From the sublime to the ridiculous.
Interspersed with some of the more “serious” ideas and pursuits on my website, you will also find that I frequently blog about shopping in my guise as The Discerning Shopper.
Shopping? Why blog about shopping?
I have always been interested in our material surroundings and that which is well made.
Shopping brings fantasy in line with reality, providing us with the materials we need to make our dreams come true: a Victoria Sponge and an Antarctic Expedition both call for a judicious trip to the shops.
Living as we do today, most of us have to shop, rather than hunt, in order to survive. Let’s do it well.
These blog posts are inspired by an understanding that – at its best – shopping can unite taste, economy and pleasure with necessity. They are dedicated to those people who desire to shop and live well; not ostentatiously or compulsively, but with knowledge and understanding.
It has been quite a journey to reach such a point myself. Having lived and shopped in New York, Paris, London, Oxford, Florence, Delhi, Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, I have made my mistakes and will give you – dear reader – the benefit of my hard won experience and researches.
The Discerning Shopper is also fired by the conviction that excellence should be available to ordinary people at affordable prices on an everyday basis. So, part of my design is to make some of the less well known products I’ve encountered available to more people, and to show that you don’t always have to spend more money to get a better product.
Who is the Discerning Shopper?
Probably you, if you are reading this, dear reader.
As for me, I am self-employed, working in the creative industries and based in London. Like any of you, I do not have money to throw about, but I enjoy life and have always been interested in shops as places where we engage with the outside world and meet our needs for the essential (i.e. “clothe a back and cram a maw”), as well as the superfluous.
I’ve been told by friends that I am excellent at shopping and finding special things. My expertise is often requested for some shopping trip or other. So, urged by them, I’ve decided to spread my net a little wider and share some of my finds on my blog.
What you won’t find here:
I am no expert on antiques and market stalls, and these topics are very well covered elsewhere, by people who know a lot more than I do about these subjects. Though I do shop at auctions and recommend doing so if you are in the market for furniture especially.
What you will find here:
Explorations (and eulogies) of products that can be bought online or hail from shops that have a door of some sort. Provenance will range from quaint one off boutiques to the stalwart high street chains. For ease of use, my entries are organised according to product, so if you are looking for a new kind of mayonnaise you won’t need to trawl through an essay about the Co-Op, Lidl and Waitrose.