The High Street Obstacle Course


Ah, King’s Lynn. So important in the Middle Ages that they gave us not one market square but TWO.

Unfortunately, what they didn’t need back then were parking spaces. Damn it. Because now not one, but BOTH market places are little more than car parks.

Not quite the same, is it?

Plus, the market has to go somewhere. Which is, even more unfortunately, right down the middle of the sodding street. We’re NOT Portobello. We’re NOT Camden. We’re just a little market town…but let’s put the markets in the MARKET PLACES.

And it’s not even just the market stalls. Running the gauntlet of the High Street is increasingly just NOT FUN because of all the crap they put in the way. And I like shopping. But not like this. Today I had to contend with a toddler-filled buggy and:

1) A continental market.


It’s not even market day, which makes it all the more annoying.

The paella was very nice though. Although it was far more than I’d normally eat for lunch, thus meaning the market will be a contributing factor in making me FAT. Not good.

Charity muggers.

Note there is no photo of the chuggers. I wouldn’t dare slow my pace, let alone stop, lest I have a pamphlet thrust into my hand and my bank account details taken from me before I have time to ask ‘Hang on a minute, weren’t you working for Scope the other week? How come the WWF is now your passion? Do you actually care about the charities you work for or are you only in it for the money?’

3) Buskers


And more so than normal at the moment since the town’s music festival is on. Which seems to mean any man with an instrument thinks we want to hear him play. From the reaction of the squeezers-by, no one was really that bothered. Still, at least the scary-ass Morris dancing clowns have gone.

4) The world’s ugliest bandstand.


And if we’ve got to have an ugly bandstand, can’t we at least put the buskers on it? Let them all slug it out Hunger Games style on the bandstand and let the winner play. Mind you, my money would be on Juggling Jim, but mostly because he wouldn’t be – isn’t – afraid to use his guitar as a weapon.

Cat Stevens meets Katniss Everdeen.

5) A random advertising car.


No idea what it was advertising. And again, no one seemed bothered. Except I was bothered by it just being there. GET OUT OF THE WAY!!! Go fun yourself, indeed.

6)Teletubbyland. Apparently.


Thanks to the EU we’ve just had these installed. Aren’t we lucky?

Are you sure it was an EU initiative and not these guys who were responsible for our new pavement-hogging installations?

7) Perspex boxes.


Why sell your gold, buy e-cigarettes and have your middle-aged lady-beard plucked in private behind closed doors when you can do it surrounded by glass in the middle of the street?

Oh, and the irony is, that whilst the streets are choc full of tut, a lot of the shop units are empty. EMPTY!

People keep saying that the high street is dying. If you want to keep the high street alive let people walk down it unobstructed. Don’t ram it full of THINGS meant to make it more interesting but actually that just get in the way. Make it EASY, not into the shopping equivalent of an obstacle course. Because nothing had me desperate to beat a retreat back to the internet to tend to my spending needs than today’s obstructions.

By the time I got home I was ready to howl as much as Noodles. Still, at least it makes Husband happy as I didn’t spend money. You don’t think it’s all his idea, do you?!


4 thoughts on “The High Street Obstacle Course”

  1. I’m with you all the way, I find the high street so uninspiring. Most of the shops look the same and our nearest town is rammed with much of what you describe in the post. Sadly I think it’s the case for many, many high streets up and down the country. I definitely prefer to shop online or occasionally on the Kings Rd or Covent Garden but even then it is as much about having a nice meal and drink and people watching as it is about the actual shops. X

    1. It’s chronically terminal, isn’t it? You’d think someone would’ve found the answer by now. I’m
      Not sure weird, fenced off planters and street performance is it though. I’d rather just have shops I want to shop in.

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