Hamble Campbell's Home Page

An occasional window on Hamble Campbell's world.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Sign of the times

Yesterday morning I went by train into Reading. I wanted to buy some fabric for a new project - a wall hanging. I will let you know how I get on with that. I thought it would be a development from water colours which I seem to have a bit of a block with at the moment.

Two grumbles.

Firstly, my train fare is now more than double what it used to be. This is partly because I can't use my rail card these days. In fact I don't even bother to buy a rail card any more because it has become so devalued. It can only be used for fares that cost more than £10 and only between certain times on certain days of the week and only on sunny days when the engine driver is wearing his peaked cap.

Secondly, when I got to Reading, the only shop in the centre that I could find to sell me fabric was Heelas (John Lewis now - the old family shopkeeper's name has been removed wherever possible, though archaeologists can find it still picked out in enormous letters in the brickwork). I've just looked in the yellow pages, and yes, apparently there are no other shops in the centre selling fabric by the metre - though there is a shop down the Oxford road.

I think the rent/rates are too high in the town centre and that is cutting out choice for shoppers. Even the big shops that are part of a chain seem to close down relatively soon after opening. Even Laura Ashley has left Reading. Newbury is probably a better place to shop, except it's not so easy to get there on public transport from here; Wallingford is pretty good too, but the bus fare is extortionate, despite being subsidised by the council.

What's a girl to do? I'll be in London on Saturday, but to see the exhibition of British landscapes at the Tate - no shopping allowed.


  • At 17 August, 2005 15:36, Anonymous Jon said…

    Dear Hamble,
    I did enjoy reading your blog. Its everyday sort of feel makes it so interesting. I also noticed the reference to this saturday and no shopping! I feel such a monster for not letting you shop. Anyway, I look forward to the exhibition.

  • At 17 August, 2005 20:54, Blogger Irene Adler said…

    I can hear the sarcasm ringing loud in your words.


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