Good afternoon, Sir, I say, addressing the proprietor of M. S. Rayat & Sons, Tools and Hardware (and a million of related things), right here in the heart of W7.
The spring in my door handle is broken, I continue, would you have any replacement springs?
No, he replies, you must buy the whole pair of handles.
All right. A pair of handles then, please. I am not too fussed about the design as long as they are near enough.
He looks at me. He looks at the handle that I brought, and sais it might just be your lucky day.
This gentlemen has only ever failed me once, in many inquiries. If you are in the area and require a tool, piece of hardware, ironmongery, or anything remotely like any of these, or something that you cannot even guess what it is and where it might be sold, please see your local business and my friend Mr. Rayat. It could be your lucky day.
The chain stores might have pretty young girls at the tills, but they won’t know what you mean, when you come in and describe an item by saying I don’t know what it is called but it is shaped like so (gesturing) and about that long (indicating), but must have a little hook at the end.
Or, if you ask for an exact replacement of a pair of mock-Edwardian door handles, as it happens. Fabulous.