Last Thursday was Bluebell's service and MOT so after a really early start (5:30am *sob*) we dropped Tara off at my in-laws' and headed off for a day of retail therapy (and finger crossing that the car sailed through her MOT).
A trip to Ayr with the car also means a trip round the shops in Ayr. One of my favourite things to do.
Sadly there's a lot more closed and boarded up shops than there used to be when I first started going there over ten years ago. Even some of the charity shops have vacated their premises, which is a huge shame because I've picked up some lovely clothes there in the past.
When I make a trip to the mainland on a shopping expedition, I go with a particular target in mind. And this time was no exception.
I wanted a printer.
I'd done my research. I had an envelope with £31 worth of hard won vouchers, valid in Argos, and I was out to buy something which would be useful and practical for my house.
As a side note, I'd like to point out how mature and sensible I'm being here, since these vouchers are also valid in Waterstones and who wouldn't want to go and spend £31 on books?!
I'd settled on the Epson XP342 printer as being the one for me. I wanted something with four individual ink cartridges which would print on a variety of different types of paper (I intend to make my own stickers for pen pal letters and my bullet journal as well as printing photos and other general stuff too). I knew I needed a scanner and wireless (which, let's face it, is pretty standard now anyway). And I wanted something I could trust and which wouldn't cost me a small fortune in replacement cartridges.
I'd been checking for a few days before we went that they had it in stock. So after finishing our wandering and getting ready to head back to the garage, we stopped in and picked it up. My biggest bargain of the day.
It cost me £3.99. I actually spent more in Wilkinson on paper for it!
I got it set up on Saturday and it works like a dream (once I was able to correctly enter the wifi password into it, anyway).
That wasn't the only bargain of the day though. I'd gone with the intention of getting some new long-sleeved tops to replace some old and tatty ones. After picking up a couple for £3-4 I spotted a clearance rack, stuck those back and got some in slightly different colours and styles for £1-2 instead.
I'd hoped to find some new knitting pattern books there, since last year I picked up the pattern book for Jean Greenhowe's Red Nose Gang (where I got the pattern for Bertie Bloomer). No such luck this time around, but I did find a small selection of books and DVDs which I wanted (one of the DVDs was still in the plastic wrapping).
And then there was the crafty stuff.
I was very restrained this time around and resisted all the stickers and washi in Poundland. The latter was mostly because I've already bought it all before, but I kept telling myself I didn't need any more. I did get a nice pack of five with some gorgeous watermelon seed tape in Primark. I'm seeing some summer spreads coming up in my bullet journal.
Wilkinson yielded a pack of 24 Crayola Supertip pens for either £2.50 or £3.50 (I forget which), considering that not an hour earlier I'd talked myself out of getting a pack of 12 for £6.99 in WH Smith, I thought that was a sign and snapped them up. But other than that I was very restrained in Ayr.
And then we went to Lidl on the way home.
We grabbed some (edible) goodies there and of course I had to have a nose at the stuff in the centre of the shop. Mr Click saw me flicking through the stickers and told me to 'go on then' when he caught that glint in my eye. I imagine at times that taking me shopping must feel like taking a hyperactive nine year old out for him, I'm so easily excited by anything shiny or vaguely crafty.
A few seconds later I found a pack of chalk pastels and added those to the trolley as well. I should add here that a few months ago I saw a tutorial on Johanna Basford's Facebook page where she demonstrated an effect which used chalk pastels to colour and blend large areas of a picture. I added some rather expensive chalk pastels to my Amazon wishlist so jumped at the change to get something similar for £2.49!
All in all, it was a very successful day, even if we did come home to the Return of the Wobbly Rat (who's been slightly less wonky since his trip to the vet).
And Bluebell? Well, she needed a couple of things dealt with, but she passed her MOT, so definitely a successful day on all fronts!