Dolce & Gabbana, 70% off

Matthew Williamson at ~£250


Prada perspex sandals; Bally boots

Burberry classics (around ~£200 mark)

Church’s brogues; Aquascutum red trenchcoat

Not my bags…

ASUS Transformer tablet with Kindle App

Mulberry envelope receipt holder for £35

Sweater – Gmarket, Shirt – Uniqlo, Jeans – Radcliffe Jeans, Shoes – Pierre Hardy for GAP, Watch – ASOS, Bag – Vehla Tote Bag NIV-E
, Sunglasses -Jeepers Peepers

This was such a gorgeous day, with one of those exotic weathers that London is yet to call back… I took a day off for a trip up to Bicester Village (designer outlet village just outside Oxford) with Kit, my usual honeymoon partner, with the invitation of lovely Laura of Chic Outlet. Rosy feelings aside, I must confess that while I was putting this post together I couldn’t help but feel a pang of disappointment in myself…

This blog has been steadily growing in my life to a point that it now amounts to a considerable portion of my polyjuice potion (me in a bottle) Truthfully, I don’t remember when was the last time I had a pep-talk with dear old self and looked back for self improvement. I can’t help but notice that this lack of reflective thinking and letting diem be Carpe‘d while I enjoy the scenery on autopilot have somehow led me to a rather unfamiliar territory. To this day I have never considered packing a bag and arranging travel to a destination with the sole purpose of shopping, possibly for the same reason there’s very little body revealing in this blog. I don’t mean to disdain – I too like shopping – but this time I feel like I’ve gone too far and tickled the Materialism beast. I know I had plenty fun that day, but on hindsight I don’t know what road this blog is taking me and to be honest I’m rather nervous.

To Bicester Village’s defence, the pricetags are digestible and the landscape is immaculate, and if your kidney needs a Dolce & Gabbana bejewelled boots then you know where to go. Alas, the beauty of this blog is that now it has a mind of its own and despite what I write here, if a visitor is inclined to skip the reading, then my reflection on virtue & yadda yadd will simply be dissolved into bytes, but ah, c’est la pee pee.

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95 Comments

  1. Shini! Truth be told, I found your blog rather accidentally while perusing other fashion blogs and although our styles are disparately different…I can TOTALLY appreciate art and talent when I see it. You, my dear= HANDS DOWN my favorite writer. Love the photographs, love your eye for graphics and detailing, but you know what brings me back??? That awesomely sarcastic/at times self-deprecating pitch perfect prose that not only brings a smile to my face, but time and time again makes me LOL like it’s Comedyfest at the Improv. Keep doing your thing honey and I’m sure your readers will support you (and if like me will follow you wherever you go :D)

    Cheers to many *hopefully* more months/years of blogging togo!

    xo-Julie
    Peace. Love. LOL!

    Haute Khuuture Blog

  2. maybe i am crazy but i can never find anything good when i go to outlet places. maybe i am just being biased. thanks for sharing the fabulous picks of your great finds. !!!!
    xx, http://wordbyjessie.com/

  3. I read your entries as well as appreciate your photography, I can’t believe that’s an outlet mall. Thats certainly not what they’re like here in Florida.

  4. I love your blog. You have an amazing way with words, and mad photography skills…especially when it comes to food! I’ve never read a post I didn’t. :) Wherever this blog may take you, I will follow, so please continue to share your love of food & fashion! xo

  5. Although I have near zero experience with how blogs affect people, I do have way too much experience with self reflection. I think it’s good that you’re even thinking about how this blog is affecting you as a person. i don’t think many fashion bloggers really take that in depth of a look at materialism and how blogging kind of promotes it. Or if they do, they don’t do it publicly.

    That said, I love your blog and its uniqueness. It really stands out among the sea of fashion blogs.

  6. Your writing is a gem. I look forward to getting lost in your posts all the time. That outlet mall is like a fairytale, digestible prices and beautiful scenery sounds like a dream come true. Not at all like the outlet malls here in stateside. And I adore all the shoe galore and your chic all-blue ensemble.

