Monday, August 24, 2015

Trip Into Milton Keynes Centre

As we were unable to use the car  at the moment(as described in the earlier blog post.) we decided to go into Milton Keynes Central Shopping Centre on the bus. As I have a free bus pass (now being of a 'certain age'.) it seems sensible to use it (Carol has to pay full price for a bus ticket.) and we left the house at around 9.30. It was unsettled, weather-wise, and we had to put on jackets. It wasn't raining as we left, but the sky was becoming very over-cast, with dark clouds. We got to the bus stop in Saxon Street and soon caught a bus. It took us to near the Milton Keynes Theatre where we got off and went into the Central Shopping Centre. Carol wanted to go into Pret a Manger, the coffee and food outlet in Middleton Hall, as one of her former pupils worked there and had said, if she visited, she could have free coffee. Which is what happened. She was so pleased to see the young man, who was very well-mannered and she was so happy that he is doing well. I presume he is working, like my stepson Daniel, who is at Newcastle University and has a part-time job to supplement his student loan. We had really come into the shopping centre more as a way to fill in time, and to 'window shop' as we can't currently buy much until payday this Friday. We did browse in The Works, which always seems to have an amazing selection of books at discount prices and the stock changes so rapidly you have to keep returning because of snapping up any bargains. We went into Hotter Shoes as Carol needs a pair of comfortable shoes for work. She tried a pair on and finds it difficult to get shoes in her shoe size, which is very small. Expensive shoes, but very well made. Good that they are all manufactured in this country. I think you get what you pay for. Later we went into Tiger, the new store further along from Pret A Manger. I mentioned that we visited the last time we were in the shopping centre. It would appear that their stock changes regularly because a lot of what we saw last time, and it was only a week or two ago (when we had walked into the centre along the canal.) and the stock was different then. We looked in at W.H. Smith, but compared to the stock in Tiger, such things as pens, ring binders and notebooks are a good deal cheaper in the other store compared to Smith's, which looks really boring and bland in comparison. Carol's favourite store in Paperchase and we had to visit, even if to just browse, and I was pleased to find that they had a particularly good selection of notebooks as well a range of pens which I have only just discovered called Lamy. I have purchased a mechanical pencil and ballpoint pend via Amazon as well as buying Carol a ballpoint which had free engraving. Actually quite expensive, but worth it, as they are well made and feel good in your hands when you're writing.  Next we visited Gregg's and had baguettes and sausage rolls. We then saw a display in a shop called Mr Simms' Olde Sweet shop, of sugar-free sweet in their window, so we went inside and bought a small amount of sugar-free sweets as Carol was recently diagnosed diabetic. It was quite encouraging to find such a great range of such products. We  gradually walked as far as Marks and Spencer which is at the opposite end of the shopping centre to John Lewis and purchased some bits and pieces for our dinner later in the evening.  I was most impressed by the cashier, because when we'd arrived at the checkout, Carol decided we needed some soy sauce to go with the stir-fry we were having that evening. The lady got up from her seat at the till and went to find Carol, who we could see struggling to find the soy sauce, and the lady managed to point out the location. That's what I call going beyond the call of duty and was really impressed. Not many staff in a shop would go to such lengths to help a customer. It had by now begun to rain quite heavily and we had to get to the bus stop next to The Point (which is in a really poor state of dis-repair. Sad to think such an iconic building left to deteriorate so badly. Shame on whoever owns it. Surely it could be restored to it's former glory and be put to some use or other.) and managed to return home, through the rain-soaked streets of Milton Keynes and were glad to get back and I made us tea.
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