Last weekend was spent in the South of England, visiting friends and relatives. I noticed two things: that the sales staff I encountered were helpful and polite, and that the food was excellent.
On the boat out I found some reading glasses for under a tenner, but I couldn't find a pair that I liked of the right power. So on the shopping trip in Fareham, I asked in the first glasses shop if they had any reading glasses for a tenner. "No, sorry, ours start at 25 pounds" But then the lady caught us up going out of the shop and listed all the other places in Fareham where cheap glasses might be found.
The young guy in Jessops who enthusiastically took me through the new Sony Nex-5 camera in some detail, even though I had explained that I wasn't going to buy that day.
And the guy in the fish 'n chip shop who made sure my chips had lashings of salt and vinegar on them, which is how I like them.
Now the only way to eat fish 'n chips is with your fingers, out of a newspaper, by the sea. I don't think they are allowed to sell them in newspaper any more, so ours were served in a sterile paper bag. But still, I enjoyed a bench on Warsash front, where I used to cycle, and superb fish 'n chips (and mushy peas), eaten with the fingers. And a stroll along the shingle beach afterwards, following the trail I used to walk with my bike, towards the cliffs that will eventually lead you to Titchfield marshes.