Monday, October 10, 2011

Westfield Stratford City Shopping Centre

Passageway on 2nd floor

If there is one thing I thoroughly dislike, it’s traipsing around after my wife when she’s exploring an indoor shopping centre such as Lakeside or Bluewater. I can make little sense of what is going on. Such an operation can take a long time; getting there, parking, walking around stores, examining goods; then the journey home. On my return I feel exhausted, and when I see what has actually been accomplished by way of purchases, sometimes none at all, I question why we went in the first place.

Entrance to Next

Recently, a new shopping centre opened at Stratford, right by the new Olympic stadium. Inevitably, I knew I would be asked by my wife to take her along to see what was on offer. A quick search via Google revealed all. Westfield Stratford City is the latest, glitzy shopping mall - more than a mall, a huge semicircular building comprised of three floors packed with stores, catering for the whims of all ages, but primarily targeting the under 40s.

In view of my recent awareness of the advantages of living a lifestyle more akin to those keen on green issues, I felt I could not justify the journey, but there was no way I could wriggle out from going along with my wife’s request. There was no point in presenting arguments in favour of not going, and as for including a view that we should reduce our combined carbon footprint, that case would have been absolutely hopeless. We recycle items, and have low energy light bulbs, but that’s as far as we harmonize on green issues. My wife does not consider being green important. Rather than getting uptight and refusing to comply with her request, I thought about possible positive outcomes.

Open plan bar

What positive issues could there be? Well, I dearly love my wife. We have been happily married for over half a century and I value the wonderful contribution she has made to the fullness of our lives. By taking her to Westfield I could share with her and help her enjoy the experience. I could try understanding what goes on as she walks from store to store, examining and touching items that appeal: a long winter coat, a woollen jersey, a pair of shoes, an oak display cabinet and so on. We actually had a good time together, but I did not enjoy the car journeys, because the roads were crammed full. Many of the drivers were impatient and there were examples of truly dangerous driving. If we were to go again, it would be by train, which would be quicker and cost about the same, but with less CO2 emissions!


You can see how difficult it is to change the habits of elderly folk. Getting older people to think in new ways is not easy. Computing is a good example. I know contemporaries who would not dream of trying their hand at a computer, and yet their lives could be enriched by the experience.

Text of the Day

Genesis 2:23, 24

‘And Adam said:

“This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.’


Westfield Shopping Centre

Lakeside Shopping Centre

Bluewater Shopping Centre

Olympic Stadium

Men Are from Mars, and Women Are from Venus (A book about marital retationships.)

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