The world is more or less my oyster

I toyed with the idea of calling this past Scaredy Granny’s Big Day Out, but that wouldn’t have allowed for more days out. Also, readers might not have got the fiendishly clever film reference or worse, might have got it and been unimpressed. There she goes again, with her tedious plays-on-words…

I just had to get out, somewhere, in the car even if I didn’t enjoy it. After two and a half – or is it three? – years out I had to go.

As a first woefully unambitious toe in the water I drove into Town and parked in Tesco’s car park. Tesco’s car park is free for the first three hours. You can watch people coming and going to your heart’s content. There are toilets. Sandwiches. All manner of useful stuff.

I locked up and went for a short walk down the High Street. All the usual characters – those who have nowhere else to be in the middle of a Friday morning – those who can go nowhere else because they don’t even have the bus fare – those whose imagination does not stretch to anywhere else. The High Street is their world. The wind was cold but the sun was warm, a strange and not entirely pleasant combination. Later the sky would come over black and the wind would win out over the sun.

I bought two long, loose cotton dresses, imagining myself, I suppose, floating around the house in midsummer, elegantly simple. Very few customers were sleepwalking around acres of retail space dotted with hopeful dress-rails. The girls behind the counter looked stunned that I had actually bought something – anything. Times are hard. Goodness knows what got into me. I think I just wanted an excuse to head back to the car.

I passed a shabby little shop. There was a faint air of Harry Potter about it. In the window a notice “NO HOODIES”. At once I pictured a gaggle of uninhabited hoodies skittering around the shop stuffing bags of sweeties up their empty sleeves and zipping up their empty fronts over stolen magazines.

I saw a large, blonde woman, more or less exploding out of a skimpy, stretchy black outfit, balanced on platform soles. Her skin had been sprayed an unbelievably dark shade of mahogany. She trailed a cigarette in one hand and was conversing with an avid-faced, smallish, balding man in jeans. Could this be a prostitute? I wondered. She looked like a pantomime version of the ones on TV, and was stood outside the sleeziest of all the many pubs in the High Street. Coming back, I noticed she was still there but I realised she was actually advertising her wares, as proprietress of the tiny tanning salon next door. A flesh-and-blood billboard.

And finally, back in my car, I watched a magpie walking. Magpies are my favourite birds, elegant in the air but not the best of walkers, strutting and reeling about like drunken sailors. But the thing with magpies is, they don’t care that they are awkward walkers. They love every single thing about themselves. Magpies are the coolest.

Where next? Well, if I can make it to Tesco’s car park, the world’s more or less my oyster.

6 thoughts on “The world is more or less my oyster

  1. That reminds me of taking my mother to the dentist and walking the High Street while waiting for her….given some of the human sights I felt a label ‘here be dragons’ might be more appropriate to the area.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Had to look that one up. Ancient race of headless, chest-faced men? Lots of drawings, which I now realise I have seen before, possibly in connection with the same maps. And yes, the hoodies : )

        Liked by 1 person

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