Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Empty Shops and Empty Pockets?

Now, some people might think that I'm a bit tight. (I prefer to think of myself as appropriately frugal). Anyway, I went shopping for a Christmas present today for one of my God Sons. We'd agreed not to see them until the New Year and I had, genuinely, not had time to find the present prior to Christmas.

I therefore spent a couple of hours at Castlepoint and the shopping centre on the old bus depot site opposite.

What was astounding was firstly how few people there were about, the car parks were busy but by no means full and the shops were equally busy but there were virtually no queues at the tills.

More surprising for me was the lack of stock on the shelves. Admittedly, we are at the end of a week in which there is little stock coming in to the stores, but even so there was a very limited choice of goods. This wasn't just the case in the electrical stores, but also in the food shops as well.

It's a poor augry for the coming year. Little money to spend, both by consumers and by retailers stocking their shelves will surely have a circular and knock on effect, one thing leading on to the other. It doesn't bode well and it proves how wrong the Government's policy of borrowing wildly to pay for tax cuts that have had little effect and to bail out the banks who continue to refuse to lend is.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day

James had to go to work this morning, just for a couple of hours to do a ward round. He was met with his first patient, a frail elderly lady, having arrested.

Despite his efforts and those of the team of nurses and doctors present I'm afraid she died.

The staff, particularly the nurses, were very upset. They had called her family, who arrived too late to see her. James had to speak to her daughter to explain what had happened. Her elderly husband was at home.

Christmas is a happy time for so many of us. We spent Christmas with our families, who spent the day with us at our home.

James' experience this morning though provided a timely reminder that Christmas can be a very sad time for some of us. My thoughts and prayers are with you if the festivities provide you with a reminder of sad times.