October 31st, 2004

We're S.H.O.P.P.I.N.G. (with apologies to the Pet Shop Boys)

This being one of our two, count 'em, two free weekends between now and Christmas, we figured we'd better try to make a bit of a start on the Christmas shopping. Much though it goes against the grain to be this organised starting it this early, given that we had no idea about what to get a good many people, it was now or never.

So we spent most of yesterday pottering around the various museum shops in central London; Natural History Museum, Science Museum, British Museum, with a side trip onto Tottenham Court Road to try to source some PC odds and sods and also a visit to the Virgin Megastore to browse the DVDs.

The museum shops were fairly fruitful, though I dare say the young lady who was frantically hunting for a box so that we could buy the display copy of a particular item would have preferred we went elsewhere (in the end, we did, since she couldn't find the box -- but we did buy some other items anyhow). Virgin also didn't let me down -- I said to rotwang "don't worry, I'm certain they'll have a DVD about topic" and I wasn't wrong.

Tottenham Court Road was amusing. Generally if you know what you're looking for (as far as computing, hi-fi or mobile phones go), you can get a good price on it there. We wanted a DVD-writer (as a present for someone who I know doesn't read LJ), some gender-changers for monitor cables, and I thought I might pick up the scanner I'd been looking at (drown_not_wave pointed me at the one she'd recently bought for film scanning and it seemed reasonable enough to me). We went in a couple of shops who failed to have any significant selection of internal DVD-writers, failed to have the gender-changers I required altogether, and either didn't have the scanner I was after (in one case) or who quoted me 100 pounds more than the price I'd seen online (in the other). To put this in perspective, I've just ordered it online for £126 and I was being quoted £229. I think not.

Today we went out to look for the last few requirements for rotwang's Troy costume. We now have a shirt for him to wear under the armour (caffeine_fairy, we totally failed to find that shop you pointed me at, but not to worry, we found a different one which was open), a bumper-sized pot of Copydex to hold it all together, and some lining paper to allow me to make a pattern around him for some bits. (Yes, I know pattern paper is traditionally somewhat thinner than that, but I wanted something I was confident of not tearing.) His sandals have been acquired through Ebay and should be here shortly (I hope), as should the rest of the decorative odds and sods. I intend to take measurements today and then start work on it during next week.