Chips, Hot
Christmas Letters
Christmas Cards
Crisp Sheets
Department Stores
Dunas vs Blankets
Electrical Cords
Free Quotes
Garage Sales
Hospitals & Nursing Homes
Metal Implements
Only Want One
Plastic Garden Furniture
Sewing Patterns
Toy Stickers
Shops I use in Adelaide

5-11-2021: One thing that disappoints me is the hot chips you get at most takeaway shops these days. They are cooked from frozen, and taste awful-all the same size, big, square in cross section, floury and dry, nothing like the chips we used to get. About once every two months we drive to Semaphore for a weekend outing and buy fish and chips at the Semaphore Rd fish and chip shop, and they are delicious old style, but it's a long way to go. It was therefore a delight to see an article about the most popular shops for chips in
'The Advertiser' on 27-10-21, such that I thought I should indulge in yet another heartfelt letter to the paper in reply. On 5-11-2021 'The Advertiser has followed up with another article about chips. They are trying to find the 10 best places to buy hot chips in Adelaide, and get advice for cooking them. Good luck with that! I'd suggest that fresh potatoes cut up on the day by hand would be the first step.

10-2-2021: Just been to Spotlight again to look for a pattern for a blouse. I chose a fashionable McCalls blouse with a frill on the hem then went to find it in the pattern drawers. For at least the 20th time, the shop did not have the pattern I chose from the pattern book. They NEVER have the pattern you choose. This was especially annoying as all patterns are $7 this week as opposed to the usual $20 plus. On arrival home I tried click and collect but the only Spotlights which had the pattern were in Western Australia and NSW. I could order the pattern from other places but it was over $20 and with $12.99 postage it just wasn't worth the cost.
I read that Spotlight are going to open 150 more shops around Australia, and I wonder why the customers, mainly women, put up with the dreadful service, but know from bitter experience that if you complain, there is a loud silence and other women tut tut and look embarrassed. Speaking up, complaining, is both unladylike and sort of Un-Australian- it's not the fault of the shop assistants-the message is loud and clear. Apparently it's better to put up with bolts of material jammed so tightly on shelves that it is impossible to pull them out, especialy when the shelf is up so high that short people can't reach it, and wait in a long line for half an hour to be served, rather than complain. No matter the time of day or the number of customers, there are 2 people cutting lengths of material, sometimes 5 lengths of material per customer, without extra staff being called in to serve. There are often long lines at the checkouts too. The shops are like Bunnings. They sell everything to do with sewing and making stuff around the home and have a fabulous range of goods, such that they have driven all the other haberdashery shops out of business, but they do not employ enough staff and just keep getting more and more stuff.

14-10-2020: Often children's toys come with stickers for decoration, as with the little car pictured. Instead of being plastic stickers on a plastic toy, they are paper based stickers which begin to peel or shrivel away at the edges following any contact with water. This makes no sense because the toys can become quite dirty and need to be cleaned for hygiene reasons and for appearance, particularly if you buy them second hand, as I often do. If plastic stickers work on plastic storage containers, they can easily also be used for toys so that the (often publicised as a special feature) stickers don't disintegrate when washed or even wiped.
An even more annoying example of paper based decoration is found on doll houses which can cost well over $100. The wallpaper and carpets etc which decorate the wooden structures are paper based. If a dollhouse is left out over night or washed or splashed with water, the paper shows water marks and starts to dissolve at the edges. In such toys the decorations should be painted on in manufacture or at least sprayed with a strong sealant to prevent this water damage. How are house-proud dollies expected to clean their house when all the backgrounds are not waterproof?

29-9-2018: Every Saturday morning for about 10 years now, I've been going to garage sales, graduating from white elephant stalls at fetes etc.
I don't find it easy getting up out of bed early on a Saturday, even though I'm retired, and it is an effort looking up the locations of the sales and driving to them, especially if it is cold. But what is really infuriating me lately, is that sellers advertise their sale and only include the suburb, not even the time.
On Gumtree and on Facebook, they say what's for sale, sometimes the date but don't give the time or address, just the suburb. If you have enough time before 8 am when most sales start, you can go back on Gumtree and they may have added the street name and the time, otherwise, I suppose, you are expected to drive randomly around a suburb and try to find the sale. It drives me crazy.
There are stories out there about householders being woken up at 5 am by dealers knocking on the door or the gate. That is probably only if you put in the exact address. How would dealers know you're having a sale otherwise, unless you put out all the signs the night before? Don't do that. Wait until you are ready to start and then put out your signs. Keep your goods out of sight in the shed or behind the house and no one can see you are the one about to have a sale. Even if a dealer does come, is it that bad that the whole garage saling community has to suffer with the inconvenience of trawling around? Often I just drive on home. You are the ones that don't sell the gear.
Here is my advice for people holding a garage sale:
  • Advertise the sale in the paper or free online, giving the date, time, street and suburb. Don't give the house number unless you want "early birds."
  • If you are going to have a sale, organise it in advance. Get some cardboard and proper large textas to write the signs. Cardboard boxes are fine. You may want a sign at each end of your street or at the nearest intersection.
  • Write in neat, large letters so that everyone can read it, especially from a car.
  • Secure the signs so that they are not able to be blown off course, and point in the right direction.
  • Don't just write no. 48. Also have an arrow pointing to left or right.
  • Put up a big, clear sign on the actual house and balloons on the gate or fence, so that they can be seen from a distance.
  • Put everything out on tables or trestles or at least unwrapped and on the ground. I am not interested in stuff that has been in your shed for 10 years and you haven't even bothered to unwrap.
  • I like things organised by kind and price. So toys might be in $2 or $5 groups. It is up to the individual but you are not a high class antique dealer so don't ask ridiculous prices for what you think may be collectables.
  • Be friendly and greet visitors when they arrive. On the other hand, don't have a large group of friends drinking coffee and eating croissants and acting like they are better than the buyers.
13-01-2020: Frustrated that there seem to be sales I don't know about I am now checking Garage Sales Facebook Page and Marketplace on Facebook and they are both equally maddening. What is it with people? Do they want to sell stuff or not? On Marketplace, you almost always have to click through 3 pages to get to the suburb, even. One page is garage sale ad, next page is what is for sale and then, if you are lucky, there will be a 'more' and if you click on that and load the 3rd page, they may give the suburb and EVEN the street. It's stupid. Just put the suburb and street in the first page.
The Garage Sales Facebook page is mostly not garage sales but individual people selling things and asking to be messaged or phoned. If it isn't a garage sale, advertise somewhere else.

