The ongoing saga of a weekly That-Was-The-Week-That-Was posting.
Commenting on things that caught my attention for better or for worse and left me shaking my fist at the sky and shouting "Whyyyy!!!"
After all: until science brings us a better use for Thursdays - what else is there to do?
I can just about remember shops that specialized. Little corner shops that would order you something in if they didn't have it, sweet shops that would weigh out a pound of gobstoppers, little electric shops where a chap in a brown overcoat would locate some solder and a 9" screwdriver from a dusty shelf. Butchers and Bakers who would cut your meat or wrap your loaf of brown bread for you while you waited
There was even a greengrocers shop at the end of the road, next to the hairdresser who looked like Benny Hill.
Now, of course, we live in a fast paced world where we don't seem to have the time or patience to go to specialist shops - we want everything under one roof and we want it cheap and thus the supermarkets are doing a much better job of taking over the high streets than any invading army ever did.
Not that small shops don't exist - they are still out there, but in my view they are missing a trick by failing to offer the personal service that is missing in a big sell-it-all shop.
For instance - at the moment I am looking for a tablet computer, as I will shortly be without the laptop that I have been using to write these blogs with - something that I can use on the move for reading, something that can be used with a keyboard so I can write and something that can store and allow me to play with music apps - but getting clear advice on which one is the one for me is a pain.
Lets take an imaginary shop and call them: PC Supermarket - this is a shop that sells TVs, laptops, fridges, printers, ink cartridges, stereos - but inevitably the staff, as a result, are mostly focused on sales and don't actually know a great deal more about it than you do
So surely there is a gap in the market for the small specialist shop that only sells laptops and tablets where you can go and get proper, informed, advice. You'd think so, wouldn't you - but the few that I have tried so far are no better than the corporate giants
It's like earlier this year I was looking for some new music equipment - a home recording box to replace my old and battered tape system - but when I went into the local music shop the response was "none of us really do any home recording"
Not the most helpful response and not one designed to inspire confidence in the idea of future custom at that venue
Maybe this is a British thing, but my general experience of small shops is that they are generally run by people who seem to show nothing but disdain for their customers - especially in the face of a question , people who despite living what is presumably their dream job of owning a company that reflects a life-long passion seem to be longing for death and will only grudgingly take your money. Musicians are particularly bad for this as the moment that you walk into their private guitar show room they stare at you like you are from another planet.
So come on guys - given the opportunity I'd much rather support the small businessman and would cheerfully take my hard earned money to a place that I can rely on - just give me some proper help when I need it
(NB: in the interrim period whilst I obtain a new machine there may be a break from blogging - please bear with me and normal service will be resumed as soon as possible)