Primark is a store previously never visited by me, despite it being open for some years here where we live in Eastbourne. It is in a prominent position in our local mall, but there had never been any reason to cross its portals. At last I went because we were going on a February cruise to the Arctic Circle, and required to purchase suitable clothing so we didn’t freeze our ancient bodies. No, we are not fashionable people, far more practical in our choice of clothing. Pam assured me it was well worth a visit, and what a revelation.
Up the elevator to the men’s department, (why are we always on the upper level?), with Pam guiding me to the correct area. No jackets, trousers, I was looking for long Johns, and how cheap they were. £4 each, I went extravagant and bought two pairs. No, I didn’t try them on, but I did hold up the t-shirt, both large size in grey. Again £4 each, then it was to the sweaters. I already had three previously purchased in a Cadiz C&A when we were on a Marco Polo cruise, blue, black, and dark red, if only that store was still going in the UK. These Primark versions were £8 each, so I bought another three. Lovely and cosy, perfect fit, good job I am losing weight because they don’t half make you look bigger, just like those skinny weather t.v presenters who complain that they look three stones larger than in real life.
I already had a choice of scarves, so passed these Primark versions by. Gloves were different, they had some excellent winter ones that were thermal lined. Wow but they were nice and warm, on special offer at £2 each. That is not per glove, but per pair. Pam is a hardy soul, doesn’t feel the winter chills that much, but at that price even she succumbed and bought a pair. And then we came to the real reason for our visit. Woolly hats. From previous photos and perhaps acquaintance you will likely recall that I am bald. That means that the Arctic Circle weather would make my little head freeze, as I am reliably informed that 25% of my body heat disappears through my cranium. My ears would get so cold as well, so my usual flat cap would not suffice, it had to be something cosy and close-fitting.
They had a choice of colours, blue or red. Pam and I tried them on in the shop, very snug, we soon got warm in the store, and the price was more than satisfactory. £2 each. We didn’t argue over who would be wearing which colour, we very rarely disagree in any case. I would leave the colour selection to Pam, what she didn’t want I would wear.
On the cruise, I am a lecturer. That means that we enjoy the vast amount of benefits appreciated by the passengers, but there were two things they had and we didn’t, number one was the bright red thermal coat. These come complimentary, passengers inform Saga their size in advance, and then if not right can be exchanged onboard. Unfortunately there are not many spares, so we dipped out. The other more important item goes on the feet. They are crampons that fit over shoes to grip on the ice. There was plenty of that on the ground, but we did manage to get off the ship to appreciate the cruise more, despite the lack of firm footing.
The cruise lasted two weeks, we got to see the Northern Lights, the North Cape which is the most northerly point in Europe, reindeers, and appreciate one of the most memorable cruises it is possible to experience.