    ♥, Jamie
    http://www.TheFancyTeacup.com

  7. Well I guess it’s always good to look in rather than out sometimes…. but no matter what I’ll be honest…you’re my favourite blogger.. I love the rawness of how you write. I don’t know you but if what you write and snap reflects your personality I have an idea of how you are…and I like you :)

    greetings from a little country in central america,
    ana

    ps: I loved the harry potter reference *kudos*

  8. amanda

    *didn’t like. don’t know how that word escaped…

  9. Aurelia

    This is my first comment n your blog even though. I’ve been a blod ready for a long while now.
    I just wanted you to know that i thoroughly enjoy every post and most look forward to yor outfit posts and background of how you mix and match ieces together. I also really enjoy your food pictures. They have made me have cravings many times.
    I hope that you continue on with this blog, whichever path or direction you take it in. :)

  10. Aurelia

    Excuse the multitude of typos….i am not used to typing on the ipad yet :P

  11. It seems so nice to stroll around the outlet village with such a nice scene and shop some discounted product. But I know those “bargains” are still unaffordable for me.

    Reflection on materialism is also what I do when I am reading other fashion blogs or blogging for my own blog. Materialism is something that can turn someone life into meaningless one. But sometimes it is uncontrollable. In the crowd of fashion blogs, very few have such reflection like yours.

  12. very very nice pics ;D

    STREET STYLE: The Blonde Salad @ Paris
    http://magmoiselle.fr

  13. Canary

    I LOVE YOUR BLOG, KEEP DOING WHAT YOU’RE DOING! :P

  14. Danielle

    In Spain we add the -isimo to put an emphasis to an adjective. Hence, this blog is incrediblisimo! Of course, I’m not a native Spanish speaker but I do live in Spain! Regards from Granada Shini. :)

  15. Personally, I think you should take the Kit-Kat approach and just yelp out, ‘Do you KNOW who I am?! Blogger of the month Vogue Italia – HellOOO!’ whenever you’re feeling confused as to your place in the blogging world. That, or adopt a new approach… make all photos blurry in an attempt at starting a faux-photography revival… why use your Canon’s 5d magical focusing power when you can act all better-than-though I-don’t-need-focus-in-my-life crazy sauce?

    Also, I’m quite jealous I missed this shopping trip to Bicester. Like it or not, I’m a sucker for a bargain… even when the marked down price is 200 quid. Loving all the photos and your sweet little Mulberry receipt wallet… now you can count your self-indulgent purchases up while gazing at a bit of designer luxury. Sweet paradox.

    p.s. just woke up – apologies for the longest comment… I just woke up and feel delirious.

  16. Looks like you girls had an amazing time, I was invited to the Belgium version of these discount villages (Maasmechelen) last thursday :) Celebrating their 10th anniversary

    xx

    TFC

  17. J

    Hi Shini,

    I would like to ask if there is a particular season or day to go outlet shopping at Bicester Village?

  18. I love how extremely high quality all your photos are. DAMN.

  19. Beautiful photos. Need to go and seek out that quilted Burberry coat!

  20. but ahh c’est la pee pee. haha you’re so funny. and if you come to a point that makes you think about these kind of things.. I think it never hurts to put more personal stuff into your blog (in a reasonable way). I have two additions to my blog ‘my stuff’ and ‘my story’ that fills itself whenever I feel like. ‘My stuff’ is about material stuff I own, because with a lot of things I own; there’s a story behind it and I like telling stories (it’s material stuff like my piano, or just stuff that has a story behind it, or something that’s worth the post). and ‘My story’ is about my feelings and emotions blablabla:p not your typical cry cry sob story. but instead I let the readers get to know me by little facts or by posting little phrases or sentences that’s been bobbling around my head like these two: http://cyliaaaa.blogspot.com/2011/04/my-story-2.html & http://cyliaaaa.blogspot.com/2011/06/my-story-3.html. Maybe an idea? I don’t know why I typed this long about my own blog, but I just wanted to give you an idea about other ideas? ahh well, I hope you find what you’ll find:)

  21. very interesting post – made me reflect on myself too, lovely photographs though

  22. I HAVE to go here! All these items look so incredible, so many bargains to be had. Completely in love with that 70% off Dolce.

  23. If it’s any conciliation… It’s your writing that makes your blog a stand out. Amazing photos with insane attention to detail. Awesomely unique outfit posts. But it’s your little blurbs at the end of each block of photos that keeps me reading each and every post.

    http://harryhighpanties.blogspot.com/

  24. Argh woman. Your blog is amazing.

    I too think about materialism and how it affects me. I never used to be so brand obsessed but now I am all about the “quality” one product offers. Where does it stop? Surely Designer brands have the best quality but is it really over the quality of the fact you’re carrying the “Birkin bag” that matters?