Had a letter published in "The Advertiser," 21-11-2017, a complaint as usual, about the cost of a cup of tea at a small cafe in a local shopping centre. Radio 891 ABC rang up and interviewed me on air about the letter, but they obviously thought I was a crank, writing about such a thing. After all, there is the SSM debate which has occupied the letters column on and off for most of the year, not to mention electricity supply and cost. IMHO the cost of drinks at local eateries is a worthwhile topic for a state newspaper and one that relates to everyone. I didn't get a chance to tell them of my many complaints about being a tea drinker, in Australia and overseas. I have mentioned it in other web pages, but I'll recapitulate here.
POTS: As I've said in the letter, when you ordered tea at a cafeteria like John Martins or Coles when I was younger, you usually got 2 little pots, one for tea made from tea leaves and one of hot water to regulate the strength. There were no tea bags readily available in Australia that I was aware of until about the 1980s (I tried looking it up but can't find when they became common). When we had the Beach Palais at Pt Germein during the 1950s, people would order tea and we would serve up a pot of tea, a pot of hot water, however many cups and saucers were required on a metal tray and the customers would take the lot out to the beach. As far as I remember, there was no cover charge. They just brought back the tray when they were finished.
TEMPERATURE AND DRIPS: Once teabags became common, there was no need for a pot and soon a cup of tea became a tea bag floating in water, possibly boiling if you are lucky. In case you should burn yourself, many places turn the temp down so that hot water is only 95 degrees-making for a pathetic luke warm cup of tea. The cafe will serve up the cup with sugar in small wrappers on the saucer and no where to put the tea bag when you remove it from the cup but in the saucer where it soaks into the sugar. You dab at it with the small serviette supplied and then that is another bit if rubbish with nowhere to go. Surely it is not so hard to supply a small disposable saucer about 5 cms wide in which to put the used tea bag?
TEABAGS: Overseas it is quite hard to get real tea in hotels and cafes. Tea to them is any herbal infusion. In hotels for breakfast they will have a huge range of 'teas' in a glamorous container but none are actually tea. After battling over it for years I now take a supply of my own tea bags and have them in my handbag. If you do not specify a flavour at a cafe, and ask for tea, they will ALWAYS serve Earl Grey. I think they imagine it is more classy because of the title, but
Enda Kenny perfectly describes my opinion of bergamot flavoured water.
TRENDS: Now tea is back in fashion, fighting for survival against the current mysticism of coffee. It can't be just ordinary tea, it has to be specially blended, expensive, sourced responsibly etc and it comes in strange little pyramidal shaped gauze bags with big leaves. Even though I am a tea lover, I'm still not in fashion, because I like ordinary tea-happy with Liptons, Nerada, Bushells, not so keen on very strong tea like Yorkeshire though I love their ads. There's a lot of bull associated with food and drink. Have whatever the way you like it, and don't be patronised by others who claim to know better.

18-11-2016: I can't believe I've never put into words here just how angry I get when I go to the post office with cards, letters or parcels, and without even asking, the clerk puts a printed label on the article instead of a proper stamp. Why does Australia Post print stamps if not for the purpose of putting on items being posted? You have to actively insist on stamps. Most post offices or newsagents stock only the uninteresting definitive stamps and none of the more exciting issues.
11-2021: Even if you are interested in collecting stamps, the latest ones come with multiple nicks in them like the 2021 Xmas gingerbread tree sheet stamp, in case you manage to soak them off and re-use them, because the post office doesn't seem to frank the stamps most of the time. That's ironic, as hardly anyone is writing letters, let alone soaking the stamps off. Now they certainly needn't bother as the glue is impossible to move and the nicks tear the stamp. All those new stamps being issued, are they for postage or just revenue raising as almost pointless collectibles?
Modern computer printed labels are so plain. Surely post offices must see that they are discouraging an interest in philately and in people communicating by mail. Stamps have so much history, are attractive and interesting and give an insight into the country they come from. What is more exciting than receiving a parcel adorned with a variety of fascinating stamps? Please insist on proper stamps on your mail, like the lovely jetty series at right released 21-2-2017-click on them to go to Australia Post.

12-9-2016: It is hard to find attractive and comfortable clothing. Being short, I want a neat style using pretty, practical materials.
Here are some of my current pet hates with explanation:
1. Big wide deep necklines (at left) - freezing in winter and too much exposed flesh for burning in summer. You always have to wear layers underneath and scarves if it is cold.
2. See through tops - once again you have to wear something underneath making it hotter than necessary, and good luck finding anything smooth and silky so that the top layer sits and moves well.
3. Zips down the front of EVERYTHING. I hate zips. They buckle and bend and make you look like you've got lumps and bumps in wrong places. Often the zips get out of kilter and it is hard to make each side connect. I had polar fleece tops which were just like jumpers a few years ago, but now, every polar fleece is automatically produced with a zip up front.
4. Big cardigans - if you are 6 feet tall they may be OK. I don't want layers flopping around and getting in the way and uneven hems are of limited appeal too.
5. Rayon tops - they look lovely in the shop but they get impossibly wrinkled and out of shape just hanging in the cupboard and are hard to get in shape after washing and ironing.
6. Necklines shaped but not supported - a U neck drops down at the sides and grandfather edges also flop. It seems as though a proper collar is taboo unless it is on a denim or linen shirt. In winter I used to wear light silky-type shirts with collars under a jumper. They didn't look bulky or stick to the jumper and provided warmth at the neck, but those shirts no longer exist. I live in hope - after all, navy blue clothes are back after about 10 years when the colour disappeared from the clothing spectrum. Late 2021, I am seeing light shirts with long sleeves and collars appearing back in the shops. Wait 20 years and things do come around full cycle.
7. Stripes - I've always loved them but I am SICK of them. For goodness sake come up with something different.

