One day it was sure to happen: Monsieur and I would look in the mirror to find Tweedledum and Tweedle-ette staring out at our over-nourished selves. Recently, that day arrived. I wondered if we were indeed genetically linked to Jabba the Hut, such were the rolls of flab about our bellies. In our enjoyment of food, Monsieur and I had each gained a cautionary number of kilos in the years we’ve been together and now it was finally time to shake them off. I’d started to dread getting dressed because nothing looked right, yet I was loath to buy the larger size. My wardrobe was in dire straits and our families no longer ate alongside us discussing subjects like current affairs, travel or politics. No, they would recognise our love of food by kindly offering us seconds as the next deluge of diet tips tripped off their tongues. Family mealtimes were now too often filled with unsubtle reminders that my husband and I were FAT (God bless the honesty of blood relatives, not…), so, lest we anticipated living a life where conversation with loved ones would revolve around DIETS and EXERCISE forever after (yawn), we had to act. Now. The diet would no longer start tomorrow; in fact, it started a few weeks ago and you’ll be relieved to hear that Monsieur and I are already smaller versions of our roly poly, butter-loving selves and happily continue to shrink towards our target weights.
To coincide with the change in our eating habits, Fuelmyblog asked if I’d be interested in reviewing a framed enlargement service at a branch of the photography shop, Snappy Snaps, a stone’s throw from where I work in Hammersmith. Ah, now this could work out nicely, I thought, for I needed one of those weight loss inspiration photos somewhere prominent in the flat and the front of the fridge wouldn’t work in our case – it’s non-magnetic laminate and I hatehatehate sellotape on appliances.
Choosing the right image wasn’t too hard; I went back through the pictures of my hike up Ben Nevis some time back, Before I Got Fat. Downloading a picture of me at the summit of the highest peak in Great Britain, looking slimmer, fit and happy, a version of moi that I’m determined to see again, I took it on a USB to Snappy Snaps, who checked the image on one of their computers, agreed some minor cropping for the enlargement, asked the all-important question: “gloss or matt?” and told me to return at lunchtime the following day to collect the finished product.
The service was a breeze. I returned on time, almost to the minute stated on my receipt and, sure enough, my inspiration photo was ready. The 10 x 8 inch frame was affordable (less than a tenner total) simple in black and sturdy enough to stand but can also be hung on the wall. It now lives next to a papier mâché fish on a chest of drawers in our hallway. The photo certainly does the trick. I pass it numerous times each day and it spurs me on to keep up the shrinkage. Here it is:
(The red fish is my friend, the lucky Vietnamese water puppet! She guards the framed photo now and with piranha-like teeth will maim the hand of anyone who tries to move it… )
Where I think Snappy Snaps most deserves praise is for keeping their high street stores in spite of so much online competition. I admit it’s been a while since I visited a physical photo store; I generally let my mouse do all the walking. However, when I order prints, enlargements, greetings cards made from my photos or other photo products online, it can be a very hit-and-miss affair. Colours alter, finishes vary and one photo book ordered by a family member had to be sent back to the printer 4 times before they got it right. When I speak to my friends and colleagues, this sort of experience is perfectly common, after all, we’re dealing with computers here, not people. So imagine how refreshing it was to pop into my local Snappy Snaps, for a friendly, fast and efficient service given by real human beings. It only serves to reinforce the importance of the physical store in a world where shopping is done more and more frequently online. Agreed, computers are great. Online shopping can be practical. But sometimes, we just need a person.
This was a review post for Snappy Snaps & Fuelmyblog. I received 1 framed photo enlargement so that I could review these for you. My review is honest and in my own words.
Snappy Snaps online – click here
Fuel My Blog – click here