With our invites at the printers, this week it was time for one of the tasks I was most looking forward to: being let loose with the barcode scanner and compiling our gift list. Shopping without having to pay for it, you say? What could be better than that, zap, zap...

Pete, I could tell, was somewhat less excited about that prospect, especially since he was missing the Grand Prix. But who could blame him, we'd registered online for the list at John Lewis the week before and I'd already secretly added some items I know he told me we didn't need (namely a new toaster and kettle, 'What's wrong with the ones we have?' was his argument. He clearly wasn't getting the point of a wedding list. It's all about upgrade darling, upgrade...) but he wasn't to know that... yet.

Naturally the gift list department is on the top floor, which is a strategically smart move on John Lewis's front - start them at the technology department, get the blokes interested... very shrewd. So off we set with our scanner - or should I say, off Pete set with the scanner. I wasn't allowed control of it.

Starting with the, uhum, essentials: a Bose iPod docking station was zapped and a debate ensued while we played with the iPads 'Do you think it would be unreasonable...' Yes, we decided. Focus. 'Pete, either give me the scanner or step away from the TV display showing the Grand Prix...'

Towels, check. Bed linen, painless. New duvet, vetoed on Pete's favourite argument 'What's wrong with the one we've gone?' I let it pass, you've got to choose your battles. And mine was a cream Dualit toaster.

We were nearing the home straight: the basement floor (kitchenware and dining). We needed sustenance... time to trade in our complimentary tea and cake voucher as we stood in line with a stream of other couples looking slightly exhausted clutching their scanners.

'So we've decided we don't need a new toaster or kettle?' asks Pete mid-bite once we were seated and slightly less dazed.


'It's not like it's going to toast or boil water any better than the ones we have.'

'Well... I kind of have already added some to the list, they look very pretty,' I replied very quickly, like he wouldn't hear.

The debate was still raging when we got down to plates (Wedgwood Jasper Conran Pin Stripe, very nice) and glasses (the full range, from sherry through to Champagne and wine to port).

'Just let me show you them,' I offer, as we sidestep another couple embroiled in a discussion over frying pans.

'Ok, they do look nice...' concedes Pete...

I take my moment and run with it, 'Well lets just leave them on there for now and you can always take them off online if you feel particularly strongly about it.' (Knowing full well he would never log onto the list, in fact I'm not sure I told him the password...)

And that's it, girls: how to win the battle of the scanner. Compromise.... and cunning.