Posted by: travelrat | November 29, 2020


In normal times, a trip into Salisbury really wouldn’t rate a mention. It’s only about ten miles away, and I used to go there often. But, this year, it’s different. Two lockdowns and a two-week quarantine meant only three trips this year … including this one!

We regarded this as ‘essential’, because Lorraine had an appointment at the optician. I went for the ride; I was starting to get a bit stir-crazy, and justified the trip with some business I had to conduct at the bank.

The bank was open, as were the food shops and coffee bars. They’re regarded as ‘essential’. Although very little else was open, there were still plenty of people about, and every other person I saw seemed to be clutching a cup of coffee. Under present rules, you can’t sit down with a coffee, as you should, but you can buy one to take away. I normally like to sit down with my coffee, but we live in strange times; I bought one, and joined the throng. But, I did find a bench to sit down on while I drank it.

And, a puzzle. What is regarded as ‘essential’? There are two booksellers and stationers within yards of each other … yet W.H. Smith was open, and Waterstones closed. I can only guess why … could it be, maybe, that Waterstones don’t sell newspapers?


  1. There was a lot of noise on social media to make bookshops fall under the ‘essential’ category, fo mental health reasons during lockdowns…my local Waterstones is closed too. WHSmith tends to sell food and drinks too (snacks etc and sometimes sandwiches – maybe that’s why they managed to stay open) 🙂

    • That could well be it; I have been known to pick up the odd bottle of water/chocolate bar/packet of crisps, usually at branches of Smith’s at airports or railway stations. But, I would,t regard this kind of stuff as ‘essential’ (it’s usually cheaper at the supermarket, too!)

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