    It’s hard to get out of the trap the fashion world (and blogging might I add too) has put us in. Praying we have the wisdom to not get trapped .. but hopefully be the change.

  25. Alexandra

    Delurking to say that I’ve had a similar experience letting the day take me where it will rather too often. I’ve caught myself not infrequently now at the realisation that I’ve spent an entire day plopped in front of the computer looking at fashion blogs and online fashion stores (because I’m too lazy to go outside and physically walking around looking at clothes has me dead tired within 2-3 hours). I do enjoy shopping on occasion, and I really enjoy dressing well in day to day life, but when I see myself devoting that kind of time and attention to clothes-browsing instead of doing something creative/educational/productive, it scares me a little bit.
    Of course, it’s more complicated for you, because while I can go cold turkey for a while to break the habit, you have a blog to attend to. I for one wouldn’t mind if you switched to a different blogging topic for a while or at least included posts on non-sartorial topics, because I really enjoy reading your writing, and frankly there is much more to be said on most things in life than on fashion. It’s a difficult situation, but don’t compromise your ability/need for self-improvement. Not a good road to start going down. I let it go for about 4 years once and regret it immensely now.

  26. Really like how you’re honesty, and I think I kinda understand where you’re coming from. Stuff is cool and fun, but how big a part of our lives should ‘things’ and the way we look be. I guess finding out is a part of this big ‘ol journey called life.

    Much Love.

  27. Hmmmm I’m typing in italia font?!

    @Jen style crusader, I haven’t started using my own approach….yet, probably never will.

    Whatever it is, use this approach ‘SPEAK TO MY PR’

  28. Dear Shini,

    I love love love your blog! I came across it accidentally and I fell in love with your photography, your sense for detail, style, and editing. Even though your writing might be less than the amount of pictures, you have a great choice of words and that little spice of sarcasm here and there makes it a lovely read every time!
    To me, you are a source of inspiration, and I’ve been following your blog for over a year now.
    I hope you’ll continue blogging for a long long time hereafter as well!

    Love, Nathalie
    Osaka, Japan

  29. HUH? Why’s everything in italics?
    I like your approach, I’ll use it from time to time. You’re my PR, right?

  30. Maike

    Argh. I know the feeling when sometimes, it just doesn`t feel right. Some things I`ve done simply do not represent who I am or what my perception of life is. And then I wonder how I will be and if I´ve changed. But, most of the times, I come to the conclusion that I´ll be fine and I`ve changed the way I should and the things I feel awkward about have been mistakes that I will gladly not do again. As long as I feel something`s wrong, everything`s right.

    I like that you took a critical approach to the materialism deal. And I`d like to mention, that you are the only blogger I know that writes “coat- my mother`s” as a reference (which I find really charming and so not materialistic). Also, I like the colour of you nails.

    Lots of love,
    Maike

  31. What a lovely place with so many interesting and gorgeous things to see and perhaps buy…
    http://www.soyfrivolita.blogspot.com

  32. @Shini, what? I thought YOU were MY pr?! whatever. you’re fired.

  33. I like the fact you’ve posted about materialism and how your blog is affecting you, it makes you more a person with actual feelings than a face that buys tonns of clothes.

    i dont think i take my blog seriously and i think thats the best way to view it.

  34. It happens to the best of us Shin! But you only bought the Mulberry envelope non? Aah don’t you worry, it wasn’t even the sole purpose though was it – you also got some beautiful pictures, that’s the excuse! Every time someone mentions Bicester I kick myself again, I neeed, NEEED to get a date for the diary and actually go and like you, I would have to ensure it was on a beautiful day like this otherwise all I could do would be to ‘shop’ something which my purse can’t actually handle so really not much would get done at all. Really beautiful Shin, looks amazing <3 xxxx

  35. Hey Shini, I found your honesty here really refreshing! You’re actually one of my favourite style bloggers, because unlike so many others, I’ve never got the impression that you were all about the ‘latest’, or the ‘fastest’. A trip to Bicester Village every now and then needn’t be seen as the beginning of the end, it can just be seen as a nice day out with friends. The fact that you’re reflecting on the way forward gives me hope for the future of this blog! Anyway, even beasties get lonely, so go ahead and tickle the Materialism beast every now and then :)

