Who knew that the UK has Adopted the USA custom of ‘Black Friday’? Do we have ‘ Thanksgiving’. Not yet – but you never know! We have abandoned our traditional ‘Guy Fawkes’ in favour of the USA custom of Hallowe’en. Which is worse? Burning a guy on a bonfire or terrifying strangers by knocking on their door at night demanding “trick or treat”? But back to Black Friday: I should have guessed town would be busy when I clambered onto a bus with all its seats full. When we reached Kingston everyone descended at the John Lewis bus stop and we poured into the store .
First stop: hold my nose as I dash through “perfumes” and up the escalator to haberdashery to buy the size 4.5 mm knitting needles that I was unable to find in my vast collection. Then past a great collection of colourful cashmere jumpers for men reduced in price and waiting to be bought. If the colourful striped jumper had had a V neck I would have snapped up for ME! I reached the APPLE department and enquired about a slimline keyboard for my 9.7 iPad. Six years ago when I bought my iPad3 I found a Logitech keyboard that formed a lid, keeping the slim appearance of the iPad and not spoiling the aesthetics. So why now have manufacturers produced such a clunky, unappealing keyboard case? I am SO disappointed. And, no, I did not buy it.
Time for a break. As I approached All Saints Church to enjoy a cuppa in the cafe there I was delighted to find an Alpine Village had sprung up on the grounds. ‘snow’-covered fir trees surrounded a vast marquee which housed all manner of stalls with individual log cabins spilling out onto the high street. I had a quick look at all the goodies on offer, making a mental note to return to look for suitable gifts. Then I entered the church for my much needed drink and sit down. As I removed the tea bag from my cup the customer behind me asked, “Please would you do my coffee for me because I cannot see well enough to do it.” She carried a white stick so I had realised she was blind and suggested she sat down at a table where I would join her. Apparently she was a regular customer – mainly because she knew her way around. She had had to retire early from the nursing job that she loved. Sitting chatting with her made me realise how complicated life becomes when you have little or no sight. Currently she has multiple bruises caused when her Care Home Manager re-arranged all the furniture.
On to the Bentall Centre. It is so pretty. The lights even made me feel a little bit more Christmassy. Half of me loves the festive season but the other half dreads all the commercialism, hype, false jollity and unachieved expectations. There were bargains to be had in Kingston on Black Friday. It just so happened that nothing that I wanted was included.