Hello, I'm Chrissie. I can't get over how lucky I am to be living at the seaside - I still love living at Cleveleys after being here for more than 15 years. I hope you enjoy my slightly cock-eyed look at life - come back regularly for a look at living beside the seaside, our mad family life and my view on local and topical current affairs. The weather often features, along with the very different things that you get to see and do when you live somewhere like this.

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Congratulations and Commiserations

A happy Royal announcement yesterday - and the news that Booths Supermarkets is up for sale

As usual, I always start with a comment on the weather. It blew and blew and hailed, leaving big patches of frozen icy patches everywhere, along with lots of wind. Which I must admit I’m getting a bit bored with now, as it seems to get into your head, although that might not be a bad thing as it might blow some sense into it!

Royal Engagement

Anyway, what about the news that Prince Harry and Meghan have announced their engagement which took place last month, good for them at last after a lot of speculation.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announce their engagement

Personally I think, and always have done, that he seems a really nice man and so natural. He has a way of becoming one of the people when he is out and about, no matter where he is, and doesn’t act ‘Royal’ at all, not like some members of the family.

This new generation of not being aloof and far away from reality is what the Royals have wanted for a long time and I suppose that is attributed to their mother Diana, who was determined they should have as normal a life as possible. I would imagine there will be a Spring wedding as what have they to wait for, and especially as Harry has always seemed to want children, so good luck to them and a happy future together.

Local Supermarket up for sale

Another bit of news that Derek told me when he was reading his beloved Sunday Times at the weekend (I sometimes think he likes that better than me - only joking dear) was the news that Booth’s the supermarket shops are selling up and looking for a buyer. To which I said that I wasn’t at all surprised because, although they have really lovely shops, they are so expensive don’t you think.

Booths Poulton
Booths, Poulton

The quality of the food is really good I must say, but expensive, and there are supermarkets a lot cheaper. It’s not hard to understand why they have made a £6.3 million loss last year compared to the year before where they made £1 million in profit.

I do wonder why they built a brand new shop at Poulton and made sure that Asda didn’t get it to want to sell not that long afterwards, it doesn’t add up does it, surely they were doing forecasts before they built it and made sure that it would be viable, or maybe they didn’t which seems more likely. After all why would they spend millions and do all that alteration to Poulton if they knew it wouldn’t be profitable.

Derek said that there had been some speculation about Waitrose being interested which if true is a bit out of the frying pan into the fire, price wise for your shopping, don’t you think!

Nice to look at, nice to grumble at :-)

When we go to Lytham we usually pop in the Booth’s shop there to have a look round their homeware section and get something to take home for tea and usually have a bit of a moan about how expensive their ordinary supermarket stuff is. For example, bleaches, household cleaning things, all the things that you find in ordinary supermarkets are such a lot dearer, but in Lytham town centre there’s not much in the way of choice of supermarkets. So it’s either pay at Booth’s, or a limited range in the town or get in your car and drive.

I must say that I do love their shops as they are so modern and light and airy and I do enjoy the food we’ve had from there, but would I make a habit of it being my first choice supermarket? No, it would add too much money onto my weekly shopping bill, how about you?

Sweep of the supermarket

Supermarkets have changed so much since I was a young married woman, with the shops then being a bit sort of old fashioned and not many of them.

I remember when Fine Fare came to our town which I loved, as they had such a better choice of foods, but again they were a lot dearer so eventually they got pushed out by other High Street retailers. Jane still goes on about the yoghurts I used to buy her from there when she was young, so that shop certainly made an impression!

Closer to home, can you remember when Wilkinson's in Blackpool was a Fine Fare? Jane spotted this photo on Pinterest - click on it to go to our Visit Fylde Coast Pinterest page.

Blackpool Fine Fare from 66.media.tumblr.com
Blackpool Fine Fare from 66.media.tumblr.com

There are still concrete frescos on the wall opposite Talbot Road Bus Station. If you want a photo you'd better get one before it's pulled down as part of the redevelopment!

Fine Fare fresco at Wilkinsons Blackpool

Showing my age now, I remember when I was young and went weekly to the local Co-op store where they served you with everything, and then you had it all delivered by a boy on a bicycle with a big straw carry basket balanced on the handlebars.

The food being weighed out into blue bags from sacks on the floor such as sugar, sultanas, rice and all sorts of things. Butter was cut with a wire from a huge slab of it and carefully patted into a square and then measured to how much you wanted. Behind the polished wood counter were rows of wooden shelves with all the tinned and bottled stuff etc which they had to get and bring to the counter.

The whole shop had an atmosphere of its own with all the sacks of perishables, smells and sights that made your mouth water, but oh it took absolutely ages to get served and with no digital tills, everything was written down separately and then added up on paper to find out how much you owed. 

I could go on forever but I will say that I’ve witnessed the revolution in shopping habits and it still fascinates me today. As for Booth’s, I feel sad they are giving up their shops and it’s not about knocking them, it’s about the fact that other shops are cheaper and have responded more readily to the changing times in my opinion. So for me, bring it on and onto the next shopping adventure!

What do you think?

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Published: 28th November 2017
Modified: 28th November 2017