Livin’ in the future

The high street comes of age, as described by ‘Bergen’, having now been released from Liz’s ‘Hotel’ with a promise of good behaviour, after the christmas shenanigans!

‘Herr Rukin remains besotted by the idea of matching your focal firepower. I fear the legal profession may intervene as matters get the better of him. He should concentrate on getting qualified as an instructor and getting the hell out of here

There I was the other day, determined to make my own substantial lens purchase. You may recall the place in Dunstable. It was there, nearly ten years ago, that I bought my film SLR and my Tamron lenses. I thought I’d pop in and see if they had the piece I was after. Hmmm; you know when you remember somewhere as it was some time ago and then return ? Well I walked in, looking for boxes of bodies and lenses. However all there seemed to be was an array of photo frames and such like. These sell I’m sure but I was still looking in vain as my confused hulk heaved-to in front of the counter. I explained what I wanted, only to be told they no longer stocked Canon stuff: or anything else remotely SLRish by the look of it.

Later in the day I was in central London perusing the delights of the metrolopiss. I chanced upon a camera emporium and popped in. My specific requirement had barely left my lips before the shopkeeper said “Yes we’ve got one here”.  As he removed the box from the counter I noticed the price on it and gulped. What is the object in question ? What made me blanche at the asking price ? Well, if you , Rukin and NMC’s Sontaran amabassador can buy lenses, so can I. Yes indeed, the Canon 50mm f1.8 will be mine !! This pinnacle of optical accessories is avilable for about £80 or less as far as my research can tell. However my friends in this place ( yes I know it was London ) wanted £110.  We shit you not !!

Holding the thing ( sorry, lens ) in my hands it became apparent to the staff I was backing off; stammering thanks for letting me look at it. Out came the calculator and several punches later they offered ten quid off. I remained unmoved, indeed the pained expression on my face told much. ” I’ve seen them for 75 or 80 quid ” said I.

Feigned, shocked disbelief behind the counter led to a frenzy of button punching until the green, Casio writing allowed them to “Meet me half way”. This was still far too much so your scribe bade them farewell and QFO’d to the cacophony of Tottenham Court Road.  Digital Depot, here I come.

This was actually the third attempt. The first was with Bristols at home. Being local I wandered into their small premises a few weeks ago. Now then, we hear all the time about how tough it is on the high street. So, imagine you run a camera shop. In walks the Jones who looks around your small ( 10′ sq ) shop. Confronted by nothing but bags and compacts he asks where you keep your lenses. Now ponder a while. Separate lenses. We are immediately talking SLR ( aren’t we ? ). I would have asked ” What sort of lens ? ”

Odds on you’d have made a sale. Then the Jones’ initially modest outlay would be followed in due course by a tripod, flash unit and more L glass. But no !  I was fobbed off by some mumbled, nondescript explanation of why they didn’t display lenses. Yes, I could see space was limited but a few moments of courtesy added to the simple expedient of popping upstairs to your storage area would very probably have led to several thousand pounds worth of business. No wonder the high street is in deep dwang.’

The deed is done. The Bergen swept into St. Evenage one Tuesday tea time; storming the emporium that is the Depot. Resistance was futile as the request for that icon of photographic hardware was delivered. The steely-eyed server of lensmen disappeared to the sanctum sanctorum, returning post-haste, clutching the item. The price saw off our shark like brethren of Tottenham Court Road by some thirty sheets.
Your scribe breaks into Gollum-speak:
Preciousssss !!!   We has it !  ( cough, splutter) 

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