Tuesday, 26 September 2017 - 9:41pm

Published by Matthew Davidson on Tue, 26/09/2017 - 9:41pm in

"This begs the question - is the Coffs Coast ready for more decorating/furnishing stores? And if so, which ones?

It seems every time a warehouse or industrial space becomes vacant there are whispers around town of either Myer or Ikea setting up shop.

Matt Blatt, Pottery Barn, Oz Design or King Living? David Jones or Myer? Which business would you welcome on the Coffs Coast"

By Jove, I'm glad there's one media outlet willing to tackle controversial topics like this. I've seen careers ruined and families broken up over less. You, my friend, have opened up a huge can of worms, and absolutely nobody likes worms. Except some fish. And birds. And other worms, I suppose.

The one thing I really miss since moving to Reejnall Australia - apart from civilisation, of course - is Big Jim McSplinter's Family Lifestyle Outlet. We used to love that place, when we were kids. As Pete Smith used to say on the TV ads "If it's made from old fence palings and rusty nails, you'll find it at McSplinter's".

It may seem quaint now, but that was really the dawn of aspirational Australia. To be greeted at the door by a man dressed up in a giant Big Jim costume (usually Big Jim himself in those days), then to stroll through the store, first left, then right, then left, then right, and so on, running a hand over ever more fashionably rustic home furnishings…

Then, while waiting for the staff to securely strap our purchases to the roof of the Toyota Tarago, we'd enjoy an ice cold milkshake in the Antiseptic Lounge, and set to work with our complimentary tweezers. "A McSplinter's family is a family that's up to date on their tetanus jabs," as they used to say, and although it's become much more gentrified and sophisticated in recent years, I still think that this is the sort of business that would attract much-needed multi-story car parks to the region.