We had a trip out yesterday. An appointment for Mr 3 meant we had to go to Bath for the day. Bath is a lovely town. The Georgian architecture is beautiful; it’s one of my favourite styles. It is only marred by the fact that lots of other people want to go there too. When Tom-Tom tells you there’s less than a mile of the journey to go, and if you’re a reasonable athlete* it’d be quicker to run than drive, you know the traffic situation is bad. We were a bit nervous about finding parking. In the past we have found it an absolute nightmare, but we were pleasantly surprised.
It takes us about two and a half hours to get to Bath, so not completely unreasonable, but not exactly just popping out. It has been about four years since we’ve been there. Bear in mind when looking at the photos below, that the last time we were there this area was a horrendous concrete carpark, closed and earmarked for demolition. This, I suppose, contributed to the parking problems. We parked in the new carpark, three storeys underneath the new shopping centre. As carparks go, Festival Place in Basingstoke is still my favourite. Garrick house in Hereford is my least favourite. This one is at the Festival Place end.
We rose to street level in the lift and exited to see this:
We were very impressed. There are beautiful new buildings that are designed to blend in with the old and still be useful and modern. If you look carefully between the new buildings you can see an old one, showing its age only by the dirt it has accrued.
Each building was unique, yet in keeping and they housed some lovely shops. The best one? The Apple store.
Wonderful. I have never met an Apple store before. You can go in and play to your heart’s content while the products sell themselves. Oh, yes, I could have put a couple of things on the credit card in there.
We don’t go shopping much. I can count the times we went shopping in the last year on one hand, and I realised why. Frugality has crept up on us over the last few years, in the way it does when council tax and gas bills keep going up and income doesn’t. It has become second nature to not shop anywhere other than the supermarket or online after serious consideration. I realised yesterday the temptation I would be under if I lived within a short distance of a good shopping centre, to just try that mineral make-up, or splash out on that oh-so-cute coat for one of the girls, or justify the purchase of a MacBook because Mr Planetcoops could write an app on it.
After blinkering ourselves to the wonders of the shops, we had our lunch on this street:
*Not applicable to any of us