Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Schooner of Pentels


This is probably the most inconsequential blog post I've ever written (no, there's plenty of those: Ed.). It's just that two things happened yesterday that confirmed that we do now live in two parallel retail universes. One is how we'd actually like it to be: shops on a high street where we hope we'll get anything we want (within reason), and cyberspace where although we won't be able to touch anything we'll still get our hearts' desires and won't have to wait long to get them. But I do like to give local traders first dibs. So, wanting black Pentel Sign pens for a set of drawings I'm doing, I enquired at Ryman's in my local town. They were very helpful as always but not only didn't they stock them they hadn't heard of them either. This was the fibre tip pen that once rivalled the Biro in its ubiquity. On Saturday Youngest Boy discovered the one I had got and after a weekend of drawing and emptying it said it was the best pen he'd ever drawn with. A quick tap-tap on the keyboard yesterday means a pack of twelve are now winging their way to Ashley Towers.

From Ryman's I went to the local cookshop, specifically for sherry schooners. "Sherry what?" asked Bloke A. "Schooner" I said, staring out into the street. "Shooner?". " No, look," but then Bloke B (a manager I supposed) said "No, haven't seen one of those for years. Sort of thing you would've seen in 1970's pubs." I said thank you and left. Tappity-tap. Six schooners were dispatched to me this morning.

General ignorance aside, in both cases I wouldn't have minded waiting if both shops had said they could get them for the next day. After all, I know all about Click 'n' Collect now, after having had my first go at it with John Lewis and Waitrose on Saturday. (All went very well until I had to show the girl my driving licence which has a picture of myself sans spectacles that looks like a Photofit of a serial killer.) I know, I know. I've just got to accept how it is, and leave Ryman's for the coloured plastic folders I like and the cookshop for bright red teapots.

19 comments:

Philip Wilkinson said...

Sherry schooners? Blimey: real back-of-the-cupboard stuff in the Wilko household. But then, not a lot of sherry gets drunk here, and when it does, the stuff goes in a wine glass as a rule. But the thing is, we at the very least want people to know what these things are, and be able to say, 'I haven't seen one of those for years'. The internet seems to know almost everything, but has no sense of time. Except that provided by bloggers like yourself. Maybe that's what we're for, to give the internet a sense of time. ('Good, good. Carry on.' - Ed.)

Peter Ashley said...

Once upon a time I was involved in a marketing project for Harvey's. On this I learnt that sherry should be drunk in a proper quantity, from a schooner, and very cold. The word 'sherry' always has unfortunate connotations of Berni Inns and pre-Sunday lunch tighteners, but ever since I've been immersed in watching The Hollow Crown again (four Shakespeare history plays) I am going about saying 'sack' much to the indifference and mute eyebrow raising of those who suffer around me.

Stephen Barker said...

I have to say I haven't heard the words Sherry Schooner in a long time. The old shop on the High st you visited that would try and get it for you is the hardware shop "Gilbert's". Once you have made it to the counter along the narrow passage way through the stock, which if there is a queue gives you a good opportunity to examine the stock at close quarters. The staff will answer your enquiry, if they have it in stock you may be shown multiple versions of the same item, This can require a degree of patience as there are 6 storerooms. Just when you think they have forgotten about you they reappear, if they do not have what you want in stock they will say if they can obtain it and how long it will take, not the next day I am afraid. Failing that if they cannot get it then probably no one can.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Ah, yes - a good sheeris-sack has a two-fold operation...ascends to the brain...warms the blood. Bring on the fat knight. A great bombard of sack. And a tumble with Tear-Sheet.

Very good...

Peter Ashley said...

Stephen you are the parrot on my shoulder, correcting me as you should. Of course I should've gone to Gilberts. Time though was of the essence. What I love about the shop, besides the vast stock in such a restricted space, is that fact the queue has to all back out onto the pavement in order to let out the customer at the front.

Phil: Oh yes a tumble with Doll Tearsheet: "Thou whoreson little tidy Bartholomew boar-pig, when wilt thou leave fighting a-days, and foining a-nights, and begin to patch up thine old body for heaven?"

Miss Rayne said...

The best place to buy sherry schooners on the high street is your local charity shop. The one I work for has at least a hundred in the store room...
Unfortunately no bottles.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Peter: And then a go with Mistress Overdone (Measure for Measure).

Peter Ashley said...

Oh Miss Rayne. Had my schooners delivered this afternoon. Owing to my lack of detailed browsing they are about two inches high.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Two inches? B*gg•r. Skiffs. Dinghies.

Stephen Barker said...

Who;s a pretty boy then! Pieces of Eight, Pieces of Eight, Dam your Eyes, Squawk !!

Peter Ashley said...

Ah, wondered when you'd fly in.

Gawain said...

Ah, so you ordered seventies liqueur glasses. Easy mistake to make. Same shape, but a quarter the required size. Look great with a Creme de Menthe or Parfait Amour in them, though!

Peter Ashley said...

Oh God Crème de Menthe. For some unexplained reason the last time I had that I had too much. And like author Michael Green in his The Art of Coarse Drinking I thought that someone had wallpapered all the doors up.

There now starts my trawl through charity and antique shops for real schooners. Real drinking glasses of any sort in fact.

Stephen Barker said...

How is the search for sherry schooners going?

Peter Ashley said...

Very badly Stephen

Gawain said...

These are the right size and shape, but the branding is a tad unfortunate

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SET-OF-FOUR-4-VINTAGE-PONY-BRAND-SCHOONER-FLUTE-GLASSES-USED-/281889982466?hash=item41a1f3c802:g:CQgAAOSw5IJWdcoB

Peter Ashley said...

Thank you very much Gawain. See what you mean about the branding!

Faizan Afzal said...

http://www.epageuk.com/ business and personal webpages from united kingdom.

Christopher Bellew said...

I had the same trouble finding Paris goblets. I bought some years ago in Robert Dyas, now no real shop stocks them but they are readily and cheaply available online. I also had to buy Riedel Magnum glasses online last year.