£299 from Strand

Saturday 14th Jan.             Yesterday I met

a friendly piebald cat and ladders.

So today I took the plunge:

£299 on Strand. Friday the 13th

 

passed unscathed.          If I don’t spend

the money now, it won’t be anymore.

A dinky 11.6” this HP Pavilion (dm1-4020sa):

£299 on Strand. Sunday morning, 00:05

 

15th Jan. one two.            I’ll get the job

and find the flat. This is that year!

My laptop will bring all of this at

£299 from Strand.

 

Reminiscent in tone and spirit of “Now here is something to marvel at…,” the poem above (which comes from the same time period) echoes a recurring personal obsession with the cost of things. It’s a very middle class trait, which has provided me with poetic material on prices and bank balances.

At the moment my local chain grocery store is offering 2 for £1 on boxes of green tea (20 bags; usually priced at 80p, which is up from the 60p they used to cost). At the risk of providing free advertising, it’s that giant with the orange logo. But then last week I spent £3,99 – the equivalent of two plus bus fares, a tube journey into town, three weeks’ worth of soya milk – at the local florist on a pot of bluebells for myself.  At the moment I would balk at spending £3,99 on cosmetics. But after a couple of days planning and sleeping on it, if I just plunge and don’t think, I’ll spend it on a pot of bluebells or (as I did recently) a ticket to a Xu Bing exhibition.   

I found a red and white chequered tablecloth that evokes a laid table from a sunny Bonnard painting. With my bluebells in the corner, I catch a glimpse of an imaginary Provence in spring bloom and my inner bohemian’s budgeting priorities. 

I’ve been writing poetry since 1999. You can read selected poems in my volume “Shining in Brightness,” which is available for preview at Blurb Books.

Follow me on Twitter as @BeadedQuill. I tweet regularly about chasing my bohemian dream while trying to live a middle class, suburban existence.

Published by BeadedQuill

Author of over 300 poems, also books, essays and short stories. Published in the Johannesburg Review of Books, Carapace and Type/Cast. BeadedQuill's titles are for sale via Blurb.co.uk

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