29-5-2016: Having had a number of long holidays overseas and in Australia staying at hotels and motels, not on organised tours of any kind, I have a number of complaints.
1.If there are 2 of you on a trip, and you rent a double room, chances are you will each have a suitcase. That's 2 people and 2 suitcases. It would be nice if a few more hotels actually provided somewhere to put the 2 suitcases. If you are lucky there is one stand or shelf and some don't even have enough floor space for the second suitcase. You have to put it next to the bed and fall over it if you have to get up to go to the loo at night.
2.The second biggest complaint is the lack of shelf space for toiletries bags in bathrooms. Everyone has such a bag. Please supply a decent sized shelf near the basin to put them on. And don't fill shelf space with hotel toiletries either. They can go anywhere.
3.The fancier the room, the more the furniture, it seems. Get rid of all that unnecessary stuff. If I am staying 1 or 2 nights I do not need a full lounge suite and a chest of drawers. Just give me enough room to fit the suitcases!
4.I don't want cushions or other silly decorations taking up room. What is the purpose of a 40 cm strip of material at the end of the bed?
5.I'm not the only person who complains about the sheets being
tucked in. Seinfeld and Danny Bhoy, Live at the Apollo, Series 1, Episode 6 also had something to say on the subject. Why do they do it? You have to untuck them before you can fit into the bed and it messes up the arrangement of sheets. Often the beds are rigid and very hard to untuck too. It must be hard for the housemaids to do that in the first place.
6.Many hotels have become lazy with dunas and I understand why because getting them in and out of covers is hell. They are using them like blankets with a sheet under and over. But who needs a duna in the middle of Summer? They need to have season appropriate bedding. We have sweltered through summer in Europe, USA and New Zealand with bedroom windows that don't open, no airconditioning and the only cover a duna.
7.Do not fill the fridge with drinks, chocolates and other inordinately expensive snacks. We do not want them but we do need room for our own stuff.
8.If no parking is supplied by the hotel, give us a sheet with information about parking printed clearly and simply in the appropriate languages. Don't wave a hand and say there is parking just around the corner. We have never been here before and we don't know what bloody corner you are talking about.

28-7-2017: I'm repeating myself here (see Myers, Memories and Upgrades below) but it is an ongoing problem getting worse. When you go to Myers or David Jones or Harris Scarfe at Marion or in the city to buy clothes, it is a nightmare. The clothing departments are divided up into dozens of small brand name areas blocked in by racks and fake walls such that it is confusing and irritating trying to find items of clothing. I DO NOT CARE who makes the product. Why is the 'designer' the be all and end all in retail these days? 'Designing' a shirt or dress is not very hard. It's the clever ladies actually doing the work and physically creating the product in some crappy little factory in China or Vietnam who deserve the credit.
Open up the shop floors so that customers can get an overall view of what is there. Put all the tops or skirts or jackets together - sort by article of clothing not by designer.
Even better, retailers, talk to designers and get them to stick to a standard sizing code so that sizes do not vary between brands.
I have always loved the department stores as they were a part of my growing up, but you've lost me and, I suspect, most of your older customer base. Why would you alienate a demographic which is currently said to be the most wealthy and is more likely to shop in stores than young people who may prefer to buy online?
The advantage shops have over buying online is that the clothes and other products are actually there to see and touch and try on. Why make that so hard that customers actually prefer to shop online?

12-9-2016: Ventured into Myers second floor clothes again. The larger sizes department is a packed and chaotic jumble of expensive larger size designer brands including Maggie T and Taking Shape among others, mixed up with petites, smaller sizes and maternity garments. I can't understand why the sizes are mixed but presume that because Regatta makes Regatta Woman and regular sizes, they've put all the Regatta up there, for example. It's a mess. I thought I'd check out the women's floor below, but it was even worse. True to their promise, it is all designer brands, many ridiculously expensive. Each company has its small area and there are dozens of them all over the floor, each containing a mixture of garments-tops, jackets, dresses etc. I was at a complete loss as to where to look. Can't stand the place and spoke to 2 other ladies about my age who felt exactly the same. We were queued up outside the ladies toilet on the ladies clothing floor just before midday when all the toilets were closed for cleaning again! That's when you clean the ladies toilets, of course, and have a male cleaner to do it! It's the 3rd time this has happened recently, and I don't go to town very often. Surely they can clean those toilets, which must be the most used, early in the morning and then just check them out later without closing them. They've lost me. I have a $20 voucher I have been trying to spend for months and can't find anything to buy. This mad devotion to brand names has ruined shopping.
29-5-2016: Contrary to my prediction below, Myers, Adelaide, last month announced they were expanding their range of larger sizes, having apparently noticed that most women are not size 10 or 12. They are still locating their larger sizes in a back corner on the 2nd (plus mezzanine) floor and weirdly, now lots of smaller sizes are taking up room in that small area too, arranged by brands. It is difficult to find which are the larger clothes because they have Regatta (for example) in all sizes. I didn't see any new brands, just that BIB has gone and been replaced by the ubiquitous multi size Regatta. Like, I do spend most of my time down at the yacht club! And it really gives me the pip that sizes are not real. In the larger size department, a size 16 or 18 is much larger than a size 16 or 18 in the smaller brands. How is that even legal?
31-8-2015: Checked out Myers for clothes today-up 3 flights of elevators to the toys floor. All the larger sized brands were being moved elsewhere on the floor. When I asked why, it is apparently for Xmas decorations! And I was told that the clothes are being moved again upstairs soon. I suggested that it was discrimination against larger people and that perhaps the skinny girls should be heading up to the 4th floor and they could then put the larger stuff on the first floor where "there isn't room for it " at present. Yeah sure. If they put the larger sizes far enough away they won't sell anything, can close the department and that will mean that they will have got rid of those unglamorous overweight people for good.
29-7-2015: Myers have just announced they are getting rid of hundreds of brands and revamping their stores because of falling sales. Instead they are going to bring in more designer brands. I can't believe it. Every shop in Adelaide revamps, chucks out all the stuff you go there specifically to buy and 'upgrades' all the products they sell. They divide the shops into smaller and smaller departments making it harder to find anything.
At the risk of sounding like an old person, I remember when my darling mother took me to the beloved Adelaide department store, John Martins, when I was first appointed to teaching, and said "We'll get you a dress to wear every day." We went up to the first floor and bought 7 very nice dresses from the huge round carousel type rack on which all the size 12 dresses in the shop were to be found. I don't know what brand they were, just reliable brands stocked by the shop. We knew that we had checked all that was on offer in the shop.
Now, you go to a shop and you have to search through 10 different designers to see if there are any garments your size. If you are no longer a lovely size 12, you could be relegated to the back of the second floor as women's larger sizes now are at Myer Adelaide. Can't have the young or thin ones being contaminated by women of a larger size! Sorry if I sound bitter, but it is the truth. Fortunately some of the larger sizes have fought back with interesting and adventurous styles and I quite often see thin women browsing among the larger sized garments bemoaning the fact there is nothing that fits. I feel like screaming-why don't you try the 97% of boutiques and department stores which stock your size?
But to get back to my point. I remember when Myer built their new shop in Rundle Mall. Gone was the wonderful old bargain basement. The shop looked better and so it couldn't have anything that looked cheap and nasty. The same thing has happened with every store upgrade since in Adelaide.
Target, Castle Plaza, upgraded about 20 years ago and I've hardly bought a garment there since. Big W upgraded last year and this year you can no longer buy the wonderfully warm and cosy fleecy lined track pants and windcheaters that I have bought there for about 20 years. Even my son complained about that. They cost about $10- $12 and have been winter staples forever. Big W no longer have plants-too untidy, might require workers-or many other useful and practical day to day products. Don't even get me started on Harris Scarfe's. It was a wonderful shop quite a long way down Rundle Mall but you walked in off the street to the best crockery and cutlery department in Adelaide. One elevator up was the women's clothing, plenty of it, a great range of styles and sizes. They rebuilt the shop. I have been there twice in about 3 years. It is located down a mall, up an elevator, not even on the ground floor and has a weird range of clothes and products and absolutely no staff-you have to do everything yourself and take it to the checkout counter-it's like Target or Big W but it sells products which require assistance.
Myers, please STOP. Do some customer surveys. Do some statistics. What are your best selling brands? What do your customers think? What do your customers want? Send a letter to everyone who has a Myer card and ask them what they want. Ask them for some ideas on how to do better. Don't, please, bring in all the stupid brands that you can get in every capital city in every town in the world because a)they are too expensive and b)we live in Australia so we need clothing that suits our climate and lifestyle.

