The shops are full of tat and heaving with people waving their Christmas cash around. Why can't we stay away from them in January?
Like the Taliban of the British high street, we have a list of targets, a plan of action and the ruthless determination of a guided missile: it's time for our first assault on the January sales.
"Well this looks nice," says Annette, as we trot through the doors of a high street store and come face to face with a scene that resembles a United Nations aid drop.
Barely-clothed youths writhe around on a fabric-strewn floor, cramming scraps of clothing into their shopping bags with a glazed and despairing look in their eye.
"It's quite busy," I say. "Shall we try the first floor?"
We jump on the escalator and spend a few minutes gazing at our owl-eyed faces in the mirror opposite, as hip-hop music pumps in the background.
"What do you think 'bump the dunkadunk' means?" asks Annette.
"I'm not sure," I reply. "But I expect it's some kind of street dance."
We are ejected into a massive, open-plan floor teeming with stick-thin prepubescent girls fingering scraps of glittering fabric last seen disappearing up Beyonce Knowles' bottom on MTV.
"What do you think of this?" says Annette, holding up a scoop-neck catsuit.
"Why don't you try something more classical?" I whisper tactfully, nudging her towards a rail of towelling dressing gowns.
Forty minutes later, we drift towards the changing rooms.
Annette disappears into the cubicle and lets out a loud scream.
"What?" I ask anxiously, tearing the door open.
"Nothing," says Annette. "I just caught a glimpse of myself from the side."
A total of one hour and 20 minutes later we leave the premises. Altogether, we have bought a pair of slippers and a scarf worth a mere pound;2.99.
I look at Annette, who vaguely resembles an escapee from Guantanamo Bay.
"Skip HM and go to the pub?" I suggest.
"Don't worry," she yawns, flinging her receipt into a bin. "I've already phoned ahead and ordered us a pint."
Love Kate x.