And so today I vistied just such an emporium and began, idly flicking through a couple of the racks to see if there was anything new or interesting to be snaffled up.
And then ... complete brain failure. I had no true idea what I was actually looking for. My carefully thought out and planned list of "stuff" was no longer in my head. It appears to have escaped somewhere between leaving the house and standing in the shop. It's probably been left on the bus, although that is one item of lost luggage it may be difficult to reclaim.
And what's worse is that this is not the first occasion in recent memory that this has happened.
The solution? Much like a boy scout, a policeman or a train-spotter, I have taken to writing everything down in a notebook, and rarely leave the house without said book or a pen (apart from tying a reef knot or polishing your woggle, this is one of the few "life lessons" that I gained from the Scouts).
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present, as a solution to my ageing and fading brain cells:
The Rigid Digit Book Of Knowledge
A grandiose name for a well thumbed, raggedy edged A7 size Notebook, bought i a supermarket for the princely sum of 59p.
The book now extends into it's third volume, and contains notes, scribblings and thoughts - stuff to do, phone numbers, the measurements of the space where a washing machine goes in the kitchen, a recipe for Steak and Kidney Pudding, and various car insurance or home insurance quotes. (Note: I'm not that daft and the book does not contain any PINs or Bank Account numbers).
I suppose the next stage is to organise the pages better, so I can at least find what I jotted down in a moment of enlightenment, or desperation to remember. Some of the stuff has even made it's way onto here.
Maybe it is just a factor of being 30-13 that short term memory is fading, and yet I can still recall the FA Cup Final Scores, and the team line-ups for each match since 1970, the names and order of all 31 Carry On Films, the catalogue numbers for all Iron Maiden singles and albums up to (and including) "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son", and the words to Carter USM's 'Sherrif Fatman'. Not useful information, I'll grant you, but there may come a day when this sort of knowledge may prove useful.
But for now, I need the support of my book to help me avoid the "Standing In The Shop Looking Like A Loony" scenario.
Hmm ... My Book - that would make a great title for a song.
Oh, it already has. And here it is:
The Beautiful South - My Book
The Beautiful South were formed by Paul Heaton and Dave Hemingway following the demise of The Housemartins. The band was always intended to have dual vocalists, but following recording of the debut album Brian Corrigan was added as a full-time third vocalist. The songs were strightforward, sometimes humour filled (albeit at times in a dark, black comedy style), often barbed and/or cynical commentaries.
If you haven't heard much of the band, seek out a copy of the two compilations "Carry On Up The Charts" and "Solid Bronze".
And if you still have some spare cash, invest in a copy of "Golddiggas, Headnodders and Pholk Songs". OK, its a Covers album, but don't let that put you off. The ecelcticness of the choices puuls you in ('Youre The One That I Want', 'Dont Fear The Reaper' and 'Blitzkrieg Bop', all done Beautiful South-stylee).