29-5-2016: I was in a Coles supermarket in March when I found a nice vinyl placemat, red with white spots-just the one. I bought it, took a note of the model and checked it out online. Coles did stock it and it was available. I could order it online through online Coles which is a different website from regular Coles. It was very complicated. I began checking out every Coles store for more. Imagine my delight then, that in April I was at Coles, in Castle Plaza and on special at 77 cents were as many red and white spotted placemats as I wanted, together with blue and white striped Greek style placemats too. Well done, Coles! All you have to do is bring back the thin face washers again and I will love you forever.
29-7-2015: When I was growing up my family always had a tablecloth on the table for meals but when my children were little we had so many problems with cleaning and mess that we adopted printed vinyl placemats. I knew they were not classy but they were very practical and we got used to them. I do use a proper tablecloth for important meals but for most meals when there are only 2 of us we still use the place mats to protect the table. But the inevitable has happened. Vinyl place mats are not sufficiently elegant for anyone any more so you can't buy them. I used to get them at Big W and at Spotlight for at least 30 years but now you can only get woven mats or material mats, none of the old fashioned but very practical mats which were $1 - $2 for many years. Ashdene make vinyl mats but they are expensive, rare and many of the patterns are weird. We know because we were able to buy some on a holiday at Hawker, of all places. We saw vinyl mats in Mariehamn, Finland in July, 2015-lovely pink and lime green mats with white spots but I couldn't justify carting them around for 3 more weeks in our already overstuffed bags. You can get some movie character mats but they are thin and slippery, more like laminated paper. Is it just me? Am I a dinosaur? Must the whole world be run by good taste? I am sick of it.

29-7-2015: We like the thin patterned flannels/facewashers I have bought from Coles supermarkets up until 2014. Guess what? They have disappeared completely from Coles. In fact, we haven't been able to find any flannels with patterns of owls and frogs and mermaids etc on them anywhere. It's one-colour, thick flannels or none, apparently. The edges were not that well made so I used to zigzag them as soon as I got them home to prevent unravelling and they lasted until worn out after that. But they were obviously not tasteful enough.
3-4-2015: I am amazed at how hard it is to buy thin towels and face washers. Everything is so thick and the fluff is unbelievable. Most old bathrooms are quite small and many people live in old houses. We don't have room for these thick towels or for the other bane of old bathrooms, the gigantic bath sheet. How do you dry out a thick, enormous towel and more importantly, where the hell do you hang it? Please towel manufacturers, have some common sense. I suppose you are the same people that make the 1000 count bed sheets that are impervious to air.

22-4-2014: We bought a new fridge about 2 months ago. The old one still worked well but it made lots of strange noises in the night, was becoming rather worn after about 25 years and had lost the kicker plate at the bottom front. We chose a Fisher and Paykel because it fitted the space in the kitchen, was white rather than the steel finish, which I don't like, and seemed to be economical and neat. The shelves are solid glass whereas the old fridge had plastic covered wire shelves. I thought solid shelves would be good because food falling through and down is always an issue, but they are always misted and easily become sticky. We can cope with that, although it seems a shame to be going backwards with a new product, but what is driving me mad is the beeping. Apparently grown ups can't close a door any more and so the fridge beeps after you have had it open for more than about a minute. It then beeps again a minute or so later before getting really angry and starting to beep continuously while simultaneously putting out the fridge light. I can see that it might be trying to save energy but if I have the groceries out of the fridge on the floor and am on my hands and knees cleaning it, I don't want to have to close the door to stop the beeping. Even if I am only putting the shopping away or filling the ice cube trays and leaving the freezer door open so that they are easy to put away, the beeps start.
It's not just the fridge, though. I have always loved my big Simpson washing machine so when the last one died with a load of wet washing inside, after a fairly good run, I ordered the same machine in its newer incarnation and had it delivered. Of course, it had been "improved." Now, when it finishes a load, it beeps, and it goes on beeping loudly forever, about every 3 minutes. It was only when I was visiting next door that I realised how piercingly loud the beeping is, and I used to go out and leave a load of washing on so that it was ready when I got home! I won't dwell on all the other "improvements" like no simple spin only cycle, the removal of an indicator as to where the machine is in its cycle etc.
The same thing happened with a Sunbeam iron. Bought a newer model and before I knew it, it was beeping merrily away. If it wasn't used about every minute, it was beeping and beeping-doesn't matter if I had to brush off lint or undo all the buttons or do something other than iron constantly, off it beeped. After about a month I chucked it in the rubbish bin. It's a bit hard to do that with an expensive refrigerator or washing machine.
Please, manufacturers, stop the beeping and do some proper market research about what people want. It is only when you buy a new product that you realise how important certain features which you have taken for granted, are, but it is fair to expect manufacturers to know what counts.

