So, yesterday I had to take daughter down to Taunton to buy new hiking boots. We had to go to a certain store which has by far the best selection, and also are specialist fitters. From experience I know that if you don't buy the ideal pair of boots from the start, then you're just throwing money away.
So I drove down there knowing that I would be spending at least £150 and maybe up to £200. But at least we wouldn't be spending the money unless the boots were the right ones. And Ken was brilliant. He took on board everything we said, and having measured said feet both sitting and standing (which spread the size from 7 to 8), and taken into account the growing bunions (courtesy of paternal grandmother, I hasten to add) and the tendency to sweaty feet (so we don't really want leather boots) he produced a couple of pairs for trial. The first pair were the latest incarnation of the previous boots (which she said were perfect until her feet grew) so that was always going to be the favourite.
They were judged to be okay, but then we tried just about everything else available. Slight problem in that size 8 is on the limit for ladies' boots, which have a different shape to men's boots, and it would be nice if manufacturers took on board the fact that youngsters these days have bigger feet. (My 22 year old son has size 14 ish feet and usually buys his shoes online as local shops just don't have shoes big enough)
Anyhow, having tried on every potential pair of boots, we ended up with the original pair. But we were sufficiently pleased we ended up also buying about eight other items (socks, gas, Wayfarers, wax, etc) and Ken was brilliant again. Firstly he produced a coupon which gave us £10 off, and then he gave us the Ten Tors discount, even though we had no actual proof for this. (Daughter is doing 55 miles this year, having already done the 35 and the 45, so I think she'd probably said enough to convince him she was genuine - although he did ask who she was doing it with, but we had a real answer for that, too) So we ended up with a 25% discount on everything we bought.
And fortunately I didn't discover until we got outside (at least an hour later) that the parking bays outside said "30 minutes only, no return within 30 minutes"!
And then today, I had to get in supplies of Snickers (what you have to do is tape together a bag containing 4 Snickers bars and one Options hot chocolate sachet and that is your emergency rations). Honest, as specified by the army, who scrutineer these things.
And then this evening someone rang up who'd seen my advert in Trade-It for a child's trampoline.