Local shops for local people. Again.

Well, that was a peculiar dream.  I dreamt that I’d set myself up in business, cleaning people’s houses.  No, darlings, seriously no.  I’m very good at housework (this is mainly theoretical but true none the less), but if I cleaned for others then I’d never touch a duster here again at all.  Don’t take my work home, obvs.

I went to Norwich for lunch today and, on the way home, it rained on and off.  At one point, I accidentally turned on the rear windowscreen wiper and it was  a good job I did, because otherwise I wouldn’t have noticed that it had seen better days, to the extent that it was flopping down.  Trouble it, the car is having its MOT tomorrow morning and a defective wiper blade is a cause for failure and, since the garage had kindly fitted me in at short notice, there isn’t much time in hand.  So I called in at the motor parts shop in town and asked if they’d got one in stock.    I’d taken the precaution of photographing the back of the car, really in case I forgot the model (cars mean very little to me) but it turned out that the age of it was crucial for the size.  And they hadn’t got it in stock but phoned the supplier, who hadn’t got it either but would get it straightaway and it’ll be delivered first thing in the morning.  So I’ll take the car to the garage, go straight back for the blade, deliver it for the garage to fit it and all will be well … assuming the car passes its MOT, which I’m sure it will.

Another point in favour of personal service in local shops.

Rog wondered, the other day (in the comments) if pensioners having a free bus pass encouraged people to shop in bigger towns rather than locally.  I don’t know, it might do.  I think it would cause an outcry if it were taken away.  I had a conversation on a bus with a nice lady once, who was on her way to visit her daughter in Cromer.  She said that she found that bus drivers could be quite sniffy about her free pass, they obviously thought she was an undeserving freeloader (her viewpoint, I’ve no experience in the matter).  And she said that, while she was glad to have it, as the bus was quite expensive for short trips, she would be very happy to pay towards the cost.  If she got it half price, she’d feel inclined to travel by bus still but, especially on the longer trips, she thought it was unnecessarily generous.

I suspect that, by the time I’m entitled to a bus pass, it might have been withdrawn anyway – they keep putting up the pension age – but I’m not about to go to Norwich by bus anyway, it’s a slow and winding road round all the villages.  I’m sorry to say that the internet has superseded city shopping.  I buy locally or online and have done for some years.  And many of my older friends, even in their eighties or nineties, use the internet quite confidently now.  I don’t know how shops keep going.  Tim and I were in a jeweller’s buying him a watch for his birthday, a few weeks ago, and there were about five staff in a prime city centre location.  There was one other customer in the half hour we were there and we couldn’t quite work out how the sums added up.  Unless a watch actually costs three and sixpence, of course, and all the rest goes to the wages.  Will there be any shops left in a few years’ time?


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