14-8-2013: Doing a little bit of painting and touching up. How much does paint cost? Well, it depends on the size of the tin you buy, what kind of paint it is-enamel, acrylic, gloss, semi gloss, low sheen, flat, what brand it is, whether it's a light or dark base, whether the moon is in the ascendant etc. Basically, unless you have more time to spare than it would take to paint the whole house it is almost impossible to work out what a tin of paint actually costs until it is all coloured up and too late. Is it better to buy 4 litres because it's only twice the cost of one litre, use only one litre but have the rest to spare if you need to do some touching up? That was my thinking until I looked at the tin and it was dated September 1999! Time flies. The paint is a solid block in the bottom of the rusty tin and the walls look perfectly OK, just need a touch up where there are a couple of scratches. Where do I go to buy the paint? Solver, Bunnings, Home Hardware? I feel as though I am being ripped off everywhere because nowhere are paint prices clearly explained.
One litre Dulux Saddlebag semi gloss acrylic paint for walls=$39.99
Two litres oil based full gloss enamel paint for doors=$44.61
That's an awful lot of money for some very small painting jobs.

28-5-2013: There has been publicity about the high but unjustified cost of many things in Australia recently, including computers, books and accommodation. If you've tried to buy a paper sewing pattern you will find that it costs about $20 for a pattern to make clothing for a one year old. That is ridiculous.

Modern patterns actively discourage people from home sewing. Each envelope contains the patterns for about 5 garments in a multiplicity of sizes. It is so overwhelming that by the time you have opened out all the paper pieces, chosen which size you want, worked out which bits you need and tried to refold the ones you don't, and attempted to put unwanted pieces back in the tiny envelope, you have totally lost interest. Not only that, but if you want the smallest size, you've either got to cut off the bigger sizes on the patterns anyway or trace out the pattern onto different paper. Why are patterns made like this nowadays? It's all too hard so that the few remaining haberdashery shops don't even bother to have paper patterns half of the time.

Material and thread are also hugely expensive. It's easier to buy some cheap, imported, ready-made garment than have the satisfaction and pleasure of making something yourself.

Patterns should come in a single size and a single garment e.g.overalls for a one year old, at a cost of say $3-$5. We don't need all those sizes, all the different garments and the huge price, which I am sure is inflated in Australia anyway, because they can.

Having written about patterns, I thought I should just check on the internet and found that you can actually download patterns, after you have logged on and created a password. I chose a cheap pattern in case something went wrong, and paid for it online-$3.99 for the pattern and $0.75 for processing. It said it could take up to 2 hours to download or even 24 hours.

After much mucking around and several emails for help, I was able to print off the pattern-32 pages organised into Rows A-E. Each piece is labelled A1, C3 etc but it would have been good to have some instructions on the actual pattern about what to do. You then glue all the pages together and cut them all apart again! Row E turns out to be 6 blank pages except for about a centimetre of pattern at the top of one of the pages! It is quite clever, but it would be even more clever to sell each piece of clothing as a separate package. It's was interesting. $4.74 for the pattern, 32 pages of paper, considerable quantities of ink to print, at least an hour to cut and put it together (but you'd get faster once you had the hang of it) and an hour or so working out the downloading. Too tired to do any sewing now!

May 2013: We hear again and again about how expensive it is to run our hospitals and yet there are private hospitals run by organisations with shareholders, who must make a profit, and they don't seem to be going bankrupt. Surely hospitals should be run by the government, not with the aim of making a profit but with the idea of providing medical services and, if possible, breaking even, paying for themselves. It is disgusting to think of investing in sickness and old age as a way of making money. As soon as profit is involved, you know that corners will be cut-everything is sacrificed for the almighty dollar. People should pay for hospital treatment, but it seems that private hospitals, like private schools, get to choose their customers, while the public institutions are left with all the problems.

Similarly, nursing homes are run for profit. Why? Is someone's life about profit? People need to pay their way, but they don't need to be ripped off and charged exorbitant amounts for very minor services and help. Perhaps community cooperatives need to be involved in such organisations which should be completely transparent in operation and administration. Only the government has the power to see that things are run according to the strictest and best guidelines.

May 2013: Why are the labels on clothes at the back of the neck edged with metallic thread or, in some cases, what feels like fishing line? This is so itchy and painful that I end up cutting the labels off most of my clothes which is very annoying as I like to know the brand, size etc. for future reference. The care instructions lower down the garment, usually sewn into a side seam, are generally on satin type labels which do not hurt. Why can't these be used at the neckline too? I notice that mostly soft labels are used in baby clothes, but apparently it's OK for older people to be driven crazy by the itch.

My second complaint about labels is how intrusive on the product the labels are. You buy a flannel or towel for bathing (like the bright red towels at right) and they have large white labels sewn into the hem. If you cut the label off you risk cutting the fabric or the stitching so you have to leave a white strip. This even happens with pretty, floaty scarves-lovely fabric, daggy tag hanging somewhere unsightly just when you are trying to look your smartest. Teddy bears, dolls, baby clothes, bibs, tea towels- all have these giant, unsightly and unnecessary tags. The manufacturers have to use a stick on tag or a removeable one, not ruin the product with the label.

And while I am on the subject, shops and manufacturers should not put labels on plastic food containers or similar where removing the label could damage the surface. Put the labels underneath, at the bottom, out of sight, not on top or at least use plasticised labels rather than paper and glue.

I needed to get my sewing machine serviced so phoned a company that advertised free quotes. Yes, absolutely, no problem. The quotes are free. However, if you want to have the machine put back together after they have discovered the problem, it will cost $25. The mind boggles! From Carol.

I know that artificial colouring and flavouring is bad but when I make raspberry or strawberry flan, trifles and other desserts that involve jelly, they all look anaemic and faded now, as though I have lost my touch, because all the jellies have natural colours and flavours. Please bring back nice raspberry red jellies and let the greenies eat cake if they're worried.

Dec 2012: It's happened without me noticing. When we were first married and I wanted curtains, I went to any department store or local curtain fabric store and bought the fabric. There would be bolts of it sitting on poles on display tables. You picked a bolt and took it to the counter to buy as much as you wanted. I chose colourful scrims in those days as they were the fashion, with florals for the bedrooms. Over the years, I have come to prefer simple sheer curtains with a holland blind. That way you get the greatest amount of light inside and the best view of the outside. I am aware that it is considered low class to have net or sheer curtains-apparently the higher your class the more elaborate your window treatments should be, so that makes me the lowest of the low! I don't care.

