We were in the Lake District recently and happened across this place:
They’re very modest on the sign. “Probably the largest selection of jigsaws in the world” they say. Probably! And it does look like an ordinary shop from the outside.
This is the sight that confronts you on the ground floor. Impressive. Still, you’ve perhaps seen bigger jigsaw displays elsewhere. But then you go upstairs:
This is the view from the top of the stairs, and the point at which things get a bit overwhelming. With jigsaws piled high from floor to ceiling you might struggle to make out that narrow opening on the right there. What’s through the rabbit hole?
Here I am at the centre of the cardboard cave. A place where the walls themselves are towers of terrifying puzzles and distance is as meaningless as direction. A person could lose themselves forever here. And what did I find in the furthest corner of the labyrinth? This:
A classy extension of Downton Abbey’s brand identity there. So which other cultural forces have taken jigsaw form in this brave new world?
It’s Twilight’s Edward and Jacob, in Puzzleball form! £6.99 each – a bargain. Finally Bella can have both! Who else is here?
It’s Disney’s Hannah Montana of course! “Made in 2D, Displayed in 3D” – will Miley Cyrus EVER be able to move on?
Here’s a selection of the generic jigsaws. The size and scope of the industry that keeps crazed fans in a constant supply of fresh puzzles had never occurred to me before. What evocative names. Blooming Cart. Proud Peacock. Gotta Love Snow! Yes, you gotta. Is there anything a bit more racy though? Well…
Oh this is the stuff. Really Really (Really) Naughty Dots – Explicit Jigsaw Fun For Adults Only. It’s the future our forebears fought for. It even comes with a special pen! Mind you, how many stages of frustration do you want to put yourself through? You’ll spend hours doing the jigsaw, and then you have to do the dot-to-dots, and finally you’re supposed to get some sort of erotic thrill out of a phallus you’ve drawn yourself with a wipe-clean pen. I suppose for some people the anticipation’s everything. Here’s something a bit gentler for a happy finish: