Monday, August 1, 2005

Diary of a spending spree

I recently earned a surprising sum of money doing some research work (of which, more later). What does one do with unexpected riches? Spend it, seems to be the answer.

Thus, Tuesday, the night I discovered my rate of pay for two days work was much higher than expected I stood seven or eight friends a round of cleansing ales at my local, The Castle.

I also ordered in a mixed case of white wine for summer drinking, and spent £20 or so on light reading on Amazon.

Poorer, but with funds in reserve, I thought I’d let off enough steam to just leave the rest in the bank.

No, no, no. I went to Windsor. Not an elopement with royalty, or just the rush of disposable income to the head left me standing in Market Square crying: “The Hounds! To Windsor - and Damn the Expense!” Just catching the parents as the exit the country.

Windsor is pretty. It is tidy, well presented and has a lot of whitewashed heritage buildings facing out onto tidy, unlettered streets. It has two charming railway stations, both rendered rather recently it seems in red brick. It is pleasant, affluent and agreeably dull. In short, it is what you expect Britain to be like, as opposed to the slightly dingy post-industrial malaise you find most places larger than a hamlet.

Also, other than having Windsor castle (of which, more later too), it has some fearsomely good shopping. And I was there for the sales.

My assimilation into Cambridge life is now almost completed by possession of the following staples:

a seriously nice summer linen suit;

a ¾ length, high-buttoning ‘autumn-weight’ tweed jacket; and

another pair of stripey trousers (charcoal and light grey).

I am doomed to assimilate. And am a hopelessly shallow consumer at heart.

But it was all half-price, dammit.

This after buying a second-hand morning suit for £36 on the Isle of Wight, as well. Clearly, travel gives me strange ideas about financial prudence.

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