  36. That outlet place ROCKS! I would have spent everything on the SHOES!
    Take care,
    Lisa

  37. SHINI!!!!!! I can’t believe you came to bicester village! I WORK THERE! (monsoon…but soon to be jigsaw…!) Its mad that you were there and I had no idea! There are some amazing bargains you can grab…and lots of classics for a really good (in the designer world) price..(which im sure you saw for yourself!) but for example, I once bought a mulberry polka dot shirt (see through with velvet dots) for £25! Omg shini I want to chat about Bicester village and its amazing bargains! Still can’t believe you came to Bicester…I read this blog every day at least 3 times haha and it was a shock to come home and see my little town on here haha X

  38. great little yellow purse

  39. The Burberry shirt and coat are so wunderful.

    http://dassida.blogspot.com/

  40. I am scared to ask how much those lovely Mulberry heeled oxfords are. I am totally jealous, too, that these are designer outlets! The closest thing we have in Texas are some outlet malls for lower-end brands that stock lackluster products that aren’t even carried in the main stores half the time.

    I don’t really think your blog comes across as materialistic, simply because the written portions are so self-reflective. I don’t know what else to say, but I think that your blog really stands out among other fashion blogs because of your unique voice in your writing and also, your personal style is quite unique.

  41. WHAT’s up with that place? And WHY can’t I go there? Such amazing clothing!! Gorgeous pictures aswell darling!

    Love Despite color

  42. Nothing is like good proper discount on things! Haha, I remember I went bananaz at woodbury common last year!

  43. Your blog is wonderful! It’s interesting to read your posts and delightful to see your photos. The Mulberry envelope is beautiful, so simple and that gorgeous colour: it’s the details, the accessories which make the difference. :)Ada

  44. ♡ Very beautiful!!!!
    kisses from your follower ♡

    http://www.welovefur.blogspot.com
    http://littlesable.tumblr.com/
    With love Little Sable

  45. aafrica

    i love your pictures and your witty self. as long as you keep at being you, i’ll be a loyal fun.

  46. My friend has been threatening me to take me to the material village for ages, but seeing these luring images I’m glad we haven’t made it yet. Brutal purse death looming…

  47. p

    who are you that you can afford such expensive items??

  48. Great pictures (as always…) and great stuff!

  49. i love the sequin collar :) it reminds me of leyendecker’s spring line’s sequin pieces

    thanks for showing us the insides of these beautiful boutiques

    you are probably my favorite blogger by far, always witty and never on a high horse

  50. Sigh

    Hi sexy! Darling, your blog is my fave. don’t ever think ppl dont read your “yadda yadds”! Your photography is unique from other typical fashion blogs because you incorporate other elements of art. And your clever quips only make the blog a heck lot better!!!! xoxo

  51. sigh

    OH! please give us a historical tour of London sometime. It might help some of us non-London natives!

  52. Oh you’re so talented photographer!

  53. Nie kupiłam wszystko co widać na zdjęciach, it was only some snaps of my favourite pieces. I am nobody.

  54. Thank you so much, you’re so so kind always, I really cherish your visits!
    I think those Mulberry oxfords were something like £250, all I remember was that it wasn’t ridiculously expensive like Alexander McQueen was still £2000 for a dress.

  55. OooOoh really? Such a pity I didn’t know beforehand!
    Next time I’m there I’ll pop by Jigsaw and hope to bump into you! ;) x

  56. Thank you Joyce, you’re sooo kind. As for the beast, I’m just afraid he’ll eat me whole, I don’t think he had any sense of humour to let a tickle slide.;) xx

  57. OMG I WANT TO GO THERE!!!!

    XX

    http://www.juliphotodiary.com

  58. Lauren

    I really appreciate your comment about materialism. I don’t have a style blog, but I read dozens, and they have certainly have had an impact on me. I wish you luck in finding the right balance, because I would miss your blog if it ended!

    Now, stepping away from the topic of introspection, I love the different shades and patterns of blue in your outfit!

