RogerBW's Blog

Shopping in Wycombe 17 January 2015

I do very little shopping in person these days, and it's mostly in supermarkets. But yesterday I went to get a periodic eye test, so I thought I'd wander around our local shopping centre, "one of the top fifty shopping destinations in England". All images are cc-by-sa.

Oh, right, that's why I don't go shopping in person.

This isn't even a coherent lie. It's just words for the punter to recognise and go "oh, stem (drool) cells, I've heard of that (remember to breathe in), must be good for me (remember to breathe out)". It was at this point that I bailed out of the mall bit (nothing but chain shops, 80% or more of them clothes, most of the rest mobile phones) and got into outside air.

But I do like local cheap and tatty computer shops. I mean, just look at this case:

It looks like some sort of cheap knockoff transforming robot toy from the 1980s. And I think that it's probably meant to look like that. There's a market for this stuff. You won't find that in PC World.

And then one meets sudden unexpected things in the market. Like garlic biltong.

Mmm, garlic biltong.


  1. Posted by Michael Cule at 11:39am on 17 January 2015

    Well, at least you didn't take pictures of every empty shop and the proliferating number of charity shops (our only growth area...)

    But yeah, the street market does provide some good food from time to time.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 11:44am on 17 January 2015

    Where are the good charity shops these days? I popped into a couple, one of which had some rotefant (Ray Feist etc.), but all the rest of the books seemed to be generic romances.

    Not that many empty shops along White Hart Street. There's still that whole section of Eden that used to be shops but has now been panelled off to make it look like a corridor…

  3. Posted by Owen Smith at 12:55pm on 17 January 2015

    Cambridge's only growth area also appears to be charity shops. They pay minimal council tax as I understand it so can afford town centre shops.

    The only shops I go into these days are Maplin (buying weird batteries etc) and John Lewis, plus my weekly supermarket trip to Sainsburys, and places like Boots for a new shaver and so on. Home deliveries are a pain since I'm at work, so I do use shops a bit more than you,

    Also I find for DIY projects I still need to go to the relevant places. Awkward shapes or large weight makes for high delivery charges, and often I need to see something and use a tape measure to know whether it will fit.

  4. Posted by RogerBW at 01:00pm on 17 January 2015

    As I understand it, a charity shop can also usually get a better deal on rent, on the basis that clearly nobody's renting the premises at full price, and the charity shop can be chucked out at short notice if someone comes along who's willing to pay.

    Most of the things I buy (books, computer bits, games) are fungible as to retailer: I won't get a better-quality version if I go to Maplin or WHSmith rather than Scan or Amazon. If I bought more clothes I'm sure I'd go shopping in person more often.

    DIY. That reminds me, I need to start making plans for the Mk 2 Trebuchet.

  5. Posted by Ashley R Pollard at 01:16pm on 17 January 2015

    The only shops I'm interested in going to are Forbidden Planet, Orcs Nest and occasionally Foyles. The usual shops are just dreary beyond belief.

  6. Posted by RogerBW at 01:22pm on 17 January 2015

    Nearest Forbidden Planet: London.

    Nearest games shop: Reading. (But it's very good.)

    Nearest Foyles: London (Westfield).

    I didn't move here for the shopping. :-)

  7. Posted by Michael Cule at 08:14pm on 17 January 2015

    None of the charity shops have had brilliant F&SF collections in recent years. Oxfam on Frogmoor probably has the best general book collection with the British Heart Foundation (near the cheap computer store) and the Hospice place on the High Street running neck-and-neck in second place.

  8. Posted by RogerBW at 08:34pm on 17 January 2015

    I think it must have been the BHF that had all that Feist, this time. I'll try to get to more places next time I'm there (especially if there isn't sudden freezy rain).

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