Anyway, back to the point. Over the years I would occasionally rush in to Harris Scarfe's or Myers and buy new curtain material and in recent years it would be Spotlight for affordable fabrics. Last year I finally took the plunge and had curtains made to measure for the lounge. They are very attractive sheer material with matching new pelmets but it cost a lot of money and the curtains are made in exactly the same way I have always made them. Suddenly, in the lead up to Christmas this year I have looked at my kitchen curtains and realised how shabby and tired they are. But where do you buy curtain material to make your own curtains these days? As far as I can see, the ONLY place in town for curtain material which is there on the spot is Spotlight, and with their recent so-called renovations the variety of materials has been reduced and the way they are displayed in giant, sloping shelves is unmanageable unless you are at least 6 foot. If you want curtain material you have to order it in. It's hard to imagine what a big curtain will look like from a small sample-some no longer than 10cms. And don't even mention finding it on the internet. I've never seen so many woeful web sites under the heading of curtain fabric. How do I know what brand I want? Show a sample of each fabric at least and don't give me stupid brand names. I don't care who made it or designed it, I just want something that looks nice and is available-preferably before Christmas.

It would be good if you could buy ONE toothbrush, or ONE paintbrush or ONE of just about anything you need. So much stuff comes in packs of 3 or 4 and I don't need that many. I'd rather buy something else with the money than get more items than I need. And it's spread to food. It is so hard to buy small amounts of meat like 2 chops-you have to buy a pack of 5.
Jan 2013:I hate this. It started with Coles and Woolworths and their bread...with just two of us in the house I don't want an extra loaf of bread that will eventually be thrown out (I hate frozen bread). Now it has spread to clothes. I don't want to buy a pair of shoes only to get 50% off a second pair. Just make the first pair cheaper.....not rocket science. From Carol
Again, just make it cheaper and don't treat us like idiots. I am not going to spend $170 at Coles just to get 18c per litre off fuel. From Carol

Jan 2012: Is it just me, or do Captcha, (I'm assuming it is the same in both singular and plural form, like 'sheep') those wiggly nonsense words which security conscious people add to their websites to stop spam, drive you crazy? Mostly, I can't read the captcha and have to type several versions to get it right. On some websites they then lock you out because of too many tries. Now they have come up with the 'clever' alternative of having someone speaking words in a room full of noisy people. Now, do I write down all 4 or 5 words that the person says, or just choose one? By this time I have swapped out of the website and said, 'Forget it.'

And going into the shops I feel that old familiar panic. But why? I only have a few people to buy presents for. I know I can make nearly all the food we can eat the day before Xmas. My usual pudding made the day before and the cake a couple of weeks before Christmas are always very nice. Do I need a whole Xmas dinner set just for Xmas Day, or even special Xmas platters? I can just get out the best and nicest china I have and use that. The table setting is the same every year- as nice as I can make it with the best accoutrements I have that already sit in the cupboard unused most of the time.

Dec 2011: I intended this page to be complaints about consumer products, but I thought I'd have a seasonal whinge about the Christmas letter. Everyone has had such a wonderful year. Their kids are doing brilliantly at work or study or school and the grandchildren are Einsteins and tops at sport too. They are beautiful and cute into the bargain. Older correspondents belong to photography clubs and choirs, get out and about constantly and are leading a rich and full retirement interrupted frequently by loving visits from family and friends. It is only when you receive this yearly missive of cheer that you realise how boring and unproductive your life is. That huge pile of ironing in the cupboard. You don't even go out to work and still you can't get it down to manageable proportions. And as for the cleaning-it takes you twice as long to do things as it once did and by the time you've got the windows and curtains washed you just about need to start again. Enraged you bang around the house all day, swearing and creating cutting remarks you will make when next you meet your happy and gainfully occupied relatives or friends. Don't send Xmas letters to me, or if you do, send them one year when everything isn't perfect. Or tell the truth. You will make one recipient a lot happier.

Feb, 2017: Well, I've had my come-uppance re the Xmas letter. Not only are people not sending the letters, they are not sending Xmas cards at all. Someone decided that this was OK, apparently. "Friends" now smugly inform you that they don't "do" cards anymore. No reasons given, of course. It is just so much easier on Facebook. You simply do a mass greeting to your 200 best friends in one go and that's that. It all seems a bit heartless and misses the point, if you ask me. The Xmas card allows me to stay in touch with people I rarely see, once a year. Not everyone is on Facebook, and even if they are, there's something more personal in writing a card and in receiving it. It is a long tradition suddenly almost extinct with hardly a word spoken or written about it. While it is an effort to sit down and spend a couple of hours reviewing your year and thinking about your friends, it is time well spent and I will try to maintain it for a bit longer.

Aug 2011: I am really annoyed at the stupid electrical cords you get on products. I have an electric digital radio with a thick, black cord aboout 2 metres long but the radio is right next to the switch and I only need about 30cms of cord. Folding it up is ugly and so I thought I'd go to an electrician and have it shortened. What a joke! For a start the only electricians you can find will come to your home for about $100 callout fee -half the cost of the radio. All the old electrical shops have long gone. I suppose appliances are so cheap now it costs less to get new ones than have them repaired, but that is not my issue - the cord would still be too long. Why don't more appliances have plug in cords which can be of different lengths for different needs? Cords are really ugly and the computer industry, in particular, ought to apply itself to designing a better appliance cord and plug. I know it has to do with creating magnetic fields but with all this fantastic technology, surely someone can invent something better than the current ugly situation where dozens of cords are jumbled together collecting dust? Perhaps the cords could be retracted inside appliances, as happens now with vacuum cleaners. I know more processes are becoming wireless but in the meantime we need something better than the 'current' arrangement.

Success Finally: In June, 2020, during the pandemic, I bought some Queen sized 100% organic cotton sheets made in India under the House and Home label from Big W. They are 250 thread count and are crisp and fresh. They are also patterned (see below) which is why they caught my eye. I have since bought several more pairs of patterned sheets in this brand and am very pleased. They are the first patterned sheets for adults I have seen in at least 20 years. It's a pleasure to go to bed at night in them.
March 2011: It is impossible to buy affordable, good-quality pure cotton sheets and pillow cases anymore. I am not interested in 500-800 thread count Egyptian and other cotton which is so closely woven that the air can't get through and so slippery that you're liable to slide off the bed. Who invented thread count anyway? I only heard of it about 7 years ago. There's a great comedy skit on the subject by Aziz Ansari (no longer on You Tube). Once upon a time you just bought fresh, crisp cotton bedsheets that were firm, even a little coarse. Now, you have to buy polyester cotton because people are too lazy to hang out sheets to dry but spin them in a dryer while at the same time demanding no creases (to avoid ironing, of course). Who is silly enough to iron sheets anyway? Less than 10 years ago you could go into an average suburban department store and get cotton sheets like the ones I am describing.

