This week’s Friday observations are from a different one to my local. I’m away at the moment and spent a pleasant hour this morning in a delightful coffee shop in Alnwick. While I was there finishing of a poem for my short stories blog I found myself staring out of the window. Across the road, in the main street, were four buildings which seemed to epitomise life today.
Building number one was a Bank, part of the great institution we have to blame for all our present recessional ills. I couldn’t help smile when I noticed that it didn’t open on a Saturday, obviously it opens at its convenience, not ours. Though money was still available via our plastic and their hole in the wall. Often money we don’t have but they will still let us borrow, at a price. One reason why they are still rich and we grow poorer.
Next door was a shop well-known for its cheap food. Its windows enticed you in with slogans such as ‘More For Your Money’ or ‘8 Chicken Breasteaks Only £2’. The emphasis on more for your money not quality for your money. It was busy with people trying to make a meagre budget stretch further. The emphasis on bulk rather than nutritional value or healthy eating.
The third building of the four was your friendly Building Society. Once a place for savers and house buyers. Now few people can either afford to save or have the money to buy a house. This is now the building you go to in order to delve into past savings accounts to top up the threatened pension scheme. Or somewhere you go to ask them not to repossess the house they were so eager for you to buy when times were good.
The final building is the Hight Street Chemist. This is where you find all the answers to your prayers. There are the shelves of vitamins you need to supplement your poor diet, or the bottles of tonic to give you the energy to keep up with the demands of everyday life. It is the place to take your prescriptions for those pills that you need to fight off the stress and depression.
What made the whole scene even worse was the fact that I was looking at these buildings as the rain poured down. Another wet July day. Next time I go to this great little coffee shop I think I will find a chair where my back is to the window.