Buying a computer in John Lewis’s

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We wandered around the computer displays.

Wendy: which one do you like mum?

Mumsie: I can only choose based on how they look dear

Wendy: They’ll all work for what we want them to do, so that’s an ok way to choose

Mumsie: This one has a big space-bar, I want a big space bar. Why is that one [an Apple] so expensive?

Wendy: It’s for people who like showing off that they can pay a lot for their computer, I can’t help you with using that one, I can help you using with all the others.

The large store was very busy in January. We asked for an assistant and were put in a notional queue, we browsed while we waited for an assistant.

Assistant: How can I help you?

Mumsie: I don’t know, we want a computer with a keyboard

Wendy: Mumsie wants to do emailing, share her digital pictures, use Facebook and write the WI minutes. And I don’t want to push her into getting anything she doesn’t feel comfortable with

Mumsie: Oh, is that what we want?!

Assistant: You want a Surface RT, it comes with Microsoft Office installed for writing your minutes

Mumsie: Wendy, is that the ‘Word’ thing that I use? I just copy last month’s minutes and make small changes each month

Wendy: Yes mumsie [turns to assistant] Do any of the others have a version of word installed, and how much would it cost to add Word [annoyed because my surface pro didn’t come with any version of Office, just the option to purchase the full version]?

Assistant: Only the surface comes with Office installed, it is a reduced version but should be sufficient for your Mum’s needs. You’d have to buy and install it on other Windows8 machines

He started talking about Bluetooth and other technical features at this point and I could see mumsie getting disengaged.

Wendy: can mum have a go with it?

He took us to see three Surfaces, each with a different coloured keyboard. Mumsie really liked the keyboard because it had a decent space-bar, but mostly because it was backlit so the letters on the keys were really easy to see. We bought the surface because the value for money and enabling mum to keep using word was important.  Then on with the shopping, we wandered off to look at the winter coats. Mumsie carried the surface easily around the store as we continued browsing. Nice. It was like buying a computer had become just another thing you buy on a shopping trip. A bit scary for mum, but it was my money so it all went smoothly. The package even fitted under the table in John Lewis’s café as we stopped to treat ourselves to coffee and cheesecake. Mum doesn’t use a walking stick, but if she did she would have been able to carry the surface easily around John Lewis’s. Well done.

I was a bit scared about how right the Surface RT would be for her, I would soon find out, but that’s another blog post…

Buying a computer in John Lewis’s
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5 bits of lovely banter on “Buying a computer in John Lewis’s”

  1. James Sutherland writes:

    I’m glad that went well, and a Surface RT would probably have been one of my first choices too. I set my grandfather up with an Android tablet (he has a PC, but I never managed to coax him to use it at all) and he took to it surprisingly well, happily reading the Telegraph via its app each morning, but for more demanding use the RT sounds ideal. Plus it has a British CPU, and a very power-conserving one at that! I’m almost tempted myself, for mobile use…

    Now the important question: how was the cheesecake?



  2. Your old virtual pal...still here writes:

    Wendy, I do hope when my daughter grows up, that she is just as thoughtful and supportive as you are with mumsie.

    Hope you are bearing up well, both of you.




  3. wendy writes:

    Excellent cheesecake, the family are all managing well, no-one has a flooded home…



    James Sutherland writes

    I’m glad to hear all that – a family friend came up on the train yesterday to visit from Devon, and had quite a job getting as far as Bristol. There are lots of photos online of a big pool of water with bits of track hanging in mid-air above it, which apparently used to be the railway line until it was rudely annexed by the Channel!

    I did actually put a bid on a cheap-ish Surface RT on eBay, but didn’t get it – I’ll keep an eye out though.

    The lovely ‘Daim’ chocolate cake slices are always a highlight of shopping trips to Ikea, I find. Good cheesecake is always welcome too…



    wendy writes

    I only go to IKEA when I’m really missing Dad, haven’t been since he died. He used to cook the most amazing meatballs, IKEA meat balls are nowhere near as good as his, but they are the nearest thing and a fabulous comfort food. We’re getting an IKEA near Reading, I may go one weekend



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