Monday 15th June was allocated to opening non-essential shopping in England, and it seems to have gone down a storm. Boris would like a word with y’all
Boris, me old buddy, the prospect of 10% unemployment1 is heading towards these punters you’re exhorting to shop with confidence. Isn’t it better to shop with confidence you will have a job to pay for your consumerism first? Not sure I’d start with Westfield either, I don’t have fond memories of my last visit to Westfield – a food desert of overpriced junk.
Nevertheless, we decided to go egg on the economy the Ermine way, so we headed off to the South Coast. Mrs Ermine wanted to swim in the sea. She was much taken with it – on the south coast you can see some depth into the water, which is a step up from doing that in the North Sea, which is pretty murky.
Personally I can’t understand the attraction – you get salt in your hair and sand everywhere. I am a weak swimmer, however, and when I hear this sort of thing then I just don’t fancy my chances at all.
Indeed Mrs Ermine started talking of rampant consumerism – she is thinking of getting a snorkel and fins. I was picturing this sort of thing and wondered if that’s really a kindness on a public beach. Suppose it’s one way of encouraging social distancing
Apparently she means flippers. That’s future consumerism. We had more immediate requirements for consumerism, and dropped £60 on this,
and mighty fine it was too. We got to eat it on a table, but we had to provide that and the eating irons ourselves – we had it in our camper van in the National Trust car park. Call me timid, but I think trying to wrangle half a lobster on one’s knees using a blunt wooden fork could easily end up a tragic waste of fine seafood.
Although we were doing our bit for Britain, personally I think that hospitality is toast. This sort of thing is all very well in midsummer, but it’s going to suck bricks in winter
plus there’s still rent and maintenance on the buildings that you can’t turn a profit on. Sure, you need the kitchens, but there’s a lot of wasted space on the eatery. Perhaps they will have got that sorted by Autumn, because al fresco dining in the rain isn’t the cheeriest prospect in the world. Margins seem razor-thin in the restaurant trade. Second-hand catering equipment and premises will probably be very cheap next year, perhaps it is down to a new generation of restaurateurs to build the new world out of the ashes of the old.
We did research this because we didn’t want to do a Weston-Super-Mare to the people of Dorset. This was a smaller site, and the National Trust seem to be OK with visitors. They make bank on the car parking charges at £6 a day 😉
We are toying with the idea of switching allegiance from EH to the National Trust to get the member parking rates, as there are more locations in the region where member parking will let us recoup the cost of membership, and this next year is going to be more one for day trips like this rather than going further afield. Pity that EH and the NT aren’t the same thing, but I’ve already had that grouse. Fortunately either get you into Stonehenge and the Avebury car park. I figure we will get better value out of our small camper van over the next couple of years,
Post-lobster it was time to climb up to the top of the cliffs overlooking the sea, and look at Bind Barrow. The field was grazed by cattle, and on observing a pizzle we decided that this was going to be a short visit. It could have been a bullock, but without binoculars it’s a tough call 😉
the face mask conundrum
One of the pictures from that FT article shows me that despite Boris’s exhortations I may struggle as a meatspace consumer in the coronavirus economy
because I have an irrational but visceral yuck reaction to face masks. It’s not the same as Donald Trump, who thinks it’s unmanly. I’ve never had trouble with this sort of thing at the dentist, but on the street I am not sure I want to be there, because it really really highlights that every human I meet might be the invisible enemy. I am perfectly capable of understanding that this is a social good and is mainly there to protect the observer. But hell, it’s just how I feel, and I don’t have to go on public transport, and if it is mandated, I don’t need to go where other humans are for my shopping. I don’t want the visceral feeling of being surrounded by the enemy. Maybe I can jump over it, but at the moment I just don’t want to move around in a world of masked people. If the experience is going to be that intimidating than I will go full Solarian and order stuff online.After all, if we are going to be replaced by AI robots we all have to start sometime…
Oddly enough I can cope with seeing this sort of thing without any trouble