Sunday, July 15, 2007

Flower arranging...

Yesterday I was to be found, avec wife, in Carl Wilde mode, flambouyant tv florist of Castleford descent with a delightfully fey manner that appeals to my feminine side in a totally non-homosexual manner, just in case anyone is getting any wrong ideas.

Carl is never stuck for two hundred words when two will do and all of them delivered in a strange illicit mix of broad West Yorkshire and Julian Clary, "outrageously camp" didn't die with Kenneth Williams, it lives on with flower arrangements included.

So we found ourselves in Wilkinsons in Armley.

Those not of UK extraction will need a description of what Wilkinsons is.
Those not of a Leeds extraction will need a description of what Armley is.
So here goes...

Wilkinsons, or Wilko as their larger stores are called, is what Woolworths used to be when ah wor nobbut a lad - a cheap crap shop, a cheap, useful crap shop it has to be said, but its cheap, cheap as chips, cheap as you get, so cheap that you barely need to take money, cheap so that a whole trolley full of goods will barely break a pound coin, Woolworths without the pick and mix but with all of the elastic snake buckle belts and plastic handbags - you're getting the picture now - knick-knacks that you will never find in any other shop, knick-knacks that you never dreamed you'd need until you saw them in Wilkinsons and now you wonder how you reached this far in your life without them, and cheap too.

Armley is perfectly suited to Wilkinsons. A district just outside of any city centre is bound to be one of the oldest places in that city, the city centre gets redeveloped but the areas just outside of it don't and the areas just outside of any city centre is where the cheap housing was built in ages gone by, communities which for generation upon generation have provided the city with cheap manual labour, blue collar-ville, rough and tough at times and you don't want to walk into some of the pubs without a biker gang escort, but its streets still have local shops as the high street names won't go there, its streets are populated with people who have little in monetary terms but have lots of front to them, they're poor and don't care who knows, they're rough and couldn't give a fook if you know it, if you're not tattoo'ed to within an inch of your life then you're a poofta and thats just the women, Carl Wilde came from this sort of community in neighbouring Castleford, and yesterday I took a little bit of the spirit of Carl Wilde into Armley.

We were shopping for flowers.

Artificial flowers, decorating for the use of, and there is no better place for artificial flowers that are very, very cheap, than Wilkinsons and there is no bigger Wilkinsons than the one at Armley.

So I stood in the aisle in WIlkinsons in Armley, armfulls of big white paper lillies and coloured grasses in Carl Wilde flambouyant reds and pinks, holding them at arms length and admiring them against different backgrounds, getting Suzanne to select various vases and roughly arranging bunches of paper flora on the aisle floor while big butch Armley women stepped over my handiwork and gathered to regard the exhibition with curious eyes, some of them even stopping to look for the first time at paper flowers for meagre brick terrace house decoration purposes, I educated some of the rough women of Armley yesterday and this morning they will be explaining to their roughhouse husbands why they spent his beer money on a bunch of paper lilies and some grass while he blackens their eye for them.

We left Wikinsons with most of their stock of flora and vases, £70 worth of the origami floribundii and in Wilkinsons terms that is one hell of a lot of stock, they may have locked up the store for the day after that for to store that much cash in a shop in Armley is just asking for a ram raid tonight.

This morning our house looks like Carl Wildes boudoir, but it smells of nought, paper flowers make for beautiful permanent visual decoration but add nothing to the olfaction experience - which is the exact antithesis to that which Armley offers to Leeds.

1 comment:

Ms Jones said...
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