I live in Scotland and my family live in south east England. They have mostly moved away from our home town (my mum is going to leave in the start of the new year), but they are all very much based in the south.
I don’t see them as often as I would like – especially since my daughter was born. But it’s okay, I think it makes me appreciate them all a lot more.
Besides I actually like where I live. I love living in Scotland and I like the people I’ve met here.
But sometimes when I’m out and about in the nearest city centre, if I’m feeling a bit stressed or anxious or sad, I head to somewhere that gives me a little comfort.
Marks & Spencer’s.
If you’re not familiar with Marks & Spencer’s, it’s a department store that sells really good quality food (expensive) and good quality clothes (expensive-ish). Oh and home-wear stuff. Their main target market is middle aged and old folks who have lots of disposable income. Oh and they sell great underwear. Cotton and comfy (I bought a pack of 5 today).
The reason I find comfort there is because it reminds me of my mum. She worked at Marks & Spencer’s for 50 years of her life (yes, really – she started when she was 15). My mum took so much pride in her work, her work ethic was off the chart and she always managed to get some sweet, sweet deals on turkey crowns every Christmas Eve.
I also used to work there. So did my three brothers, at some point in their lives. It was a family business (not really but kinda). My mum once said that we should be grateful for M&S for providing for us as kids, and I remember scoffing and thinking; my mum really doesn’t give herself enough credit.
When I walk into a M&S store I always think about my mum. I can actually picture her striding around the place, on her work phone, busy busy busy. If I ever needed her, that’s where she would normally be.
The smell of the shop is the same in every one I swear. A candle could be sold with the smell of M&S stores. It could be the in-store bakery but I think it’s just a mixture of everything.
I’d buy that candle.