Yes, I hit the shops over the last few days, doing my bit to keep the UK economy from falling into a dark pit of recession.
I was also looking to see if the credit crunch curtailed had spending. Overall, things looked really bad. Judging by the lack of serious shopping and heavy pre-sales discounts, I anticipate a large number of high street chains to fail after the new year.
Yes, I did go the grocer shop in Knightsbridge, and the only thing I bought was an overpriced cup of coffee.
I don't understand Harrods; it seems more of a tourist attraction than a retail enterprise. There were few signs of deep discounts. Nor was there much evidence of serious shopping.
Westfield Centre - White City
The newest shopping centre in London is a scary place. I couldn't help thinking about all those poor hapless investors that stumped up the money to finance this white elephant. The place has the feel of a massive financial disaster.
It was eight quid just to park and I just don't think that people are going to pay that kind of cash every time they go shopping. How will the Marks and Sparks food hall survive?
As for discounts, there were plenty. Again, few signs of overloaded spend-happy shoppers.
I was there yesterday afternoon. True, there were plenty of people milling around. However, it was the bags, or the lack of bags that gave the game away. At 4pm on the last Saturday before Christmas, a scandalous number of people were walking around empty handed.
Again, there were lots of discounts, but few people seemed interested.
Woolworths - Harrow
Woolies is the future of retail; half empty shelfs, busted boxes containing soiled goods and sullen staff playing out their last days at work before redundancy. The shoppers were a miserable lot and generally seemed disappointed that Woolworths wasn't giving away their stock for free.
It was a grim sight.
Still, there is more to Christmas than shopping.