'Hell is other people'. So said Jean Paul Sartre. Perhaps he'd just come back from a trip to the January Sales?

I say this because his quote was the first thing that came to my mind on a trip to the White Rose between christmas and the new year. Just the act of even driving to the place was a drag due to the weight of traffic. To make matters worse we weren't even interested in shopping or the sales. It was just that Mrs Windbag needed to pay a bill and it was a convenient stopping place to eat on the way to the football.

Maybe its time that shopping centre's introduced a new category of parking. We already have parking for disabled drivers and families with small children. How about spaces reserved for those of us who aren't fussed about the sales?

The skills required to park up in a crowded shopping centre are way beyond me. I don't have the patience, tenacity, persistence or sheer bloody mindedness. I can't be bothered with that whole thing where you spot someone who is heading towards their car. You stop your car right besides them whilst a huge queue builds up behind you. They seem to take a lifetime to pack their shopping away. Then they sit in their car as if in a trance for what seems like hours. Then eventually they manoeuvre their way out of the space but manage to block you so that someone from the other side sneaks into the empty space and you are left there seething.

Thankfully I didn't go through all that instead I just headed straight for the overflow car park and somewhat fortuitously found a single space. 

Once inside the shopping centre the sea of humanity is upon you. Just moving a few yards seems to take forever. Nobody looks very happy to be there which makes me wonder why we spend our hard earned free time doing this sort of thing. I'm not a big one for shopping. Its one of those necessary evils in life (like work or the washing up).

I can understand the sales rationale. I am a bit sucker when it comes to CD sales. I will tend to buy things I wouldn't normally because they are cheap. Mind you with the state of the music industry the sales are permanent rather than seasonal.

Eventually we finished our business and escaped. Next year, I thought to myself, I'll make sure that I don't have to go through this again. In my heart though I know that in approximately a year's time I will be back.

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