And as for coloured and patterned sheets, whether cotton or polyester, don't dare to ask. Your condescending dealer in bedroom decor will suggest that you may be able to get patterns elsewhere, but that she certainly doesn't have any. Apparently everyone in the world prefers white and beige now. Of course it is so uninteresting that you then need at least 8 cushions to make your bed look prettier and the manufacturers richer. 2017: I have found that flannelette sheets are allowed to be patterned, for some reason. They even stock them at Pretentious Home Decor in Macboring East.

It gets worse. In the last century, Australians used woollen blankets on beds in winter. This was a good idea because Australia had a plentiful supply of sheep, providing wool for local industry to make blankets. Blankets were very light, breathed well and were extremely warm during winter. Then along came "European" style, and now we have dunas, hot and sweaty polyester filled things which we had previously known as eiderdowns. They are heavy and putting on covers is a marathon event. I'd be surprised if most people who use them change them once a month. And when you have a duna, it doesn't cover the whole bed, so then you need to buy a frill/cover to go around the base of the bed and special, expensive pillow shams that you can't sleep on because they are only for decoration too. They have to match all the throw cushions, of course (see above).

Finally, there used to be a thing called a bedspread. That was padded a little like a duna and in a pretty pattern and you could put it over your whole bed and only wash it a few times a year. It didn't matter whether your sheets were floral or beige because the bedspread hid it all, covered the pillows and looked very neat and attractive. It was folded back each night and didn't touch your body like those tastefully-coloured, hot, polyester-blend, infrequently-changed duna covers. Good luck if you want to buy a bedspread now!
Update: November 2011: The Christmas Innovations catalogue advertised a number of bedspreads. I rang and they were most helpful so I ordered one online, only to receive a letter saying that it was unavailable but coming in Nov/Dec 2011. Received the bedspread. It did not have a sham which I specifically asked about when ordering. Still, it was long enough to cover the pillows and I removed one layer of patchwork to make it the right width. It was all cotton, including the padding, and looked pretty but was enormously heavy because of flat cotton filling. Indian made, the cotton fabric was very thin and the stitching between the patches began to unravel. It has now been superseded by a patchwork look Morgan and Finch bedspread which is better quality cotton but still too heavy with mostly cotton filling. It's hard to convince the good taste gurus that polyester is better than cotton for some purposes - a bedspread is mainly decorative and it is much easier to manage and more hygienic if it is light and easy to wash and dry.

Aug 2008: About 10 years ago, over a few months, we bought some ordinary looking knives at a Woolworths Supermarket and they soon became the most popular item in the kitchen. By the time we realised that we should buy some spares, they had disappeared from the shop and we have never found them anywhere again. They are light, flexible, sharp, easy to hold, great for spreading bread, cutting tomatoes, just good for everything and we love them.
Unfortunately we took 2 on a trip to Europe in 2005 along with other expendable cutlery, to use when we made breakfast in our hotel rooms, accidentally left them in our hand luggage and had them confiscated by smirking customs officials at Frankfurt airport. They put our luggage through the scannners and made us unpack to reveal a pathetic looking assortment of cutlery wrapped in an old Aussie teatowel. From potential terrorists we were reduced to objects of pity, certainly not glamorous international travellers. We often brood that some German official is delighting in using our, apparently, humble knives.

The knife is 20 cms long, the blade about 9 and a half cms and the comfortably shaped, black plastic handle 10 and a half cms long. The blade is wavy and serrated. Unbelievably, I walked into a church op shop once and bought one for twenty cents but no luck before or since then. They are getting old, we have 4 left and we want replacements. One has Wiltshire stainless -nox?, on it and Made in Hong Kong and another has Laser Stainless and China while the other 2 have no brand name. Update:12-6-2012-broke one 3 days ago when the blade snapped off the handle- found one yesterday at a thrift shop at Lyndoch for 10 cents! Update: 8-7-2017-Yay! Found one at a garage sale-all the serration worn off but still sharp. The quest continues.

The second knife we are looking for is a bread knife. I bought one at a fete and, once again, everyone in the house wants to use it at the same time and we are always fighting over it. It is a very light, Feathertouch-brand, stainless steel knife with a serrated edge, a cream plastic handle and it was made in the USA. Success-found one in a an antique shop in Mannum, SA, on 8-3-2009! Always willing to buy another.

25-8-2011 I was in K Mart today when they announced a free gift for anyone over 21. As I wasn't in a hurry, I thought I'd see what it was about. I've heard it announced many times at different shops and knew it had something to do with knives. When the woman started her spiel she held up a knife and asked if anyone had a knife like it. I said yes, and that I'd been looking for one everywhere. She asked what colour the handle was and when I said cream she pulled out the knife we so love from under her bench. She said ours had to be at least 25 years old. This new version is called Forever Sharp and she claimed it was exactly the same knife. I ended up buying the deal-$39 for 3 of the Forever Sharp knives, 2 paring knives, a fillet knife, and wait, there was more. When I actually got the knives home and unpacked them, I had a sinking feeling, however, because I realised I already had one that I'd bought at a garage sale. It has a much thicker blade than the cream handled knife and is nowhere near as flexible. Still, I have put the second hand one away and am using the new knife at every opportunity to test it thoroughly, and have to say that it is cutting through everything beautifully so far. I gave one to a fastidious son and have one in reserve + the garage sale version. Perhaps with use it will get a bit lighter and more flexible.

The gods of good taste have decided that plastic garden furniture, in fact plastic anything, is not acceptable. I know it doesn't last forever, but it is light and easy to move, relatively inexpensive and looks quite nice in green to blend with the garden. For 3 years I have been looking for a small, square, green plastic table for my back verandah. I have a round table but the legs are too close together and you can't push the chairs underneath neatly. I have finally found and bought a table (30/8/08) like the one on the left from a big local hardware store, but guess what? The chairs still don't fit between the legs! I am now looking for a green, square, plastic table about 150 cms a side. There were actually quite a few white plastic bits of garden furniture and very few green. Strange.

At garage sales I have bought a good supply of egg slicers with wooden handles because we noticed that all the equipment in the shop has gone from having plastic or wooden handles to stainless steel, like the one on the left. I don't know about you, but I find a steel handled egg slicer left in a frying pan for a few minutes becomes too hot to handle, however streamlined it may look. Do designers even do any cooking? It is also hard to pick up a fried egg on the thick blade which seems to come with such an implement. While trawling the internet, I now find that this implement, always called an egg slice in my family, is called a turner or a fish slice by those who know no better. There isn't even a definition for an egg slice.

