Saturday, 10 July 2010

There's no recession here!

Birmingham was rammed today; packed with thousands worshipping at the temples of the great god Shopping.
The moorings are just a ten minute stroll from the heart of the city - now largely pedestrianised - and when we headed down Broad Street toward the new Bull Ring at about 10 a.m. it was merely busy. When we ventured back at about 2.30 it was jam packed.
Everyone has money to burn here. If the designer carrier bags weren't evidence enough then you just had to look at all the cafes and restaurants - not a table to spare as women-who-shop sipped chardonnay and pecked at salads.
As a compulsive non shopper it all leaves me pretty cold. Actually I'm not just a non-shopper; I hate shopping. I fear it. A casual contemplation that I might, possibly, remotely need a new pair of summer shoes turns into an increasingly desperate quest. I enter shops I know are too expensive or whose products are too ugly and dread the approach of an assistant who will drag from me the information that I need some shoes and then waste 20 minutes of both our lies showing me ever more horrible pairs until, desperate to end it all, I hastily buy a pair which I know already I will wear twice, hate, and put at the back of the wardrobe never to be seen again until I sneak them off to a charity shop in five years' time.
So Birmingham left me cold as an Arctic winter's day. Until we discovered the Bull Ring markets. Buzzing, vibrant, full of noise, life and stuff you'd never ever find in Selfridges. Stalls selling everything from bales of lace to pigs' heads to dodgy mobiles to flimsy looking tools.
We headed back to the boat with our non-designer bags, full of bananas and nectarines having contributed a princely £1.84 to the shopping God. That was quite enough.

No comments: