Wednesday, 30 November 2011

I want to live in John Lewis

I scuttled into the large department store John Lewis after work last night. Well, when I say ‘scuttle’, I was bounced along the Metropolitan line, ejected at Baker Street, squooshed down towards the Bakerloo line, trundled on the tube, and then splashed out as part of a giant wave of people at Oxford Street, straight into another giant wave of people trying to rush back down into the station.

After a bit of confused ebbing and flowing I finally escaped into the shop. There is something about department stores that picks me up and cuddles me in rich soft duvets. I waft around pretending I can afford this and that, and look at things like fabric for my imaginary house. Within the store’s well-lit walls anything can be possible, and I’ve decided I want to live there.

I didn’t make this decision lightly. There are four department stores worthy of consideration within a walk of Oxford Circus. These are Debenhams, Selfridges, John Lewis and Liberty’s.

If Lived in Debenhams

I wouldn’t be able to resist the makeup and beauty department. I’d sparkle with glitter gloss and super shine. I’d have huge false eyelashes and would swan around in tons of reasonably priced bling. In fact, I’d bling and shine so much that I’d cause the national grid to do a Matrix like surge of power and cut all the lights in the west end. It’s probably not a wise move to let me live in Debenhams.

If I lived in Selfridges

I’d be no good at living in Selfridges. I’d be too tempted to clear all the stock out and just sell fridges. I’d employ traders with plenty of chat to sell them as if they’re flogging a job lot down Hackney Market, and every buyer would get a yellow Selfridges bag with spare fridge parts and egg racks. And then when all the fridges had gone I'd rename the store 'Sodfridges' and sell flowers instead.

If I lived in John Lewis

I would write novels about the hunt for the perfect kitchen utensil in the style of Moby Dick - 'Chief among these motives was the overwhelming idea of the great whisk itself.'  You can picture its majesty I'm sure. It would be a publishing sensation, and while I was writing, I'd be an elegant addition (perhaps) to the sofas. I’d even be willing to point people in the right direction if they were lost and needing new moleskine notebooks. I’d create fabulous artwork out of the contents of the haberdashery department, and cry tears of joy to be John Lewis’ new Barbara Hepworth with buttons.

If I lived in Liberty’s

If I lived in Liberty’s I’m afraid it would go straight to my head. I’d hole up in the Grand Scarf Hall and the next time you see me I will be doing the dance of the seven sheer silk and bloody expensive veils. I might bolt the doors to shoppers and stalk the store in various velvet cloaks, gloating at my incredible fortune. People will look up at the candle-lit windows to watch me waltz past, occasionally reappearing on a different floor in a new hat. I’d throw petals down into the street, yell ‘ahoy’ in honour of Liberty’s sea-faring connection, and cause debate in the House of Commons about whether I’m a wonderfully eccentric tourist attraction or just a ruddy nuisance. I feel my residence may be rather short-lived.

So there you have it. John Lewis it is. Me and my button-sculpturing and Moby Dick parodying skills are poised to move in immediately!

18 comments:

Laura Marcella said...

Heehee, I love walking around pretending I can afford everything I like! But I'm glad I can't or else I'd have too much stuff and I don't like clutter. :)

Love your Moby Dick parody skills, Jayne!

mise said...

Yes, a good choice. It would be as civilised as living at the Dorchester, but with loyalty points. What is life these days without loyalty points?

mshatch said...

Alas, no interesting department stores near my house. But I can imagine living in one for a night. I'd try out all the comfy beds and make them up in the sheets I like best. I'd arrange the towels by color and create my own dinner table for six. I'd find the perfect dress, and the perfect heels and drink champagne until the doors opened. Of course, it might be nice to have someone else with me...someone Daniel Craigish perhaps ;)

Old Kitty said...

Liberty's!! Awwww there you will do the dance of the seven veils and be swathed in silky scarves and throw petals at tourists!!! Yay! LOL!

Take care
x

music obsessive said...

Great post! Just as well it wasn't Clements in Watford otherwise you'd be living in a derelict building by now with the 'temporary traders'. Euw!

PS please could you set up your blog to include a mobile template, it is very difficult to read your posts on my shiny new smartphone when the whole webpage appears in tiny font. Go to Settings/email & mobile/Yes, show mobile template on mobile devices (or just Template/select mobile template if you are using blogger in draft). I'd be eternally grateful...

Jayne said...

Hi Laura - it sounds like you have a lovely philosophical outlook. And thank you, I think Moby Whisk could be a brilliant book!

Hi Mise - did you know I had you in mind when I wrote this post? It was a 'what might Mise like to read' moment.

Hi MsHatch - oh alas and alack! But luckily imagination doesn't need them close by, or Daniel Craig to be otherwise engaged. ;-)

Hi Old Kitty - I love and adore Liberty's but rarely go there as I would probably be found hugging the banisters and have to be escorted out by handsome security.

Hi Music Obsessive - thank you so much for letting me know about the mobile optimisation. I have now switched the switch (or clicked the click) and you should be able to read the blog on your favoured shiny smart device! Hooray!

The Golden Eagle said...

Sounds like it would be fun. :)

Kittie Howard said...

What a fun post! And you made a wise choice. Somewhere in the back of my brain is a nagging thought that there was a movie where someone had to spend the night in Harrod's after it closed. I think it was a comedy (hope so!)

catdownunder said...

I suddenly remembered "The Mixed Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler" - where the kids do spend nights in a department store! Thankyou for reminding me.

joss said...

Awesome, I'd love to live in a shopping Mall, they could give me a special card so I could get in every shop, everything I need in one place. lol

snafu said...

So you have heard of the Great White Whisk too. It becomes more elusive at this time of year when the Christmas shoppers are looking for a gift for Aunt mabel or whoever.
Your descripion of rush hour has just reminded me I am so glad I do not work in London any more. The Underground so crowded, it takes four trains before you get to the platfrom edge and stand a chance of squeezing your way into the packed carriage. Intolerable heat and inconsiderate tourists with rucksacks. It all came back to me. This is what PTS flashbacks must be like.

Shirley Wells said...

Ha,ha. I'd opt for John Lewis too but every time I visit, I come back with an amazingly expensive kitchen gadget that I have no idea what to do with. I don't cook - can't cook, won't cook - but I fall in love with their kitchen stuff. :)

Sally said...

Hello, I'm blog jumping and landed here. I do believe there is a comedy about spending the night in a department store. I'll be interested to know if you ever get the opportunity. Happy Holidays!

Dolly said...

My dear Jayne this was a Perfect Post and you have me so homesick for dear London! I can't imagine your antics in Dickens & Jones if it was still there! You are probably too young to remember Bourne & Hollingsworth too!

Speaking of scarves, I still have a scarf I bought in D&J in the early 1980's and got into such trouble from my Ex-hubby for spending so much money. Moral, I still have the scarf ;)

I shall never visit Liberty's again withoutlooking up at the "minstrel gallery" for a glimpse.

Thanks for a lovely Friday evening giggle X

Talli Roland said...

John Lewis! For me, it would have to be Liberty's all the way. I love love LOVE it.

Gorilla Bananas said...

What would you do if you lived in Primark if that isn't too horrible to contemplate?

Jayne said...

Gorilla Bananas - if I lived in Primark I'd make a secret cave under those giant heaps of £3 long-sleeved tops, and shoot out a hand every now and again and sneakily hide all the size 10s.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

When you move in, do come visit me at LIberty. After hours, of course. That's when I come out to dance naked in the scarf halls!