  59. AMAZING PICTURES, YOU INSPIRE ME!

    http://www.letiziabarcelona.com

  60. I call this a love-hate relationship. I lust for almost everything in this post, in particular the cute Mulberry envelope receipt holder but I cannot speak for my wallet.

    – slam -

  61. Woooooooowwwww…..wonderful boots!!!! I like it…they are fantastic!!!
    A big kiss…Miriam

    Fashion Crazy Ball:
    http://fashioncrazyball.blogspot.com

  62. I want to move there permanently! Celine on sale… sigh!

  63. lola

    your watch is darling. who makes it?

  64. I love Bicester! Still swooning over some beautiful McQueen dresses I saw when I went last!

  65. ASOS!

  66. Shiiiiiiiiniiiiiiii !
    Love your work,
    both words and photography
    and while this may be a bit of a bumpy “find myself” ride,
    It’ll be so worth it in the end!

    Wishing you the best of luck with it all.
    xo Kiwi

  67. THAT VALENTINO JACKET WITH SHEER SHORT SLEEVES!!!!

    Nuff said.

    x

    http://bit.ly/jeBq1U

  68. THAT VALENTINO JACKET WITH SHEER SHORT SLEEVES!!!!

    Nuff said.

    x

    ▲ Farrah @ DISTRIKMODE

  69. amazing all i dont know what to pick I would grab everything there haha
    and i love that strawberry soy frappuccino thing
    just got a venti size and it was hard to finish that all up lol

  70. That has got to be the most beautiful outlet mall that I have ever seen.
    I have recently started a blog, and I am not liking the direction that it is going. I would to have one more like yours. Right now, I am just doing alot of critiquing of celebrity fashion when what I really love to do is to take pictures.
    I haven’t even told my husband about my blog. However, I am in the process of saving up for a really good camera to start a totally different blog while still keeping the one that I have. I find that a little self-reflection is good so that you can remember why your are really doing what you’re doing.

  71. I know how you must feel, sometimes it feels like we are controlled by the blog. But with you I always feel like it’s a real you I’m reading about or from, and you put love and passion into it.

  72. Love the post, this makes me want to go to Bicester! I can’t believe the price of that Mulberry purse. The prices are so good. Though by the looks of things, you could easily rack up a huge bill if you spot so many lovely discounted things. Especially given the original prices, things can look a lot more tempting. Definitely dangerous!

  73. Shini,
    I often think about these things as well, not only when reading blogs and thinking that I could never afford all that stuff (I’m just a regular student); but also when I read fashion mags, which I have a love-hate relationship with sometimes. I really love reading them, but most of the time, I just don’t agree with the lifestyle they promote. Consuming like that just seems so empty, and it’s not like having another dress, another bag, another pair of shoes is going to make us happier.
    However, I’ve been a reader of your blog for a while now, and I don’t feel that way about your writing. You seem very real and also honest about comsumerism. Maybe you just need some time out and think about what you want to achieve and what your blog should be about?
    CoryB xx

    http://corydeathoffashion.blogspot.com/

  74. zj

    I know how you feel. I feel like I’m also kowtowing to the Materialism beast, for just reading fashion blogs and of course, living like a normal Singaporean. I’ve recently started on a book – The Story of Stuff, which talks abt how much of our environment is being destroyed by our endless consumerism. Very scary stuff, I’ve made a pledge to reuse what I already have and not buy anything new unless I absolutely need it. Watch the 20-min video, it’s very eye-opening. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GorqroigqM

    That aside, I love your blog because your photos are art, regardless of whether u’re photographing fashion or architecture. There’s just a need to balance between the happy fashion stuff and other more meaningful interactions. I hope you find it soon :)

  75. I like your blog very very much! Pictures are so beautiful! For sure I will be your new reader :) Greetings from Poland!!!

  76. oh jesus, is this paradise?

  77. The lace shirt is lush, as are the shoes with gems!X

  78. I love Biester Village!! Looking at those Mulberry discounts I need to go back soon!!! XXX

  79. c’est la pee pee indeed
    you come across all nicey nicey shini, but you and I both know that you’d kick a puppy and spit on a baby for some peacocks vouchers.

    PS that example is not derived from anything that I have done or potentially would do.

