sport were always the most unpleasant – girls who took delight in highlighting other’s shortcomings. So what’s changed? I suppose we’ve all grown up because now I find that the gym is one of the few places where everyone is equal. Despite different levels of fitness and prowess, the desire to participate and try your best is all that’s required. It’s a place where you find yourself cheek by jowl, sweating like a pig, with the most diverse cross section of people. I’ve met people whose paths I would have never ordinarily stumbled upon and, the truth is, when you are throwing your body around in an exercise class it really doesn’t matter who you are.
3. Monthly Cinema Membership £15.99
I absolutely love the cinema. There is something totally exquisite about sitting in the dark and losing yourself in the magic of a film. That said, at £8 a film, the cinema is an expensive pastime which is where the monthly membership scheme comes in. Economically viable it may be but, it is not without its disadvantages. On the plus side it opens up the choice of films because I tend to see anything and everything which, many a time, has led me to find hidden gems that I would otherwise have missed. The downside though and, forgive me if I sound like a snob, is my fellow cinema goer. As the only cinema to offer the monthly scheme is a large multiplex it tends to attract the most irritating type of viewer. Teenagers who can’t concentrate long enough to get through the opening credits let alone the film. People who are so in demand they can’t switch off their phone for even two hours and spend the duration of the film fielding calls and texting. Couples, who see the cinema as a cheap alternative to a hotel room and, finally, those people who see the cinema as a group activity and think it’s acceptable to talk all the way through the film. I admit I err a little bit on the Nazi side when it comes to the cinema. In fact, when cinema rage kicks in, a Nazi would probably seem quite liberal by comparison. I’m simply thankful that I don’t live anywhere with a gun culture because I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I would have shot at least several hundred people by now for their cinema misdemeanours.
4. Debenhams Department Store £29
This purchase was a summer dress and frankly it would have been economic madness to ignore it. It was part of one of those Debenhams’ extravaganzas where they knock 25% off everything. I got my dress therefore for a fraction of the cost it would have been otherwise and surely only a fool wouldn’t see it as a sound investment. After all, who doesn’t need a summer dress? I’m not sure if this is the best time to mention it, but the same goes for the jacket I bought with it. Oh go on then, I’ll admit it, bung another £34 on there.
5. Marks and Spencer’s Food Hall £6.50
This was a bit of a mad dash purchase when I realised I had no food in the house and needed something for lunch the next day. I opted for a cheese and ham sandwich, horrifying myself and everybody in my vicinity, when I accidentally spied the calorie content on one of those hideous nutritional information labels. 580 and it wasn’t even particularly big! God only knows what good can possibly come out of those labels other than a slippery slide into anorexia. Luckily I had all my food groups covered as I also bought a bag of cashew nuts which, according to the nurse at the blood donor centre, are brimming with iron for extra energy. Obviously I didn’t want to send my body into shock by being too healthy so I also bought a packet of biscuits. Don’t worry thought, they were mini-biscuits, the kind they kindly put on your saucer when you have a cup of tea in the cafe. And this time I had the good sense to bin the packet before my eyes could fixate on all that pesky nutritional information.
6. Amazon £17.14
This isn’t as bad as it sounds because I got five books for that. I’ve only just discovered that you can buy used books on Amazon (I know, what can I say, I’m a bit slow) and it’s fast becoming an addiction. Once I start clicking I can’t seem to stop and, before I know it, I’ve bought someone’s entire back catalogue. The thing is though; surely books are educational so they don’t even really count as a purchase anyway.
There you go then, that’s my six so what do you think? Any deep and meaningful insight? I’m not sure. Apart from the words sucker, spendthrift and self obsessed, nothing else really comes to mind now that I’m scrutinising my bank statement.