Thursday, 23 April 2015
Let Joy reign.....Pah!
I clambered aboard the somewhat rusting red doubledecker bus. A handful of passengers, mostly aged women joined me. We waited several minutes, time enough for two mothers with pushchairs to enter and jam up the passageway. Soon we were off, blue smoke belching from the rear of the bus as the 'Free Bus' made the short journey to the shopping centre. Here we dismounted our tired steed and dispersed towards the collection of 'outlets' where a variety of overpriced fashion chains attempt to fool people into thinking they are getting a bargain. Many displayed large garish signs which promised, with all the authority of a politicians pre-election promises, 'Price Cuts' or 'SALE' and 'Many stocks half price,' all lies.
In days of yore when I was young we dressed in levi's and desert boots enabling us to look similar to Simon & Garfunkel on the 'Bridge over Troubled Waters' album, except on the occasion we wore cords. Indeed I wore cords for about twenty five years, often 'Levi's' or 'Wranglers' or occasionally a cheaper option if possible. Those days are gone as proper cords are hard to come by and those makers charge too much. That said I wandered into a near empty Levi's shop to check the bargains. They do not appear to go into garish window signs but inside I noticed that I could get two pairs of jeans for £99. This was made to sound a bargain! Fifty quid each!!! I hitched up the grubby £5 Tesco jeans I wore and shuffled out the door glancing at the neatly piled offerings and their high prices. They say Levi began making jeans during the gold rush, possibly true, certainly you need a gold rush to buy them today!
The building hid the biting cold wind and sunshine filled the space in the passageways. A few people were rich enough to buy and others had the joy of trailing the kids with them. One man brought his dog possibly as an excuse not to go into the shops and bore himself to death as she examined the goods. A woman checking the stuff in a shop and pondering is not as efficient as a man I say. No clocks can be found in these shops for obvious reasons.
I checked the jackets in the Barbour shop. Again the store was neatly laid out and once again i had no idea what was men's wear and what were women's! Most of it looked the same to me. As a man was checking the far side I walked there and considered one or two items. I love the way they display prices without any blushing. £249 reduced to a mere £189, sounds like a bargain to me! I continued to prowl through the price labels, difficult to read when in half light and wearing glasses meant for distance. One jacket I did take a fancy to but decided opening a bank account just to get a loan was not quite what I wanted to do. I could buy a house for less!
The shopping centre I find somewhat depressing. The prices are too high, it is of course aimed at women, the men's stuff if good is not what I am after and what I am after is too dear or not the right colour or size. No wonder I check Tesco first!
My wallet opened only to buy a pair of cheap slippers which turned out to be half the price on the ticket which almost made me smile, I didn't as I wanted to look like many of the girls I saw working int he shops. Three '3xl' T-shirts were obtained from a 'Sports Direct' shop where the two girls I spoke to were pleasant and efficient. It was only while in there I remembered it was 'Sports Direct' a shop owned by the chap who runs Newcastle football club. He is famous for making money and 'interesting' deals. One or two deals have ensured he has a large hand in Rangers football club, owning the rights to run the shops, the rights to the logo's and is owed much millions for money he loaned them. Quite was else he has his hand in is not clear. An arrangement with previous board members meant he loaned five players to Rangers with accommodation and salaries to be paid by the Glasgow club. Three of these men were injured at the time and have never reached Glasgow, one played, very well in fact, but damaged his hamstring and left at half time and returned to Newcastle. Only one plays for Rangers. Dubious deals in football are not new but the Newcastle owner is very good at them. He has no fans either in Glasgow or Newcastle but as long as he makes money he appears to care not.
The T-shirts I bought I know shrink so I bough very large ones. As I tried one on I realised it fits perfectly - which means once washed it will shrink like so many others! Bah!
The single deck white once glorious but not so now 'Free Bus' arrived as I sat in the sunshine attempting to avoid the cold wind that kept crawling down my neck. The handful of passengers clambered aboard clutching a few precious bargains. We sped back slowly to the bus station where we disgorged into the arms of other bargain hunters determined to lose their money on things they do not really require. The sun warmed the day out of the breeze as I walked up the road admiring the blue sky, the glinting of rays of shiny things and listened to the chirping of birds high above.
Naturally I was tired and after the repast that would be outlawed even by a hospital I wanted to sleep off my morning. Naturally the men on the scaffolding were again working, one painting something above the windows and the other erecting even more planks and poles. Crashing and banging, shouting, joking and far to much merriment in my view. There is too much happiness around and I think we need more misery! I must campaign for such and rid the world of joyful people, especially when I am tired! This continued for a while and at the first opportunity I gathered my weary bones and wandered out into the busy roadway for some peace and quiet. A walk round town, a visit to Tesco, kids and all, and back home helped me relax better than the workmen could. Now all is still, long tailed tits flit among the trees looking for supper, a few cars pass by, the sound deadened somewhat by the scaffolding, a dog chases an object thrown by the owner in the park and a form of peace has returned.
Looks like that means it's time for football then, innit!