“Or we could go into town to get you something for your birthday,” my mum suggested, over the phone.

 “Ok, I think it’s stopped raining for now,” I answered, from the safety of my bed. I hate shopping, even for myself.
 “I’ll pick you up at half-eleven, then.”

It took ages to get into town; it was down to one lane over Laira Bridge, so we diverted via Faraday Mill and Coxside.
When we parked-up, by the Civic Centre, that wretched abheration of concrete cancer marring Plymouth city centre, it was lashing down and howling a hoolie.
On Royal Parade, we laughed our heads off as a woman struggled with her empty shopping trolley, which was being lifted into the air by a veritable hurricane, and the umbrella which was twisting around her head; I wish I’d taken a photo of her, just so as you’d believe how funny it was.

We headed across to several shops but, as usual, there wasn’t much on offer. Finally, I found a pair of boots that fitted both my budget and my feet; happy birthday to me!

Successful, we stopped off for about an hour at McDonalds for a chicken legend meal, and revived by their weapons-grade coffee, we made our way back to the car park. As we passed the Civic Centre again, the hurricane whipped up around the corner and, as the blurry photo shows, umbrellas were discarded in their hundreds.
Obviously, their owners were “fair weather friends”, nnngh!
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