I had my once a year trip to the town centre of our county town of Ipswich earlier this week. Seems strange to say that as I used go much more often (I also go twice for the dentist but rarely go into the town centre at the same time).
When Col went in to the Suffolk County Council Highways department office - usually once a week - I would sometimes get a lift in, especially at this time of the year when I was hunting for small presents for the children's Christmas pillowcases - long before Amazon and the internet of course.
Now the town just looks so sad, with so many empty shops, it's really depressing to walk round. This year it was the Samaritans second-hand book department that had disappeared since last year as well as the big names of Poundland and Wilko. I do miss Debenhams at Christmas- it was always good to look round - long gone now of course.
As usual I went into the old church for my coffee and cheese scone for breakfast. It employs people with learning disabilities or getting back to work after trauma. They do Christmas bookings and there was a party of ladies all having a Christmas coffee morning and other tables laid ready for lunches. - Looking very festive.
One reason for going into town was to pop the cards for relations in the town into the Scout Post boxes and to tour the charity shops to see what Christmassy things they had for sale.
I found two books I'd not seen before, one is Christmas pages from Good Housekeeping magazine between 1922 and 1962 and the other is a old book of short Christmas crime stories. I was also searching for a Christmas mug, with no luck, to replace the Christmas cup and saucer, that was passed on to a charity shop a couple of years ago because it was too big and heavy to lift when full.
In the Oxfam shop I bought a pack of Christmas placemats for the grandchildren - they have a picture to colour on one side and puzzles to do on the other..
Then I went up the A12 to Woodbridge to call in at the theatre to pick up the book I should have got last week (when it was too foggy to get there). I'd booked my ticket early enough to get this book included and when I couldn't go I rang for them to hold it for me if they could (otherwise I could have had a credit note for another event.) They had kept the book for me so I ended up not being out-of-pocket after all as the book is worth more than the ticket price!
Then home on the small roads cross country and it was surprising to find many places with standing water - we really have had more than our normal rainfall this autumn/early winter.