I have, it turns out, very odd tastes in furniture. Take wardrobes, for example: having wandered around a good many stores, I find that I like one company’s interpretation of ‘simple traditional,’ but nothing else in the store. Whereas no other ‘simple traditional’ will tickle my fancy. As a rule, I thoroughly dislike slab-front modern wardrobes… but today one design leapt out and charmed me. In one store, I’ll espy one fine-looking wardrobe, and find it’s (natch) the most expensive thing in the shop. Elsewhere, I’ll only like the rock-bottom cheapest. No, really, that happened yesterday. In the local bargain-basement pine store, of all places.

So this afternoon, I found myself choosing between half a dozen pieces, ranging in style from positively Elizabethan through to up-to-the-minute funk, and in price by a factor of six. What I’ve ended up buying surprises the heck out of me, and I sincerely hope I still like it when I get the thing home: it’s (don’t laugh) a faux-‘Mexican Hacienda’ pine number from (again, don’t laugh) The Pier. Who, I should note, were an utter disaster to do business with. Extremely smug, condescending, unforthcoming, and inefficient – one of those shopping experiences where one begins to understand the implications of the casual discrimination faced daily by people from ethnic minorities. Like, oh, I don’t know, women. Ugh. I’d have walked away on the deal, except that they were flogging me a £670 (again, don’t laugh) ‘armoire’ for £230.

I also bought a chest of drawers and a couple of trunks from the same range – storage! hurrah! – … and a chrome and glass table from John Lewis. Er… well, you know. they’re for opposite ends of the flat. Nobody will notice the clashing styles. Or something.

And as for beds… oh, don’t get me started.

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