Having two boys has made people say some odd and rude things over the years, one more than most is ‘who will you go clothes shopping with?’ Why? Are boys banned from the Trafford Centre, Bluewater? Is it illegal for them to buy a t-shirt? The presumption, presumably, is that boys don’t like clothes shopping and that clothes shopping is a life-saving activity that all girls live and long for. (Another note for the ‘knob-head people’ comment jar I keep deep inside my brain). Shopping is fun, and I like the next person, do enjoy it from time to time. But it doesn’t define me of my gender, nor does it for my teenager. He needs clothes, to get them we have to shop for them. Simple. I haven’t bought him more than the odd t-shirt since he was about 10. He likes clothes, but I am relieved to report he is not brand addicted, he likes lots of different stuff. So when trecking around Cheshire Oaks recently it was quite the trip. We got there are around 10.30am and the place was already heaving, they have staff with little lollypop signs running around with ‘Space Here’ written on them; it felt very USA mall! I was, of course, delighted as I could inhale a Pret A Manger latte, something I’ve loved since my 15 years in London and very rarely get to enjoy. Top Man and Burton were the top-end of the high street when me and brother were teenagers, then the sports brands Lacoste and Ellesse were the next big thing. Now we have North Face, Jack Jones, Tommy Hillfiger, Boss, Lacoste, Hollister, Ripstar, 11 Degrees and Ralph Lauren, I could go on! As well as style, I look at cost and fabric and there is some expensive shite out there, even with designer brands. Every shop of this nature had music blasting and great big screens with shiny happy people bouncing around on beaches, flipping their skateboards or slow-mo endless shots of flippy hair and big white smiles. It least it gives me something to look at whilst my boy tried stuff on. Two and a half hours later, five tops and t-shirts, two pairs of shorts and a pair of flip flops we were done. He needed some new smart stuff for his week’s work experience, as well as the fact he’s grown yet again. We returned to Pret for a take-away lunch (yey!), how many chicken and avocado sandwiches have I eaten over the years? Once back in the car and with some other people revving their engine for us to depart the space, he said ‘Cheers Mum love my stuff, shopping is fine for a bit but then it gets dull’ I’m a girl and I couldn’t agree more.