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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Better NOT go to SpecSavers, but Happy 50th Birthday Milton Keynes!

Yesterday was Milton Keynes 50th Birthday. Not sure exactly what actually happened on 23rd January 1967, but I think it was when the Milton Keynes Development Corporation was set up. It was decommissioned by the Government of the day 25 years later. I have been living in the City (is it a town or a city? It has never received City status. It is has always been the butt of many jokes, particularly over such things as the number of roundabouts and the famous or infamous 'Concrete Cows.' It's an easy place to find your way around, because the grid roads have so many roundabouts that if you loose your way you can always go to the next roundabout, which are at approximately every mile and merely turn round. It can be difficult to imagine that it has so many people living here because of all the trees and driving through the place you can never always see the houses as they are screened by trees which line the roads and then the banks that run along the grid roads are where most of the trees grow.

On Saturday morning we went into the City centre, specifically to visit the Central Shopping Centre. We were looking for flip-flop footwear. It probably sounds strange to learn that we wanted them because, at Nuffield, walking back and forth between the changing rooms and the swimming pool, it is quite slippery. It seems that most of the other people wear something on their feet, such as flip-flops. We walked the length of the shopping centre, stopping at several shops on the way to try and buy myself and Carol our own pair. No success. Probably because they are a seasonal item, which most people buy when they go on holiday, for use on the beach or at the pool-side. We eventually ended up in John Lewis, but no flip-flops of any kind could be discover. We went to their cafe to have lattes and cake, as by the time we'd arrived at John Lewis's we were exhausted. We eventually visited Sports Direct, which has a branch in Midsummer place and it was here that we discovered the flip-flops we wanted. On trying mine on at home, I found that I couldn't wear them as the central 'bar' that goes between my big toe and next toe was hurting my foot so decided that I really needed to purchase what are called 'Sliders.' These are made of a similar material as flip-flops, but are more like backless slippers, but made of water resistant material, a sort of plastic/rubber combination. I have since been to the Sports Direct branch at Bletchley, the retail park on perhaps the worst roundabout combination in the area and got a pair of 'sliders' there.

There is currently work going on in the Central Shopping Central. It's being renovated. The entrance we went into near Marks and Spencer has been given a real spruce-up. It has new flooring, and there are areas which are currently screened off, where the old flooring has been taken up, no doubt ready for new tiling to be laid. Along the malls at one end, there are new seating areas and it seems that a lot of the plants that used to be set into raised beds have been removed. Well, to be honest, some of the plants were beginning to look a bit tired. Quite a few died. They've been in position since the shopping centre was opened by H.M. The Queen, in 1979. It seems amazing that this is Grade II Listed and it can't be altered substantially. It would appear that the rest of the shopping centre (which must be one of the first covered shopping centres in Great Britain, probably after the Brent Cross shopping centre just outside London.) H.M.V.'s store is about to close. They have a sale on, due to 'relocation.' No doubt because they don't need such a big unit. Also W.H.Smith's did the same. They have now moved into a much smaller unit, I think it was where the Post Office was originally when the shopping centre opened. That then moved to a unit in one of the 'Walks' which link the two sides of the centre, but has since transferred to a new unit near the theatre, which has been open a few years now. It would make sense that, instead of closing a store to refurbish, the company moves to a new unit, which would allow the old unit to remain until the new unit was completed. B.H.S. has been closed down since the company ceased trading last year. Also, Woolworth's, the old unit they had opposite W.H.Smith's old shop is now a T.K.Maax.

This morning I went back into the City centre as I had an appointment at SpecSavers. If you've read my earlier blog post, you will know that I had my eyes tested in November. I had gone to Boot's opticians, but took the prescription to SpecSavers to have the glasses made up there. I wish I hadn't bothered. The staff in this place is either dumb or just plain stupid. Just being fair and reasonable, but speaking the truth. I wanted TWO pairs of glasses made up, under their 'Two pairs for £69.' Not too difficult to explain, surely. A week later I go back to collect the order and discover the stupid girl who took the order had got it wrong and given me TWO PAIRS of the same glasses, for distance. Doh! So I had to get them to get it right, and a few days later I get the correct order and then discover that the reading glasses are not suitable  for close reading as well as working on the computer (as now). I went back today to have a re-test. The optician did a good job, but the staff at reception or front's-house, or what ever, who take the prescription to have it made up into glasses, well, another really dump girl who couldn't get what I wanted and I had to explain I don't know how many time that I wanted reading glasses made up for more distant reading work. Dumb or what? Not particularly on-the-ball. I don't trust them to do exactly what I required and will not in future be going to SpecSavers. I think they ought to train their staff better. Just poor customer service in my opinion.

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