We’ve been looking for a long time for somewhere like Brico Depot. It’s more of a Wickes than a B&Q or Homebase. The local L’Eclerc Brico is fine, but it’s very… hmmm… girlie. It has a full row of fancy light shades and three rows of wallpapers, horse brushes and potted plants. You can buy wheelbarrows and such like, but they’re very expensive. The wood there was also really expensive, and they didn’t really have what we wanted. I thought we might need Leroy Merlin, another chain of Brico, but whilst I was ferreting around locating the Honda dealership, I saw Brico Depot and I thought it might do to take a look. Plus, when we researched ‘contreplaque’ – plywood – Brico Depot came up on the search. Plus, it’s nearer than Leroy Merlin. So, it was off to Brico Depot.
Well, Steve was in heaven from the first moment.
It has super-large trolleys, since you might need super-large things, or a lot of stuff. They were all bashed up and wonky with chipped paint. That bodes well to Steve. Spit and sawdust. There was a huge sign over the front entrance that said ‘free coffee from 7 – 10 each morning’ – another bonus for Steve the caffeine freak.
The entrance gate was all wrapped up in gaffer tape and the motor didn’t work. It was harshly lit, with huge metal shelves piled ceiling high. Nothing was in any particular real order, just rows and rows of stuff. If you were lucky, they were kind of next to each other. It was crammed with all kinds of stuff. Not an inch of spare space. Plenty of assistants. Incredibly busy, but not crowded. Efficient.
Not only that, but it was cheap, which is a real rarity in France.
So, Jake and I followed Steve about, as we are wont to do in supermarkets, as Steve went ‘got that… like that… got that… want that… oooh, that’s cheap…. oooh, that’s good…. oooh, I need one of those….’
He’s making shutters for my Dad, so we picked up the wood for that (plywood is really expensive – more expensive than actual, good-quality wood. How does that work??!) and some wood for a chicken feeder, as well as two cheap bins, a 50 metre hose and a ‘melange’ of screws and nails.
I have to say, Steve was quite giddy. Like my Uncle Brian is at B&Q on pensioner-Wednesday. Brico Depot, c’est pour lui.