Tuesday, 3 March 2009

I come here too often

After the furniture arrived, I tried to get the drawer to fit into the chest, washed the drop leaf table and wrapped my lock with a small screwdriver into a plastic bag and took it with me to Wolverhampton Antiques Market.

Going to the Indoor Market is like going back in time. The Indoor Market was built in the 1960s and even though there is now a snazzy new entrance way, it's still the same old building behind it. The terrazzo floor, the typeface on the signs, the woodwork, the door handles around the place all remind me of when I was growing up. Nothing has changed since the 1970s at least.

The Antiques Market had been situated in the basement. However, as the years went on, the traffic systems changed and became one way, the market was rebuilt and "improved" and finally the car park was removed. Eventually, there were so few customers that businesses started to move out. Leaving so many empty stalls upstairs that the Antiques Market was moved to the ground floor and now occupies Avenue Six. Antiques Avenue.

All I was looking for was a junk shop. What I was looking for (small cottage rim knob imperial size) was the kind of thing that ends up in house clearance places. There was a guy who had a small chest of display drawers with different knobs and handles in them - "brass knobs", glass knobs", "ceramic knobs" and so on.

After about ten minutes of looking, he found one near perfect match. The only problem was that someone had drilled another hole into the collar of the knob to fit a different screw (the original was lost more than likely).

I had an original screw so both could be fitted and there will be no hole visible once it all comes together. And I could have the spindle as well. £1.

I handed him a fiver.

He didn't have any change. Did I have a pound?

I fished around in my pocket and found enough small change to makes the total. Then I started browsing and spent £1.25 on records.

Then I went to The Lunch Box and had an omelette, chips, salad and a can of Diet Coke for £3.20. It wasn't a restaurant so much, as a, well as a greasy spoon with pretensions. The decor was tired old 1970s coffee bar and the windows were steamed up.

I handed the ginormous plate back to the cook and braced myself to go out into the worsening weather.

I thought about "pudding". There was only one place to go. Baskin Robbins. I love ice cream. I have a fiendish sweet tooth. It's expensive so that always makes me think twice about going. I don't have a freezer, so if I bought a tub of ice cream I'd eat the entire lot or else it would go to waste.

So, I've always kidded myself, as an occasional treat, I go to Baskin Robbins in the Mander Centre.

I took out another £10 and went to the counter. The girl behind grabbed a cup straight away and said

"Is that 2 or 3 scoops today, then?"

I stood. Trying to work out what promotion this was. I hadn't even decided what flavour/flavours to have.

My confusion must have been pretty evident.

"You usually have 2 scoops, don't you?"

Oh. My. God.

So much for occasional treats. I've been there so often, she recognised me.

The embarrassment.

The shame.

The calories.

The wake up call!

I was too embarrassed to mumble and walk away so I said "Er, yeah, two scoops."

A few moments later, I still had trouble deciding. She asked if I wanted to taste some praline cheesecake number. I said no. And suddenly, there was nothing there that looked appetising any more.

There was a boysenberry mix that had greasy looking colourless lumps that look like the gristly bits in processed ham and a purple and blue swirly one that looked like a kid had swirled two pots of paint together.

I went for the two white ones that had no lumps or swirly bits. Vanilla and coconut. And a little reminder to myself, not to go there again for a loooooooong while.

The coconut tasted as if someone had put dessicated coconut in there. I don't like dessicated coconut.

It wasn't very nice at all. Suddenly, ice cream isn't all that nice.