Sunday, 18 March 2012

When shops were shops

Do you remember when shops were defined by what they sold?  Did you go to the ‘paper shop’ as a kid?  I know I did.  Every Sunday with my big sister to get a newspaper for Dad and some sweets from the penny mix, if we were lucky.   Then there was the baker’s, the butcher’s, the chemist, the florist, greengrocer.  I often long for this simple existence that I know still exists in many parts of the country.  I wonder how many young people around here though realise what it was like, not that long ago.  Do they realise how commercial their lives have become?
Did we actively make the choice that we wanted shopping to become a hobby or is it because we no longer go to church?  Or because we no longer have manual jobs so we are no longer shattered at the weekend?  Or because we no longer live near family, or close communities so there is no one to visit.  Is it because we are sold all this stuff by clever marketers and believe it all?  Or is it simply because they are open?  I have previously questioned my own desires being manipulated by lovely shopping displays, but I am also wondering what sort of weekend pursuits my little one is exposed to.  He has been able to recognise a certain coffee shop logo from a very young age.  He is certainly familiar with a weekend afternoon trip for a hot chocolate and is also familiar with the layout of several large shops near us.  He doesn’t question me going shopping on a Saturday night or as a family on a Sunday.
I think it may be time to make sure that shopping doesn’t become a default activity for us.  Remember when shopping was something you did because you needed something?  
I think I might be turning into a hippy....are there any communist countries left I can join?!?!

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