  80. beatiful pictures !
    Oh my the boots with jewels on it, “it’s a crazy world we’re living in” as would say jamiroquai I mean these boots are crazy ahah!

    xoxo

  81. You’re incredibly honest writing this comment about materialism. The ‘beast’ affects the majority of bloggers indeed, the thing is, one should be conscious of it.
    I will never ever consider your blog as shallow or materialistic or something like that. All of these eye candy photographs are always followed by a smart and often sarcastic text.
    You’re simply the best, ha! x
    I’m pretty sure that this post may suggest thinking about the whole materialism thing to other bloggers a bit.

  82. love what you wrote….and i wonder if others feel the same thing. As I start this whole blogging thing, I contemplate what kind of blog i want mine to be as well…do i just want to drive people to buy things and feel like they are lacking if they don’t? I hope not (I’m driving it more towards travel). anyway, I don’t feel that way here…just so you know. keep it up girl!
    anabel

  83. Ah Shini!
    There was a time when i felt sore about my own blogging, and I think every blogger feels a bit lost at some point as to what they want their blog to be. Unless they are purely fashion bloggers, then the reason and content is not so easy to miss. But if we want to have wealthier content, more reflection and less pretty (or a good stable mix of both), I think “blog identity” a necessary doubt to have. My website is not very famous online, so that’s why I felt a bit troubled before, then I realize I am losing the point, and that is to blog because we like it. So it should not matter so much where your blog is going as long as you feel good about what you are posting and that it makes you happy. :)

    Also, do know that I always look forward to your blurbs at the end of the photos. They are the ones I like the most. :) <3

  84. BuBu

    the pink and black shoes (GBP 250) u quoted above are actually selling in Matthew Williamson (not Diane Von Frustenberg) :-) x

  85. Ah thanks!

  86. Maybe it could be time for you to create your own sphere of territory, unfamiliar can be a good thing it helps us grow! But in all honesty I don’t think the materialistic beast could snare you. Though I’m always jousting with it! :)

  87. What a beautiful pieces!

    http://archiveofmystyle.blogspot.com

  88. konviki

    hey, don’t be confused with what you’re doing. you’re doing everything right. this blog – is you, and it’s hard not to see it, even if there are only cloths or food or else. i respect and admire your work and your personality. wish i just knew you in real life (we are neighbour thio but it’s not the point ^^)
    just do what you think you must do
    but please – don’t doubt about yourself, you’re amazing.

  89. Rachel Elizabeth

    ~I have been following your (amazing) blog for a few couple months now, and have never bothered to post a comment. I have come very close to it before, but for some reason never seemed to want to type out my far too long internet mailing address in the box. But after reading over this post, I felt like a simply must tell you how I love that I found a blogger that shares my beliefs and also has interests in the world of fashion. I as well struggle with the thought of spending what could feed ten families on a tee with a fancy name label. Even more scary is the thought of not even caring. I guess the key is to stay grounded (staying grounded in scripture included). It’s so easy to be sucked into the world of materialism, and I far too often am while reading other blogs. This one is by far my favorite, because rather than lead me in the wrong direction, your posts remind me of what is important (while still giving me wonderful insight into the fashion world). Thank you!

  90. I LOVE the way you write, so quirky and very funny. Please never stop writting……even if for my own selfish indulgence. x

  91. […] knew I’d be back in Bicester Village, beast’s abode, so soon? Well, took my knight in shining armour to get him more suits and shirts for work because […]

  92. joanna

    Shini, I think youre refreshing, unpretentious and amazing. Your the only blog that I read, some I just skip through the text. I think you are a wonderful person. Please continue inspiring and putting smiles on our faces.

    Love from Manila,
    Joanna

  93. […] time, thank you. BECAUSE THAT’S A THING APPARENTLY. Mulberry envelope pouch I got for £25 in Bicester Village, used as foreign currency wallet, or what is now a mixture of Yens, Euros, Dollars, Pounds and […]

  94. […] time, thank you. BECAUSE THAT’S A THING APPARENTLY. Mulberry envelope pouch I got for £25 in Bicester Village, used as foreign currency wallet, or what is now a mixture of Yens, Euros, Dollars, Pounds and […]

  95. […] time, thank you. BECAUSE THAT’S A THING APPARENTLY. Mulberry envelope pouch I got for £25 in Bicester Village, used as foreign currency wallet, or what is now a mixture of Yens, Euros, Dollars, Pounds and […]