But Sophie Kinsella’s fictional shopaholic would never have understood my ordeal. You see, I was at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.
It was a heady experience and it wasn’t just the intoxicating perfume of the hyacinths and the inspiring garden displays.
I was overwhelmed by the number of stalls which beckoned me with their wares. “Buy, buy, buy,” they called.
Unfortunately I was reminded of the unfavorable exchange rate, baggage restrictions and quarantine issues. So this was one shopaholic who was forced to exercise some form of self-restraint.
I was equally charmed by the clematis. The flowers were amazing and each pot seemed lovelier than the last. How I yearned for a plant or two!
Then I chanced upon a fruit salad tree.
Every sarracenia was beautiful – the squat, the tall, the reds, the yellows. If only I could buy them all. Those ‘Gobble Guts’ were gorgeously lethal!
But would anyone pay AUD125 for a small oak tree that’s been injected with black truffle spores? One would have to be really, really patient to wait for a whiff of the truffles.
There were herbs that repelled insects as well as herbs that attracted felines.
One thing’s for sure. I’ve no need for any feline-attracting herbs. There are enough strays in the neighborhood as it is!
There were at least a couple of sassy six-foot tall seagulls, a huge terrestrial fish and a mangy-looking dog which pee-ed as it pleased.
They appeared out of nowhere, poking their heads into bags and nudging visitors. Some visitors made a beeline for the creatures while others gave them a wide berth.
If nothing else, they provided plenty of laughs and entertainment.
By four, my growling stomach was protesting loudly, having long digested my picnic lunch and the free samples of lemon myrtle macadamia nuts and boiled lavender sweets.
I spent more than six hours at the show and still managed to miss a few of the displays.
“Some even say this garden show’s better,” he added. That’s not hard to believe, but just to be sure, maybe I should make a date with the show at Chelsea as well!