Swinging Through Shopping

It was early September and it felt just right good to just shrug off the demands of the past week and go walkabout in retail land.

The devoted Calvin Klein store was on sale. May be a rare occasion, but it was obvious they were clearing old stock for new. However, CK products can be timeless, and this time it was a bargain moment.

Thompson green seedless grapes were so crunchy sweet these days, and it's not even the full swing of the season. Deep reds are gorgeous looking, but somehow they have not managed to produce seedless ones for retail, or it's just me who have not encountered red skinned grapes that I can swallow whole. Mandarins continued to be available in abundance, whether they are the honey murcotts or others, and they can be so refreshing after a meal, even if some quarters now hold the view that fruits should be eaten before one.

The Body Shop has its classics, and an orderly fashion in its displayed lay out. Spurred on by consumer preferences for better treatment of animals in product research and development, the brand continues to thrive despite new competition. I loved the eider-based below eye lotion best, a soothing balm for computer screen laden eyes!

I had not stepped into Myers for so long, not even in Wollongong, I had to check out their flagship store at the Chatswood Westfield.

A break from shopping for lunch found us in Vietnam Bo. Rice noodle soup can be found with more adventurous ingredients, though I only took one step away from the comfort zone and had pig trotter slices for a change to relish with the rich stock. It may not have been sufficiently confronting.

The label Country Road has been reinventing itself and evidence of this can be found no better than in a flagship store in one of Sydney's northern suburbs. Although most of the line are now made outside Australia, I found a finely made shirt that cried out to me to be rescued. The sales guys were polite and friendly. One was a typical Aussie twenty something who obviously had a late night out the evening before, with dishevelled hair but he looked so attitude-cool. The other held himself in stylish cool, neatly attired, with a kind of Japanese-Hong Kong air about him.

Pearsons Florists was welcoming - I could not resist getting into the mood for the southern spring and get two petite growing bouquets, not those which survived on sponges but in real soil packed in little pots brimming with blossoms.

Teatime had us trying the Japanese run Cacao chocolate cafe, upstairs in Chatswood Chase, where the beverage quality can stand up to any other in Sydney's line of fancy upmarket stores. Chocolate led to thoughts of books, and the sales guy at the new Angus & Robertson store in the Chase told me of the new concept outlet the chain had implemented in certain suburbs. I reckoned the bold and more open layout is a winner in attracting people to walk in - I fell for it myself. No more cramped aisles and hidden corners. It may look more like a Borders store, but I thought this is the trend for the future.

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