Then back downtown for the main mission ... brolly shopping, with the notion of hitting the high-end shops on the hunt for something quality that would mean I'd never have to buy another umbrella again in my life. I'd figured on scoring in either the men's or luggage departments in the Bay (Hudson Bay Company), but no luck ... they had one pink umbrella on display in luggage that was all about the pretty rather than the functional (sad to say, since the Bay came under American ownership it's been full of "trendy" and "names" instead of the previous quietly stalwart and dependable quality goods). However the downtown Bay is linked to walkways and sky tunnels that create a multistory maze of shopping "mall" within what look like office buildings from the outside ... you can travel over several city blocks without setting foot outside and virtually none of it is standard mall chain stores. So off through the labyrinth I went. Zilch in any of the high-end menswear shops (good umbrellas used to be a standard accessory sold in those places), and the clerk in the Bentley luggage store was very apologetic about being sold out of everything but the plastic collapsing models (understandable with the weather we've been having). Then finally, at the very end of the maze (four blocks and two stories up from my starting point), I hit a place that was more like a fashion victims' marketplace than an actual store ... multiple alcoves and booths within a larger space, many sporting names mentioned a lot in "Absolutely Fabulous". And off in a back corner of one of the open zones, a cannister holding three Burberry umbrellas!!! Burberry!!! Yes, I bit the bullet and paid the price because, well, Burberry!!! Either somebody's being named in my will as inheriting the thing with the condition that it's to be considered a family heirloom and passed down for at least ten generations or I'll eventually sell it to fund my retirement (after all, if I retire I don't HAVE to go out when it's raining, right?)
At least I know it actually IS worth every penny I paid, in materials, construction, and looks.