‘Give us an A! Give us a d! Give us another d! Give us…Give us…Give us!’

And what have we got?

Addiction!

One definition of ‘addiction’ is ‘a compulsive physiological and psychological need for a habit-forming substance.’ In other words, your body and your mind crave that substance.

Sometimes a substance is generally, or even medically, recognised to be habit-forming, creating dependence on it. Other substances may not be intrinsically addictive, but turn out to be so for some people.

Chocolate seems to fall into that category.

chocolate

Modern marketing and advertising encourage this addiction, and, mostly, it’s not too damaging: an ounce or two extra on the hips or the waistline seems a small price to pay for the sheer, unadulterated pleasure of allowing a square of chocolate to melt slowly, succulently, deliciously in your mouth.

The chocolate addiction only becomes a real problem when you have a tendency to hypoglycaemia or diabetes, when you’re on a weight-loss diet or when you haven’t got any and the shops are shut.

A second definition of ‘addiction’ is ‘the condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with or involved in something’ and this definition brings another of life’s pleasures to mind: shopping.

ID-10099136

FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I don’t think I’m actually addicted to shopping, but I do believe I could easily become addicted, given the chance. Living in the country, miles from any shops, is a help or a hindrance, depending on your point of view. I think it’s a help, but, if someone wants to throw a few bob my way, I’m willing to test the theory.

What is decidedly not helpful is the advent of internet shopping. A while back, when I was driving North with He Who Prefers Not To Be Named (see post of 5th April 2013), I noticed an enormous, huge, ginormous Amazon warehouse had been built within ten miles of our home, ‘Just for us,’ we agreed. We are both seriously addicted to buying books on Amazon. It is just too easy. However, I have curbed my need for the services of the said warehouse: most of my Amazon purchases now are eBooks.

Research shows that many people buy things they don’t need, some buy things they don’t even want and most of these folks are a bit concerned about their shopping habits, some admitting they are ‘addicted’ to shopping.

In the ‘developed world’, merchandisers play to this addiction. Millions of Pounds, Dollars, Euros and Yen are spent every year on advertising. They wouldn’t do it if it didn’t work.

Advertisers play on our emotions, telling us we deserve more and better than we have, assuring us that our life will be enhanced if we buy their products. It rarely turns out to be that way. In the words of an exceptionally wise man: ‘Even when a person has an abundance his life does not result from the things he possesses.’ (Luke 12:15) and another wise man: ‘A mere lover of silver will not be satisfied with silver.’ (Ecclesiastes 5:10)

As an observer of life and people, as most writers are, I have concluded these wise words are true.

Several things inspired me to write my second novel, ‘Making It Home’. Observing shoppers was one. The discovery of a deceased relative’s secret addiction to shopping was another. Who knew she was filling her home with purchases she had no use for, filling cupboards and rooms with unopened carrier bags, receipts dating years back still inside them with the items she’d bought: the overwhelming sadness of her loneliness clearly unabated by hundreds of shopping trips? Who knew? Childless and widowed years before, she lived far from extended family and had few friends, mostly by choice, being a very private person. Reluctant to visit or be visited, her secret was only discovered when her home had to be cleared for sale after her funeral.

My overwhelming sadness I used to tell a little of her story in my novel, allowing a fictional character to carry her secret and share her loneliness. I like to think she might have enjoyed the alternative ending.

Making It Home

THE book cover

Kate had a home, but her heart wasn’t in it…or in her marriage.

So she left them both.

Phillis had a home…and her heart was in it…but she wanted something more.

So she shopped.

Naomi had no home and her heart was in cold storage, frozen by grief and fear.

So she shopped.

They found one another in a department store.

Shopping.

The problem with ‘retail therapy’: you can overdose.

As friendship grows between these three women, they help one another face up to their problems, realising along the way, that every heart needs a home and it takes more than a house to make one.

A contemporary novel about women who want more.

 Amazon links.

paperback: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Making-Home-Christine-Campbell/dp/1849237743/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1364061887&sr=1-1

ebook: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Making-It-Home-ebook/dp/B00BR9YS0G/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1364061887&sr=1-1

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