Today, I’m feeling smug…

Somewhat out of the blue, my wife announced that we need new door handles for the Holland kitchen and quickly I conceded, deciding not to explain that our current handles were working at 100% efficiency – with every drawer and cupboard opening perfectly.

But quiet life and all that – we shall have new handles. My wife started counting cupboard doors and drawers and I set in my head a budget which was guess work really. I mean, how much is a kitchen door handle anyone?

I figured all the big DIY stores would suffice but my wife had other ideas and a company in Battersea was mentioned. Immediately I started to fret. A company? Not Homebase or B&Q and in Battersea?

We headed for a company called SDS who I can heartily recommend. Polite staff and English to boot which has some relevance for this little story before anyone starts to freak out and accuse of racism.

We arrived in Battersea and paid to park (by phone) and entered the beautiful and extensive store. Quickly I established that kitchen handles vary enormously in price for what appears to be the exact same product. From 4 quid upwards to £30 odd and I wondered why? Are they made of better material?

I asked this question to the sales assistant (English bloke) and he looked a little rueful.

“Anything that is expensive is made in England – anything that is cheap is effectively the same thing but is made in China.”

The price difference was significant and we (my wife) was planning on a lot of handles.

I did some maths (on my phone) – and stared at a number. I asked more questions. It turns out that the English factory is in Birmingham. I like Birmingham. I have set two of my novels in Brum. Both my brothers went to Brum University. I like the Glee Club. And some blokes working in a Brum factory are relying on people like me to buy their handles. And because they need to earn a decent wage, it stands to reason that their handles need to retail at a higher price, right?

I weighed all of this up. Took a deep breath and uttered the following words…

I’ll take the English handles please!

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