The snow began falling as we arrived at the big yellow box on the roundabout. It continued to fall as we made our way along a prescribed route through showrooms and display areas, past enticing arrays of furniture and accessories. We took our time, considering everything carefully, weighing up its desirability alongside its necessity. We piled things we didn’t really need into big yellow bags and spacious metal trolleys. We picked things up and put them down when we found something else more suitable to our needs. Twice I demonstrated my popularity with strangers, something about my appearance inviting conspiratorial conversations on subjects I had no interest in. I was only there to buy drinking glasses and a laundry bin. I came away with more than that, of course. Curtains and pillows, placemats, wrapping paper, a notebook. I justified my purchases by saying that the laundry bin was out of stock, so the other items balanced my budget. My friend bought a bathroom sink. A bathroom sink! She saw it, and she wanted it, then she spoke to a sales assistant, and suddenly she had bought it. As we left the big yellow box, the world outside had turned white.