So today was a fun day. I rolled out of bed at 8am, missing a full one hour of my lie in, poured my cappucino into a handy travelling cup replete with lid, cleared out George*, programmed Kenº and met up with a haggard band of mums at Clock House station. Ready for the Fairways shopping extravaganza.
You’ve heard of Bluewater? Well this is nothing like it. Tucked behind an industrial area, with reject trolleys from a variety of supermarkets is Fairways. It’s a cash and carry for small shops that stock gifts and toys. There is a small metal door to enter between abandoned pallets and the trolley cemetary that leads into a warehouse that is several degrees colder than the rest of Britain.
Towering racks of plastic tat meet you as you enter, and most things are in bulk. Some of them have dust on them that has been carbon dated back to 1937. This is the one place were you can find something to satisfy a budget that requires toy prizes worth 5p.
The purpose of this visit is to stock the bulging sacks for Santa’s grotto, populate the pocket money stall, and pad out the lucky dip. You guessed it – christmas fair time. I might add – the 5p toys were NOT for santa’s grotto!
This place is a gold mine. I’ve come home with 2 large but broken boxes of “ello” for a fiver, a projector and a slushi maker. Christmas stocking gifts are pretty much sorted. I am certain to have nightmares about some of the dolls for some years to come however. Fortunately, most of them no longer cried as their batteries died over a decade ago, but the eyes on one of them were so horrifying that I expected it to chase me down the aisle with a small knife.
Anyway, we successfully found prizes and toys for a range of prices and a variety of stalls, stacked them in George and ended up eating McDonalds for lunch at 3.30pm. What a fun day out!
* George = camper van
º Ken = sat nav (with aussie accent!)