When Sparks Fly......

M&S…you make my Sparks fly

Your Temple Fortune branch in North London nearly killed me today. The trip began as most do these days…with me looking forward to your delightful products and hoping I had everything I needed to make it as painless as possible….for Temple Fortune is a busy place with a slightly older demographic and a definite lottery as to whether you will get vaguely cheerful or decidedly hostile staff…but it is my local and every time I swear never to return..like a certain member of the mafia: I get pulled back in.

Pre flight check list

Excited 6 year old…check

2 year old left at home with the husband…..check

Bags… check

Make trip first thing on a Saturday so it won’t be too busy..check

Traffic ok, found a space for the car quite far from any pay point but I don’t have to worry about the toddler so should be ok….


No coins to pay for parking…because in a thoughtless moment of generosity I had given extra pocket money to my eldest in return for excellent car washing

No matter, I’ll just swallow up the extra few minutes it takes to pay by card and


Deal with machine, no-one behind to tut me impatiently…result!!

Be VERY careful when choosing which part of the refund voucher to RETAIN and which to DISPLAY ( they look very similar )

Return to vehicle…display said ticket and keep firm hold of child all the while due to increasing amounts of cars desperately searching for spaces…( This particular car park is a very weird layout…full of nooks, crannies and blind spots. You never know if there is a space around the corner or a dead end…once you commit, its too late to back out..lots of rear end shunts and crazy behaviour is fostered by this terrain…there used to be a helpful person guiding you and checking for you…but that was a long long time ago ) Certainly no help from this attendant…he is far too busy making notes in his tricorder trying to catch the non payers or the fools who chose incorrectly when tearing the bits off their print out.


…no coin for trolley

Surely I can find a member of staff who will release one…????


I must queue for change

This I do…HA HA!!! All part of the fun…The process of my unhinging has begun. My child looks at me queerly…I must hold on for her sake.


Lovely stuff…

200 quid later

Empty shopping into car

Leave 6 year old by the side of the car while I return trolley..safer than dodging all the reversing and hesitant cars.

I’ll just put the trolley back and redeem that hard won pound.


the nearest trolley point is full of the wrong sized trolleys and will not take my big fat trolley

No matter

The next trolley point is quite a bit further away…is 6 year old ok??? Well, she is for now!! Sophie’s choice: child killed by car, or abandoned/abducted because of distracted mother….mmmmmm???


This trolley point has the right sort of trolley size but will not accept my trolley for some unknown reason

Several long and loud seconds later..I beg the nearby attendant to help me…he is still very busy trying to catch out the naughty non payers…but lo and behold he discovers a discarded walking stick in the trolley several in front of the one I’m trying to ‘mount’ (no doubt left by another intrepid journeyer to this strange land of pain and frustration)

I look at my far away 6 year old and decide to bequeath the lost pound to the attendant if he ever makes it out alive.

Farewell my friend….I’m going back to my life. I wave at him on the way out as he is being harassed by a woman who has the temerity to ask if she really needs a ticket to park for just 5 minutes…she obviously wasn’t from around here…we exchanged looks. Will I see him again?? Possibly not. What I might do is get the bus there and hand deliver a print out of this blog post to some m&s representatives/manager of the store…whoever I can catch and ask for a response….you never know my brothers and sisters..I know the revolution will not be televised but it might just begin in north London…I’ll keep you posted.


Inspired by true events and a certain children's story book....   

Inspired by true events and a certain children's story book....