The universal constant
Today I went home to Lichfield to visit my parents, and mid-afternoon - in-between rain showers I thought I'd nip into town to see what's changed since the arrival of the new super massive Tesco Extra....
Walking up from Beacon Park past the cathedral, I was pleasantly surprised: in a time where most high streets are closing down, the part of Lichfield seemed to be doing rather well - lots of new smart cafe's and restaurants have cropped up in and around where I remember the old model train shop being.
Walking further into town past the familiar collection of pubs, and charity shops I reached the site of the old Woolworths. Naturally I knew this wouldn't be here any more, but it has been replaced by what can best be described as a down market version of the very same thing!
Hmm... oh well, when times are hard.
Making my way past the fire juggler into the market place past St Mary's church, I was surprised and disappointed to see that Curry's was no more either. Always good when I was growing up for a bit of teenage boy Saturday window shopping!
What started off so promising was turning into an all too familiar sight, and continued to get worse as I went up the main shopping precinct. Buxton and Bonnets - home of school uniforms since I was old enough to want one is now a Christmas crap shop.
The post office has gone and has now moved into the back of WH Smiths.
The bargain shoe shop on the corner - always on the verge of closing, has closed.
The mobile phone shop at the very top has gone.
As has Birthdays
Even TJ Hughes - once the flagship store of Lichfield is boarded up.
But despite all this, one truth has remained constant. No matter how bad times are. No matter how little money anyone has to spend on the high street.
You will always find a Costa Coffee.