A TV Star @ Penny Bazaar

Yay! I’m a TV Star. Here’s how….


I could hardly get any sleep last night.

Today was the 125th Anniversary of Marks & Spencers, and to mark the occasion, they launched a 3-day Penny Bazaar!

I was so excited, and decided to queue up at the nearest big outlet (25 mins by train) first thing in the morning. If you have read my earlier posts, you will know how much I love waking early 😉 But today was different. I set the alarm to 6 am, but woke up by 5:30!! And I was out of the house by 7:20 am!! Hurried to the station, and for a change, managed to catch the train (the next one wasn’t for another 10 minutes :-)) I grabbed a nice seat by the window, and opened my book (Jhumpa Lahiri’s ‘Interpretor of Maladies’). Two stops down the line, the train itself stopped. Signal-failure (GOK what it means!!) at the station ahead, and the train was not going to move forward , but backward, all the way it came!!

With not much of a choice, I got out, and walked through to the closest main Tube station. As I swiped my travel card, the damn machine beeped as loudly as it could, indicating that I did not have enough credit. So I topped up my card, and finally managed to get into the train!

It was peak-time already. People were piling in. I stationed myself in a nice comfy corner of the compartment, thinking nobody could jostle me. And guess what? Every time the train halted at a station, the person standing next to me (i.e., not in the corner like me) got a place to sit. So I stood all the bloo** way to central London. Remind me to thank Jhumpa for her book, please!

After about 20 minutes, I finally reached Marble Arch station. There were more than 2 exits. And I am so bad at directions, that any direction that I normally choose, is certainly the wrong one!! Anyway, this time, I did choose right. Still wondering how! So I walked out into the beautiful sunshine and reached the flagship M&S store @ Oxford street in about 5 minutes. At the intersection of roads, I was flanked by girls. A young one to my left. And a really old one to my right. I chose to ask the girl to my left, if that was the correct route indeed. Didn’t quite expect the old hag to say much.

And yes, when I finally reached the M&S store, there were about 150 people already queued up there!! I mean, didn’t they have any work to do? Did they sleep there all night? Anyway, I joined the queue too. Blondes in green M&S T-shirts distributed colourful flags, badges and candies. Reporters (oh yeah!) kept taking shots of everybody. And while I delved into my novel, the woman right ahead of me was interviewed by a daily! And the old hag whom I’d ignored at the crossing now stood right behind me, and was also giving an interview! I was left waving the flags, cheering them on!

So then, the store opened by 9 am, and they let people in one by one. That half hour was an excruciating wait. A wait made memorable by eager anticipation of what we would finally buy for a penny! Just as my turn came, the lady with the huge pram shoved her way through the crowd. And then it was the turn of the lady in the wheelchair. And we finally squeezed in.

And guess what they sold at a penny each?

Mug, Knicker, Tea-towel, beach-ball, crappy earrings/chain set, bracelet…etc.

I mean, I wasn’t expecing gold-plated jewellery, but I did expect a decent variety in the accessories division atleast!

So, this is what I landed with in the end:-

A nice mug, with M&S 125 years printed on it. Really liked this.

A frisbee (well, nobody was taking it, and I was sure sonny would like it)

A silly little earrings/chain set (hope my sis is not reading this, as I am planning to gift it off to her ;-))

A decent looking bracelet (with the foll. trinkets on it: a penny (ofcourse), a little pearl and a crown (obviously a tiny little one)).

And another tiny little cream leather coin purse (which I will give to my Mum, as she is the inspiration behind me being a shopaholic!)

I returned home , tired with the excitement of the morning. When I made my expenses list…I was kind of shocked to see the following:-

Train-fare 4.00
Charity  0.20
Clothing 5.00
Grocery  7.81
Penny-Bazaar 0.05
TOTAL  17.06

I guess this is what people call ‘Penny wise….pound …. ‘ ahem.. the less said the better 🙂

Btw, this is the link to the video on cyberspace. In the first 3 seconds, the camera rolls over the queue of hopeful shoppers. Do watch out for the lady in pink. Carrying a backpack (huh…like I was expecting to fill it up!), and reading a book. I know… I know…its not even 0.05 second of me on TV, but still. I can proudly say, ‘Been there, Done that’ 😉

And that little blob in white is me, myself and others.


A special thanks to hubby, who took half a day off from work, so I could focus on the all important penny-shopping !


18 thoughts on “A TV Star @ Penny Bazaar

  1. What fun!! 😀
    Really looks like you had a great time shopping and waiting and all that!
    Will take a look at the video later at home! 🙂

  2. Saw you!!! That was an exciting read and one I can empathize with 🙂 but D has hammered this cost thing into my head….5 dollars for parking to buy a 1 dollar earring…sigh!!! why do men like to kill all this silly excitement from our lives?

  3. oh I missed the penny shopping, good to know you enjoyed the morning with some ‘me’ time. Thats all that matters.

  4. MM- Absolutely…! Have you read the ‘Shopaholic…’ series of books. They are hilarious.

    Pix- Everything was over-priced yaar. A single T-shirt (for a toddler, not even an adult) was GBP 8! And that was crazy.

    Quirky- He he. Thanks for reading 🙂

    Ritu- ROFL! Actually, the women in front of me were all excited about Twiggy. And I didn’t even know who the da** female was. Pathetic, no?

    Ganga- Yay!! I agree…men don’t know the joys of shopping 😦 And you are surrounded by not one, but four of them! OMG. Let’s meet in Chennai for a girly shopping expedition.

    Ipshita- Oh, why didn’t you go? Not that it was worth the wait, anyway! The ‘me-time’ was nice , but I think it would have been nicer if my friends had joined!

  5. Eh, you pretty woman in pink
    you disappeared before I could blink
    but this post and others makes me think
    that you are filled with happiness to the brink.

    Pallavi, dont’t call me sir and make me an untouchable pleeasee!

  6. PRG- Thank you for your lovely verses!! And yes, will do away with the formality 🙂
    Shweta- He he! Typical scenario. Good to see you back!!

  7. Autograph please 😀

    TV star 😀

    I saw that pink blur 😀
    and yeah it was more than a moment 🙂

    shopping ? bring it on 😀

    sales…*heaven* 😉

    though the sheer size of the crowd boggled my mind..oh man!

    penny wise pound foolish 😀
    all in the name of shopaholism (is there such a word? ) 😀

  8. Supps- Ha ha..glad you didn’t think the title referred to M&S model Twiggy 😉

    Indy- Great you didn’t miss that huge blur of pink 🙂 I agree.. Sales… Shopping.. all a slice of heaven. Have you read ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’ amd ‘Shopaholic Abroad’ by Sophie Kinsella ? Absolutely hilarious. Do take a peep!!

  9. heh heh. enjoyed the post hugely. i’m sort of like that. the word free turns me into an idiot. and before you know it i have tonnes of worthless thing in a shopping bag tied to my hand.
    anyway…loved the blog. will be back.

  10. It is important to match customers expectations with your offer else you may generate more bad blood than good will.

    The presence of quality is almost always unnoticed but its absence always.

    Low prices never do cover up for bad quality.

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