I've spent most of this afternoon in Tunbridge Wells Christmas shopping. It was a fairly dispiriting experience. The roads are treacherous, with many important roads remaining ungritted or cleared. On the Saturday before Christmas this is a disgraceful state of affairs. I spoke to several shopowners whose staff were unable to make it into work today. But there were quite a number of shops on the High Street and on the Pantiles which were shut all day.
As a former shop owner myself I feel terrible for them. As if they haven't had a bad enough year without this. And things don't look like improving over the next couple of days, with the big freeze continuing into next week.
I decided this year that I will do all my shopping in independent shops and not give any custom to the big chains. They can hopefully look after themselves. But in these incredibly difficult times, independent shops need all the help they can get. So if you're out and about tomorrow, give the chains a miss and spend your money in the smaller shops.