The only shops I really like spending time in are bookshops, artshops, hardware stores and chandlers. Actually, I can’t remember the last time I entered a chandler’s, so that’s more of a nostalgic fluttering reflection, and old-fashioned hardware stores have been an endangered species for some years. Despite the advantages of online shopping though, I browse bookshops and artshops as much as I can and buy books and art materials whenever I find the opportunity. So when I say that I hate shopping, I clearly don’t mean that in a strict sense. I mean I hate city centre shopping and shopping for consumer items.
I was therefore resigned, cross and irritated when our ancient tv lost all sound and image a week ago, and it transpired the repair cost would be more than the cost of a new tv. I was very fond of the old thing; I particularly liked the fact it held no attraction for any of the burglars who had visited us over the last 16 years. And the prospect of the city centre on a Saturday afternoon to browse for a new one left me delirious with the opposite of joy.
I was particularly aggrieved at the notion of replacing it with a tv screen on the wall. Not particularly for cultural/philosophical reasons; mainly because the only possible wall in the room is a wall with some beautiful wallpaper which I liked so much once it was hung that I couldn’t bear to sully it with any artwork. If I couldn’t find artwork good enough for the wallpaper, I was damned if I would have a tv screen up there.
I had promised to be on my best behaviour and try and show some interest in the process, when my reward came from above. I might have no interest in televisions, but in my parallel digital universe of light and creativity, I am very interested in screens indeed. And the hallelujah realisation that USB ports or card slots are pretty much standard got me very very excited. We left town clutching a wad of brochures and cards, and I am now thrilled at the prospect of another potential digital display opportunity.
I might have to add media technology to my list of approved shopping locations.