The first weekend of the school holidays. Well, for the children it is. The teachers, including Carol, still have to go in to the Academy on Monday and Tuesday because they have training. Unfortunately. We went in to the Milton Keynes Central Shopping Centre early this morning and parked in Debenham's car park near Midsummer Place. A good deal easier if you park in there as I've probably mentioned on this blog before now, as you're more or less guaranteed a parking space and it's cheaper in the long run. I remember when the shopping centre opened back in 1979 and it was quite a novelty to have so many shops under one roof, you could park virtually anywhere and it was free. Now it is divided up into areas which have more expensive charges and not-so expensive and at one time there were a few free spaces if you got there early enough in the morning. But, unfortunately, the Council got greedy and made it paying. The same happened where I used to live in Bedford and the Council there put parking machines on the street so you had to pay to park. I wonder how much business was lost when they introduced these parking machines? Quite a lot, I should imagine. At least if you park in the Debenham's multi-storey car park you can just walk in through Debenham's store and if the weather is bad it is at least under cover. We went in and went down the escalator and into Debenham's as I want to look in the menswear department as I wanted to buy some shorts. As the weather is so warm at present I wanted to make the most of it, as I don't currently own a decent pair. I had looked on heir website and saw some I rather liked. Tailored one's in particular. We found several pairs on a rail and a very helpful member of staff came to assist and I took a couple of pairs to try on in the changing room and found that the ones I tried on fitted perfectly so we paid and then went out into the shopping centre. We went into Sports Direct and bought several shirts in their 'buy 3 for £10' together with a smart Pierre Cardin polo shirt for myself. Next into Waterston's to look for the new Harper Lee book which has just come out "Go Set A Watchman" which is a sort of prequel to her other novel "To Kill A Mockingbird." I have read this book as part of a G.C.E. 'O' English Literature course I did years ago. Also, we went to see a stage adaptation of the book a couple of months ago, so we were interested in getting a copy of that and the newly-published book. It was a good deal cheaper in Waterstone's and they had a special exclusive hard-bound edition of the first book, which was supposed to be a facsimile of the original edition which came out in the early 1960's. We eventually decided to not buy it at that time. We then went to Marks and Spencer's because Carol wanted to buy a pair of trousers for herself. It took quite a while to find exactly what she wanted. From there we went to Costa coffee to have a break, lattes and a rather tasty chocolate slice to share. Good to sit for a while and rest before walking along the shopping centre and eventually reaching W.H. Smith's where Carol wanted to get a magazine on dolls houses. We found they had the Harper Lee book for around the same price as in Waterston's but we hd got a voucher when we'd paid at the checkout for £5 off when you spent £15 on books so we bought the copy of "Go Set A Watchman" as well as a paperback edition of "To Kill A Mockingbird," together with a copy of a book which has been made into a film, "The Help" and if you bought two paperbacks you got one half-price, so with the £5 off voucher we seemed to get a really good bargain.