Isn’t it incredible the way shopping has become a modern day obsession and now one of the favourite past times of the British public?
I was thinking this only yesterday as we went round and round John Lewis’s car park for about 15 minutes before we finally found a spot.
Here we are in the middle of February, Christmas and the sales have gone and still the shops are mobbed. And according to some we are still in a recession?
Looking at all the 20 somethings eyeing up the latest gadgets in the Apple shop and seeing checkout girls ran off their feet in the designer shops certainly did not tally up with Solihull suffering too hard.
With huge queues waiting at Cineworld and tables full in La Tasca too, it is clear that there is still heaps of money sloshing around Solihull.
For a few moments I contrasted this wild consumerism with how different the attitude was to shopping when I was a youngster growing up.
Then, back in the 1970s, shopping was all about the local high street, with a selection of butchers, shoe shops, hairdressers and grocery shops. I remember my Mum walking along with her trolley behind her probably stopping in 5 or 6 shops for the week’s essentials.
That’s how it was then you only bought essentials. Shopping was seen as a mundane practice that you had to do through necessity.
It is only over the past couple of decades with American style malls, more sophisticated tastes and choice, and credit cards that the landscape of shopping has changed so much.
Far from getting dewy eyed about the reminisces of then, when if I didn’t go shopping with Mum it was help dad in the allotment, I really do think we are so fortunate nowadays and especially so in salubrious Solihull.
Sometimes Solihull folks winge and gripe, but really our gleaming town centre is something to behold.
With two youngsters, I feel much safer around Solihull than a trip to Birmingham, and the affluent environment can only help you feel positive about life. Although only a few miles from some run-down high streets, who have really suffered of late, it is a million miles different in so many ways.
So next time you are throwing a tantrum in Touchwood or moaning in Mell Square stop and appreciate what a wonderful town you have. To coin Harold MacMillan’s best-known phrase: ‘You’ve never had it so good.’