Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Rampant consumerism

Tallinn should have been a shoestring budget break. It is a very inexpensive city. Entrance to BURLESQU, Estonia's only 'burlesque-style', is only a tenner. Don't ask me how I know. I suspect it's the cheapness, rather than the World Heritage site status, that makes it so popular with British stag parties.

Still, true to form, TLOML and I managed to unnecessarily spend a bit of cash. Me on a fabulous scarf with pompoms on it, which the seven year old girl in me could not deny.

And TLOML on a Soviet submarine clock. It's a 24 hour clock because they didn't know if it was day or night down there. We thought it was cool and therefore had to have it.

We avoided the darker depths of those funky old junk shops: it's a slippery slope once you start buying clocks with pictures of Stalin on... and the bottom of that slope is Nazi memorabilia.

Then we went to Oxford to do some light wedmin. And then we began to learn just how incredibly easy it is to make snap decisions which will cost us thousands, when we're talking about a party that's a year away.

'Drinks in this fabulous historic venue will only cost three times as much as that perfectly serviceable bar... shall we...?' 'Well, it is quite fabulous and historic... and after all it is our wedding' Boom! just like that two months' rent vanish into thin air.

'It's really not worth spending money on music, no-one will hear it on the lawns.' 'Unless we hire a 12 piece marching band and get them to parade around!' Boom! And we may get married barefoot so we can pay for the band.

So when we returned to NYC, we embarked on a thrift kick. We launched it by going to the Lobster Place in Chelsea Market to buy fish for dinner.

The Lobster Place is truly my favourite shop in all of Manhattan. They sell all the fresh, smoked and steamed fish and shellfish you could imagine. Including random stuff like that weird dried mullet roe, and little sachets of squid ink. So we felt we were models of restraint...

...but having gone in for a piece of mackerel, we emerged with a dozen little neck clams, a dozen oysters, squid salad, and seaweed. And just like that our simple fish supper became a four course fish extravaganza.

Note to self: saving for the wedding might be easier (less tempting) if we shop at Gristedes instead of Chelsea Market. There's something about madheads talking to themselves in the fresh produce aisle that reins in my desire to splurge on the food.


  1. you were weaned way too close to the sea madam - i think that accounts for my own obsession with seafood. good job we weren't born in that neck of the woods now or we'd be bleeding coprophages.

  2. Either that or it's just pure greed. Meat, cheese and bread also have the same effect...