Commerce runs the world and even controls the vocabulary. I am sick of being told repeatedly by shop owners that what they have in stock is what customers want. Apparently someone as absurd as me doesn't count. NO ONE asks what customers want-we are dictated to by fashion and so-called style and by manufacturers who give us what they want. Very few people think for themselves or buy with common sense and practicality in mind- appearance seems to be the only criterion. There are more and more shops, a global economy and yet the varieties of some products seem fewer-cheap and fast is good but catering for a range of tastes is nice too.


It is hard to know who owns the businesses where you shop, so checked out a few places that I use after being told that the Katies/Autograph store in Rundle Mall was closing (Feb 2017). Katies has moved to the Myer Centre but Autograph will only be in suburban shopping centres and I notice that seems to be the pattern for so many female clothing stores now. The city is moving towards the overseas chains you see in every big city in the world and in my opinion it is ruining shopping in our city, which I love, as opposed to endless Westfield type malls.
Not all companies are transparent with information and ownership changes all the time. Pleasingly, most shops seem to be Australian owned at this time. (Start: 26-2-2017).

On 30 August, 2018, The Australian said that Noni B has paid Speciality fashion $31m for Millers, Katies, Crossroads, Autograph and Rivers. Noni B is actually part of the Alceon Bidco Group. It's all very confusing to see so many stores in the same shopping centres owned by the same group.

At the end of 2019, Noni B brand apparently changed its name to Mosaic Brands. It owns chains Noni B, Rivers, Katies, Millers, Rockman, Autograph, Beme. Table Eight, Crossroads, W Lane and online retailer Ezibuy.

Myers-public Australian Company. Premier Investments run by Solomon Lew bought 10.77% of Myers on 27-3-17. He is putting the pressure on Myers 31-10-17 and they are seeking support of shareholders.
David Jones-Woolworths Holdings Limited, S Africa, also owns Country Road but has no association with Woolworths supermarkets in Australia.
Harris Scarfe Fabric chain Spotlight together with Anaconda and Mountain Designs signed a deal to buy Harris Scarfe (March 2020).

Autograph Mosaic Brands (2019), formerly Noni B (Aug 2018)
Beme-Mosaic Brands (2019), formerly Noni B Group owned by Alceon Bidco-Australian Co.
Best & Less- Pepkor, S African retail group
Black Pepper-Aus public co. owned by the PAS group
Cotton On-Australian owned, mainly by Nigel Austin
Jacqui E-Premier Investments-Just Group-Solomon Lew
Jeanswest-Glorious Sun, a Hong Kong company
Just Jeans-Premier Investments-Just Group-Solomon Lew
Katies- Mosaic Brands (2019), formerly Noni B (Aug 2018)
Millers-Mosaic Brands (2019), formerly Noni B (Aug 2018)
My Size-Australian Owned
Noni B-Mosaic Brands (2019), formerly Noni B Group-Alceon Bidco
Portmans-Premier Investments-Just Group-Solomon Lew
H&M now in Adelaide (since 2018)
Rivers- Mosaic Brands (2019), formerly Noni B (Aug 2018)
Rockmans-Mosaic Brands (2019), formerly Noni B Group-Alceon Bidco
Sportsgirl- Sussan Group
Sussan-Sussan Group
Suzanne Grae- Sussan Group
Taking Shape-Myers
W Lane-Mosaic Brands (2019), formerly Noni B Group

Foodland-IGA Australia

Big W-Woolworths
Cheap as Chips-Australian privately owned company
The Reject shop-Public Aus company-struggling, April '17
Browse In and Save-Wholly SA owned enterprise in Adelaide.

Wittner Shoes-Australian owned and operated
Betts Shoes-WA owned and operated
Barlow and Grundy Shoe shops-Barlow family owned, SA
Williams Shoes-Australian owned by Munro Footwear Group

Strandbags-foreign-owned, Malta-based Parelpark Limited.
Lovisa-Australian jewellery store owned by Brett Blundy
Smiggles-Premier Investments-Solomon Lew
Spotlight-Spotlight Group (also owns Anaconda)-private Aus. Co.
Lincraft-Private co. since 2005 receivership.

Mosaic Brand formerly Noni B Group-BeMe, Noni B, Rockmans, Table 8, W Lane. As of Aug 2018, Millers, Katies, Crossroads, Rivers, Autograph.
Premier investments-Dotti, Jay Jays, Just Jeans, Jacqui E, Peter Alexander, Portmans, Smiggle
Speciality Fashion Group-City Chic
Sussan group-Sportsgirl, Sussan, Suzanne Grae
Wesfarmers-Coles, Bi-Lo, Liquorland, K-Mart, Target, Bunnings, Officeworks and more

7-2017: Apparently Myers are not doing well, and everyone is worried about the arrival of Amazon in Australia. That's why we should shop at local stores or, before long, they will be gone and the only place to buy things will be online. Nothing beats being able to try on, touch and see the things you want to buy. Retail shops should fight back by making it easy and pleasant for customers rather than a battle.
31-3-17: H and M, the Swedish chain
, opened 11 stores in 2016 in Australia, giving it a total of 20 here, and they are now in Adelaide. Overseas stores Zara, UniQlo, Topshop and Sephora are also in Australia.
5-10-17 Myers reducing floor space but still struggling, with talk that Solomon Lew may try some sort of a takeover.
14-12-2017 Had a very interesting conversation at Myers when I was trying to buy polo shirts for Xmas. The shop was offering 50% off a second polo. An assistant said that his polos weren't part of the deal but that his price was better anyway. I commented that he was part of Myers. No, he was separate. I said I hated the idea that businesses are selling things in shops themselves, appearing to be part of the shop, rather than just supplying their product. No, he said, customers would have to pay a lot more for the product that way and it had been happening since 1956. Darned if I know why it would be more expensive.
16-1-2020: Jeans West, currently owned by the Hong-Kong-based Yeung family has gone into receivership as did department store Harris Scarfe in Decenber 2019. They are closing the original Harris Scarfe store in Rundle Mall, Adelaide, at the start of February, 2020, together with 26 others of their 66 stores. Their fatal mistake in Rundle Mall was to sell their original shop for a mall on the same site, locating their own shop right at the back of the mall and up a flight of escalators which frequently didn't work. They did have a couple of inadequate lifts too-if you could find them. The old shop opened right onto the mall with wonderful crockery and on the first floor was women's wear and linen-everything I wanted close at hand. It wasn't glamorous but it was convenient. Every time they 'upgrade' these stores, they sacrifice their personality.

Page created 9-8-2008. Moved information about local shops to this page 27-10-21. Updated 5-11-21 in revamp of website.