Time for a rant

Time for a rant. It's been a while (probably) since I had a good old, stream of consciousness, yell into the void of the internet, type rant about something and I think it will be cathartic.

The world is currently spiralling toward WW3 with nuclear weapons; racism has become a seemingly acceptable part of life; nazi is a word flung freely at anyone and everyone; Brexit is causing strife and financial disaster; the UK is a nation divided, and the planet is being destroyed by humans mining and deforesting and dumping like we have a spare...but NONE OF THOSE THINGS are the subject of this rant.

No. I am for some odd reason unnecessarily enraged about a new shop that has sprung up, and leaped to my attention. A shop I first saw mentioned on twitter by numerous parent bloggers as though it were the holy grail of stationery shops for children. A place so hallowed that they could not avoid a visit, a worship and a purchase each time they passed.

What could this regal and delightful place be like I wondered? Could it be like Paperchase but for children? Or like Tiger but with more quirky pens? (Paperchase and Tiger are two shops I love and cannot pass by without a browse)

This mecca, this focal point for the children of (it seems) half the blogging world is...Smiggle.

When I saw a Smiggle had opened in a town near me, how could I resist its siren song (the power of blogger promotion right there! ) after all I had heard, it took but a second to cross the portal into ... hell.

A land of the damned.

What is Smiggle?

It appears to me to be a loud, colourful, gummy bear and bubblegum scented hell hole of plastic horror.

A shop filled with more plastic crap in one shop that in the entire Pacific ocean (and let's face it - that's where most of this will end up via landfill and dumping grounds after it has fulfilled its 'purpose') Plastic tat of such incredible banalness whilst AT THE SAME time looking glowing and sparkling with promise that it is bound to be lusted after by small children. A hideous marketing conspiracy to induce wanton desire in the young. (Quick reminder - if you earn the money - you pay the bills and it is perfectly OK to say 'no' to your kids even if, and I can't stress this enough, even if, they tell you EVERYONE HAS ONE)

And that would be bad enough, after all the pound shop is full of such stuff, pencil sets and bags, keyrings and rulers, cute desk tidies and pencil toppers, and I shop in there all the time, but the horror doesn't stop because dear lord the PRICES! a keyring (rainbow rubber, scented in the shape of a single letter) was £6

£6 now I don't know about your children but mine hangs a charm or keyring on her bag and forgets about its cuteness after a day. And after a few days the charms are tatty or broken or lost. £6

Don't even get me started on the water bottles or the lunch boxes or the pencil cases, no doubt I would need to sell not one but both kidneys to afford them. The parents claiming they kitted out a child for school at Smiggle much be either very rich or very in debt, possibly they were once the former and are now the latter.

Luckily I have more sense than money (to be clear I'm not extremely clever, I'm just not very rich) so I quickly exited the vomit and migraine inducing emporium of horror and have survived to shop another day.

If you need new school stationery I suggest Poundland, Wilko or The Works where things are so much cheaper, and if you could avoid as much unnecessary crap as possible I'm sure the oceans of the world will thank you. (I realise I currently have a giveaway on the blog for a plastic toy and the hypocrisy of this is not lost on me)

To be fair I haven't bought anything from Smiggle and it may be awesome quality and last a lifetime. Do let me know if I am way off and my initial revulsion is misplaced...

Disclaimer - this is only my opinion, many people love this place, really really love it. 

Photo Copyright: alessandro0770 / 123RF Stock Photo This image is not from a Smiggle store