I went out to Wigan with Random, on, I think, the last shopping Saturday before Christmas. The weather was terrible. I had a really good time shopping. Random was willing to explore everywhere until we got tired, and also willing to wait while I had a good look at what was on offer. It was all really good-tempered and pleasant, and having time to stop and get my bearings meant I didn't get overwhelmed or end up triggering a migraine. There was only one screaming child.
At one point, we were following a real life Calvin, although (mercifully) Hobbes was not in sight. During all of this retail wandering, I saw not one thing that I thought would make a nice present for someone I know. I'm wondering if part of that is that I've barely seen anyone - the last time I was in Nottingham was for the Novacon before last.
At the stop where we get off, there's a really nice café close by. It does fancy coffees and teas, basic grub, booze if you really must have booze with your sandwiches and Wigan Tapas: a selection of small pies served with I forget what. There's also Fizz and Chips; different sorts of fish goujons, chips, mushy peas, tartare sauce and two glasses of bubbly. I'd love to take my mum there.
The last place we went to was a booze shop with a wide range of single malts, including the one I really want - yet again, I didn't have *quite* enough money to buy a bottle of the 21 yo. But it's £125 and one day, I will. I got liqueur de espices (*not* liqueur de pain de espices, gingerbread liqueur, but a spice liqueur with anise and mace among other things), ginger liqueur and 'Old English Bush Liqueur Cordial' which, even after reading the label, could be *anything*.
Random set us off the bus a full mile down the road for the convenience of the bus driver(!) but I don't think it's done me too much harm. I got back, and I've put the dishwasher on, plus I've got lamb stew cooking right now, full of leftover spiced roast vegetables and unwanted lamb chops, plus some fresh veg and meat and a lamb stock cube.
On the whole, a really, really good day. Probably my most fun day in the last two months. Thank you, Random.