I shall miss the shopping so much said Mrs Light as we contemplated our move to Gloucestershire.

As a mobile Londoner she had come to love Colombia Road Flower Market, Brent Cross, Oxford Street and of course Camden Market.

She had been spoilt for over 50 years.

This was a matter of some discussion but a promise was made.

If Mrs Light discovered any West Country shopping delights I would drive her there whenever she wished. The challenge was that she had to seek out these venues.

The delights of Cirencester proved pleasing and a happy maxim was established. If I can find it here that will be splendid and of course this is often the case.

Oxford was next.

The splendid park and ride scheme means that using the site near the Pear Tree roundabout we can be in Oxford in an hour. Happily I can immerse myself in Blackwell’s Bookshop.

Swindon, both the outlet and orbital centres are regularly visited. Easy parking and non-existent or minimal changes help enormously. Witney is a delight. Free parking and a chance to visit the delightful Minster Lovell ruins make it a charming trip.

The merits of visiting Gloucester are well known but are seldom explored. The “Birdlip Factor” is a nuisance. Sometimes you can drive through or at others, as so many know the hold-ups are more than a nuisance.

Cribb’s Causeway of course is on Penny’s list as is the Daylesford Farm Shop and Burford Garden Centre though happily just for breakfast.

There is one centre that has eluded her, and if it is finally discovered I have my answer ready. It will be stated that it is a crowded, claustrophobic city and parking is impossible. I refer of course to Bath, unvisited since we moved in 2005, but not for long I fear.

Mrs Light will look at the Theatre Royal Bath’s summer brochure. She will note the “stellar cast” for the performances of Uncle Vanya and will spot a familiar name. I am ready for this. In no way will we visit for a matinee; an evening performance with no late shopping will be the order of the day.

In defence of Penny she is not a prolific or one who wastes time over choosing her purchases.

The problem is me. I do not like it, apart from Foyles bookshop and café Cabot’s Circus.