The many and varied means of gift buying these days does mean that we don’t always have to troup down our local high street for that essenial home gift buying or outfit for the firm’s Christmas dinner and dance. At one time this was a truly pleasurable occupation for me. I live in a town that used to have a fantastic little independent retail store. Definitely very much admired and entrenched in locals’ minds as the essential outpost for quality, style, excellence of service and just the right place to go for anything you needed that was not food or medical stuff. The store was excellent for any gift choice from glassware to kitchenware – particularly for those upmarket and unusal cookware items. Now that the tv world has gone beserk over professional chef competitions, home gift items are even more in demand. It also had an art department where you could hire pictures for a few months for a very modest outlay. All the goods are available online of course, but the joy of visiting this shop is impossible to describe.