During a failed attempt to create some space in my wardrobe this afternoon, I was confronted with some of my less judicious internet purchases - all bought under the influence of alcohol.
I don't mean to sound like a candidate for the Betty Ford Clinic. I'm not a heavy drinker, but I do enjoy a couple of glasses of wine in the evening and that, it seems, is all it takes to undo years of education and experience.
Here are some recent examples:
1. An insect in amber:
There is something wonderful about an insect in amber. It is the immediacy of it. We aren't looking at the fossilised remains of a creature; we are looking at the thing itself, trapped tens of millions of years ago in the resin of a tree. It makes my head hurt.
During one of these moments of wonder, aided by a particularly nice glass of Pouilly Fume, I ordered an insect in amber on eBay. Sadly, it turned out to be a particularly dull specimen - more of a speck really - in a piece of amber that is smaller than the nail of my little finger. A huge disappointment.
2. A boxed set of 'The West Wing':
I'm sure it's wonderful. I like political dramas and really enjoyed Borgen, which is supposed to be a Danish version of The West Wing, but unless my children are sent to boarding school or I find a job on an oil rig, I don't know when I'm going to have time to watch all 59 seasons.
Why did I order something that I can't watch?
3. A meteorite:
Like the insect in amber, there is something awe-inspiring about holding a lump of rock that has travelled through space, but once again, it's very small. Is it even a meteorite? Sometimes I wonder if it's just a bit of molten metal that's fallen on the floor in some obscure foundry in a former part of the Soviet Union. How can I tell?
4. An archery lesson:
Two years ago I visited a medieval fair and saw an archery stall. I decided to have a go and, to everyone's surprise, scored one bullseye after another. At last, a sport I was good at!
When Groupon sent an email offering a 75-minute archery lesson for under £20, it seemed like the best idea in the world. But in the cold light of day, I found myself thinking "Oh, I suppose I'd better have that archery lesson. I hope it doesn't rain".
Still, at least I'll have a defence against the marauding gangs in the post-apocalyptic world.
5. The complete works of Webern:
I like the idea of Webern. He reacted against the fin de siecle culture of the years leading up to 1914, rejecting the opulent, inflated late-romanticism of the time in favour of a new discipline. His music was uncompromisingly austere, with increasingly shorter compositions for ever-smaller ensembles of musicians (sadly, this process of compression came to a premature end when Webern was accidentally shot by a GI in 1945).
Unfortunately, I just can't listen to it.
I think I must have liked the idea of conquering the complete works of Webern when I ordered the boxed set, but in the cold light of day it wasn't such a good idea.
I like difficult music. I can quite happily listen to this, but not Webern.
6. A Queen Elizabeth I sixpence:
I'd always thought that a coin this old would be impossibly expensive. When I discovered that they were actually very affordable, I couldn't resist the temptation to own something that had passed through so many hands. But it was an impulse.
I'm not against being online under the influence of alcohol - this blog is largely a product of those second glasses of wine - but after exploring the depths of my wardrobe, I think that there's a strong case for ensuring that all transactional websites emulate the high street, closing their virtual doors at 5.30pm.