So, five days after my birthday I was going to get around to spending /exchanging a couple of gift vouchers. My visits in to town are exceedingly rare, albeit just a few minutes drive (courtesy of ma belle chauffeuse) and scarcely longer via the regular bus service but, today, I had to be in town for an eye test in the early afternoon.
We quickly found a suitable free parking space and headed to the HMV shop, upstairs in the shopping mall. The layout of the store seemed rather random, to put it kindly, and the temperature in there felt more like a sauna and equally airless. Admittedly I was already freaked by the movement of people and traffic, albeit on a reasonably quiet afternoon for a town centre, and the rather bright lighting did little to alleviate my sensory overload.
I managed to find a CD that I’d noted down a few weeks ago, Joshua Redman “Still Dreaming” and also picked up a John Scofield / Pat Metheny album that complemented other CDs & vinyl in my jazz collection. In this same small section of the store I also picked up a cheap CD of Miles Davis ‘In a Silent Way’, my 1969 vinyl copy having been overlaid with a crackling surface after being overplayed on various turntables. Another album, Miles Davis ‘Bitches Brew Live’ performances from Newport Jazz Festival 1969 & Isle of Wight 1970 came at a very low price and was added to my basket. I couldn’t face up to any further searching around and felt an immense sense of relief to get out into the air.
A short amble through M & S demonstrated that it was possible to have a tolerably cool and airy sensation in a store, nor were their lights over bright. There followed a short walk down to the opticians in Boot’s store, where optician and optometrists promptly carried out the necessary tests. Last year the change in my vision was so slight it wasn’t worth replacing the current spectacles; on this occasion my right eye had become marginally more short-sighted and, there were early signs of cataracts developing in both eyes.
In retrospect, I realize that I shoudn’t have attempted to tackle more than one task during a visit to town; having spent much of my working life in or close to a town city centre, since 2003 I have rarely been into town more than a couple of times in any year. Any future purchases of CD, vinyl or DVDs will be done online.