Pep talk from The Coach (Shop till you drop – In London)

TomO swanning around in the south of England
TomO swanning around in the south of England


If you have ever been to one of those end of year sales at a large department store, that seemingly happen almost every other month, you will appreciate they are not for the faint-hearted.

Success depends on just how quickly you can get out of the “blocks” when the whistle blows.

The front doors opened by men of steely nerve, and where a slow start could well see you being trampled as the stampede gets into full swing.

You need to be a seasoned shopper to even contemplate attending…

And speaking of seasoned shoppers, many of you will know that Janet and TomO are currently visiting England, sunning themselves in the spectacularly beautiful Devon countryside.

The weather has been perfect for them, so I’m told!

Devon Countryside
Devon Countryside

But this is rest ahead of the main event when Janet lines up at the top of The Strand in the heart of London, empty suitcases in one hand, credit card in the other, and at least a hundred boutiques to work her way through…

A daunting prospect for any seasoned shopper, a grueling event by any standard and it all comes down to preparation and a great coach.

The lead-in time to this event was quick and afforded very little time to prepare so she engaged the best shopping coach in the world.

In Janet’s own words…

“I put the call into the Queen of Shop-till-you-drop, a pocket-rocket who wields a Black Amex Card with all the precision of a Jedi Master, and who lives to the motto if you can’t decide on which one to buy than simply buy the lot”.

The Coach and Janet - Discussing event day tactics
“The Coach” and Janet – Discussing event day tactics

Of course, Kimbalee “The Coach” has always shied from the limelight so I won’t mention her name, but in the lead-up to the departure of Qantas Flight QF1 to London, “The Coach” ran Janet through her paces.

There were the early morning starts, 11.45am down in Double Pay Bay, an exclusive harbour-side suburb over-flowing with pretty boutiques in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, followed up with lunch down by the Opera House on the world’s greatest harbour, Sydney Harbour.

Shopping is an endurance event and fuelling up is a key ingredient to a successful campaign and there are some divine restaurants dotting the harbour where one can sit back and relax the muscles, aching from the weight of all those boutique bags…

Sydney Harbour - The best place in the world for a lazy lunch
Sydney Harbour – The best place in the world for a lazy lunch

There was speed work to be done…

Standing atop the winners podium, which incidentally simply comes down to being “loaded to the brim” with dozens of shopping bags when the “closed for the day” sign is hung out, will all come down to just how fast Janet can get out the credit card, pay, and sprint move on to the next boutique.

If you think the start of a triathlon is chaotic as entrants jostle for position than you will marvel at the performance of a seasoned shopper. High on adrenalin and with at least a couple of expresso’s under the belt it is best to stand well clear as the “open” for business sign is illuminated on the front door of the first boutique…

Of course, “The Coach” put Janet through her paces with a few sessions of “wait training” after all there are times that you’ll need to stand in line at a cash register.

The bane of all shoppers on a mission…training is key here!

For sure, Janet has had the best of the best work her through the rigors of training for the event.

And as she heads back to London from the English Countryside this week I wish her well as she faces the starters gun in the shadow of Big Ben, ticking away, a reminder that time, or lack of it, is the seasoned shopper’s worst enemy…

TomO - London Town
TomO – London Town

No doubting TomO will be jumping for joy and yelling words of encouragement for his mum from the side-walk as the hours pass by and the fatigue sets in…

And don’t worry, I have been doing some “weight training” of my own this past month. I’m sure all my strength will be called upon to lug those suitcases from the baggage carousel to the car when the jet setters arrive home…

Janet, sweetie, good luck with the event, I know you’ll do us proud, enjoy it and I’ll be cheering you on, you deserve a great win!

And remember those parting words that Kimbalee “The Coach” gave you as the final boarding call was made…

“Shop till you drop and the credit card is exhausted… you can rest on the long flight home!”