To date, I have never entered Primark on Oxford Street. As I stroll past its gargantuan shop-front I am inexplicably sucked through the doors. Swept along in a torrent of tramping bodies I find myself funelled onto the escalator and spat out in the shoe department. The first thing that strikes me is the smell. We shoppers are immersed in an acrid chemical swirl of vapours emitted by thousands of pairs of synthetic and plastic shoes. The second thing that strikes me is the thousands of pairs of synthetic and plastic shoes, piled up indiscriminately on rack after rack glittering and winking at me. In a trance, I advance. My head drops and I commence the methodical treasure hunt.
Some incalculable time later I am at the end of a ginormous queue that snakes towards the distant bank of tills. Inching forward my mind begins to clear. Do I actually need a pair of acid yellow fake Birkenstocks? I detest Birkenstocks, even the real ones. And the sage grey studded pumps? They’re pure polypropylene. Surely they will make my feet sweat and stink throughout the summer months ahead? What about this lime green belt for only £1? Do I really believe that it might have been produced by a jolly well-fed labourer earning a fair wage?
I’ve got to get out of here.
I dump my cache on top of the three-pairs-for-£5 socks display and throw myself into the cascade of bodies heading onto the down escalator. “They always put something great just inside the front door,” I counsel myself, “don’t look.” Just at that moment my head swivels to the right. There I behold a slim jacket fashioned from a cloud of elegant, silver-grey lace. £13! Only a fool would pass it by.