LUV - Sometimes in this rough, tough, cruel world, with all the aggressive gangsta rap and Nicola Robert’s nightmareish eyebrows and no Friends repeats to cuddle you into your evening any more, you need some comfort. Something that hails from a better time, when men were all made of nicotine and scotch, women all had Christina Hendrick’s mutant planetary tits, and kitchens were permanently filled with the heady musk of a freshly cooling apple pie. And that is where Lakeland comes in. Want to live in a soft-focus Aga-warmed utopia but with a cool, futuristic, tech-loving Gadget Show twist? A world where Christina Hendrick’s boobs have one nipple that when tweaked generates Spotify playlists, and one that can pierce holes in sheet metal with a laser beam? Then you want to get your perverted mind down to Lakeland, my friend.
Stuff enough money into Lakeland’s flowery apron pockets, and you too can pretend that you’re the sort of person who flings themselves out of bed in the morning to lovingly craft your own home-made cream horns for breakfast, with your own cream horn moulds, rather than the sort of person who just sticks a baseball cap, overcoat and plimsolls on over a stained Snoopy t-shirt and huffs their morning breath all over the muffins at Caffe Nero. You can pretend that you actually care about the appearance of your flat by having a cleaning product for every occasion up to and including actual Bog Berocca, rather than just wiping down the underside of the lid with some damp loo roll 10 minutes before your mum comes over. You can pretend that your Christmas will be a magical wonderland filled with twinkling themed tealights and exquisite bonbons, rather than a four-day Baileys binge only interrupted by a screaming argument with your mum about the state of your flat and the occasional creamy vomit.
Only Lakeland has all the products under one roof to allow you to be a domestic goddess, but without all that tedious sneaking around in silken scanties to eat chorizo straight out of the fridge at 3am. Only Lakeland allows you to dream that one day you’ll be a grown-up; you might actually clean the vegetable cupboard out, you might do some research into getting a better rate on your savings account, and you might finally get round to colour-coding and separating all your socks with the chilling precision of an OCD-crazed murderer. Five minutes riffling through a Lakeland catalogue and it makes a perfect home life seem so tangible you could reach out and squeeze its underparts, providing, of course, you have an unlimited bank balance and a pantry the size of Milton Keynes to store your various bean slicers and Madeleine baking moulds and washing-up liquid filofaxes.
Best of all, they’re a tenacious bunch. Ever since I bought an adjustable cutlery tray from them, because by Christ I know how to have fun in a kitchen with slightly non-standard drawer sizes, they have sent me a catalogue through the post, every two months, regular as a Sugababes regime change. Even though I have never so much as flashed a millimetre of my lithe credit thighs in their direction since. They’re just so desperate for my attention! It’s fantastic. They’re like the nerdy fangirl of homeware retailers. If they were on Twitter, they’d retweet absolutely everything I said AND respond to it with some banal, sycophantic agreement, and I’d always ignore them, and then they’d start tweeting me 400 times a day, and then they’d somehow get hold of my personal email address and send me pictures of themselves pouting in tear-and-bloodstained Laura Ashley dresses with self-created peepholes. Holding a reasonably priced garlic press, of course.
And you just know those aloof bitches at John Lewis would never do that. Keep on slutting, Lakeland.
- Julia Blyth
HAT - If you LUV Lakeland, I must first congratulate you on locating the reserves of energy required to navigate to this web page. It must have really hurt. You must be quite out of breath, given you’re the kind of permanently be-sniffled lambykin who requires a tool to help you pull plugs out of sockets.
Coo, it’s tiring, isn’t it? Have a sit down. Not too quickly! You might bruise your tender little bum-bum.
This is what we’ve become, isn’t it? We can’t even unplug a lamp without a plastic implement to help us, and lethargy-enablers like Lakeland are happy to indulge us for sweet, sweet profit. Do you know what else we can’t do, going by Lakeland’s inventory? We can’t catch the spiders that skitter along our skirting boards. No, never, no. We’ve already established that people who fear spiders are jelly-boned saplings, but there are still nerveless, simpering globules of humanity who insist on spending £10.29 on a specialist arachnid vacuum.
You know how I catch spiders? I use this thing called ‘a glass’. Ever hear of it? I have loads of them, because they cost £1 for 6 at my local Turkish convenience store. Then I eat both spider and glass, but that’s not strictly relevant at this juncture.
Anyway, what kind of obtuse oxymoron names a place ‘Lakeland’? What is a land made of lake? Or a lake made of land? How much land could a lake land land if a lake land could lake land? Nobody lives on lands made of lake, except The Lady of The Lake from King Arthur – and she stank of pondweed and dripped water all through the lounge. By the way, before you go assuming that the company was set up by a person called Ian Lakeland, or Arnold Lakeland, or Graham Lakeland or something, it wasn’t.
That’s right: there was never a Graham Lakeland.
I bought a dozen jam jars from Lakeland for £6.99 a while back, you know. “Mmm, imagine all the jam!” I screamed as I placed the order, leaping onto my chair and frenziedly flicking my jowl drool all over the library. Lo, when the jars arrived there was not one – not one – bit of jam to be found in the things. And nowhere on the website does it say “Jam not included”. What a confectionarous liberty, Lakeland.
How regular Lakeland customers – who we’ve established are hermetic, emotionally vulnerable hugglebunnies with tissues stuffed permanently up the sleeves of their snot-festooned slankets – would deal with such disappointment worries me a great deal. And how do they cope with the hellish letdown when their homemade crisps, created using the Lakeland Microwave Crisp Maker, taste a quintillionth as good as McCoy’s Mega BBQ Beef Crunch Ripple Ravage Rock Chips?
I wouldn’t mind something called an Apple Master though. I wouldn’t mind being an Apple Master.
- Stuart Waterman