It occurs to me that huge chunks of the British population really do not care what they look like. This opinion was formed whilst shopping in a large South Yorkshire town a good few miles away from my home this afternoon.
The place has a fantastic market; the best for miles around I’d say. If it’s food you’re after then this market is short of nothing. I’ve never seen so many meat stalls, fish stalls, fruit and vegetable stalls, cheese stalls and delicatessen stalls anywhere before. I love the place for fresh food shopping. I would suggest, however, that you don’t go browsing in the food halls with an empty stomach, because you’ll spend more than you intended, guaranteed.
This busy town also has a great indoor shopping mall, recently extended to house some of the best shops and brands known to the UK. There are some marvellous designer shops tucked away down side streets as well, with window displays to die for.
But the people walking about. Dear, oh dear. They are a sight to behold. Well, most of them I’d say. Today I’ve seen young and middle aged women with tatty hair, in baggy dresses with anoraks over; young men and midlife men in ill-fitting jeans and cheap shirts; and numerous teenagers dressed in shell-suit style fabrics with scruffy trainers. There was a distinct lack of well dressed people out and about. And every time I go there I think the same thing.
This town has a busy, somewhat affluent feel to it. The shops are full to brimming with fashionable and attractive clothes. So why does the population here appear to own nothing but mismatched clothes from jumble sales or charity shops? And more to the point, how on earth do the shops survive? Who the hell is buying their goods? Because it’s definitely not the local population this midlifer was shopping with today.