So today was spent as Saturdays often are by people in the throes of a house renovation: hurtling up the A13 to visit every "retail park" that was open. We managed to cover off Gallions Reach (waste of time, and wow, what a revolting smell - thanks to a nearby sewage treatment plant), the Beckton Triangle (so-so), the Gateway Retail park (I wish these last two places would have proper websites with full store listings) and finally Lakeside.
We were on a mission to find the perfect fridge, widescreen TV, bathroom tiles, carpet and various items of furniture. Most of the things we were after you can track down online for less than you'd pay in-store, but we wanted to see things In Real Life first.
The reason for this post is that in our current abode we have had the same black and white zebra print rug for nearly nine years and it's clearly seen better days (well, the white bits have). The last time we were at Ilva we'd hesitated over spending £199 on a new rug. Today however, I was feeling particularly fed up with our zebra rug and was interested in checking out what was on offer.
To my horror the pattern we'd liked when we visited a few months ago wasn't on display, so I started to sort through the piles of miscellaneous stock. A few of the rugs were on sale. And eventually I found the patterned rug we'd liked but it was missing it's price tag. After a bit of rummaging I found a rogue tag - it said £50 for "green cross". I called over an assistant. Yes, the rug is indeed green cross, what's more... "You can have it brand new for £50 or if you don't mind taking the one that's been on the shop floor as a display rug for a few hours (it was laid out this morning) then it's £25." Well heck, it's virtually free at that price. I couldn't believe our luck and promptly inspected the rug (absolutely fine) and freed it from Ilva's cavernous clutches.
The celebratory dinner we had at Nando's afterwards cost more than the rug.