I will not be by myself grieving the loss of Marks and Spencer in town when it closes in November. If I’m in Barnsley centre I always pop in for an impulse buy and get my other half his favourite veggie wrap.

I salivate over the desserts trying not to pop anything into the basket, stock up on the baby sprouts when they’re in season, check out the toiletries and the gifts at Christmas, grab a staple-wardrobe black T shirt off a hanger. It is just so convenient where it is. There are so few frock shops in Barnsley that losing another is a blow. Marks has just always been there, its presence in the town is ingrained.

The high street is sadly diminishing and where does that leave its staff? I say this because I had occasion to go to Meadowhall not so long ago when the Marks in town just didn’t have my size (I need a short leg).

So there I was looking for the tills where a nice person will ask me if I want a bag and if I have my Sparks card - only to find that long counter gone. Instead were five self-service tills and a single shop assistant running between them like a headless chicken because all five were flashing red lights. Eventually one of them was reset and I ventured forth, scanned my item, paid - and lo and behold my light started flashing. Because you need a shop assistant anyway to remove the tag.

There was a queue of people waiting for this poor harassed woman who had to deal with all the people who hadn’t had their tags removed on clothes and had set the door alarms off, or something else had gone wrong with the transaction or people had just left because they were fed up of all this carnage and the till needed resetting. The more we advance, the more backwards we go.

I went to a memorial service last week for a lad I knew at school and met up with another pal who was in the same class and it was lovely to have a catch up and trade who we had kept in contact with over the years. It reminded me of the many funerals I used to take my dad to.

Another old friend gone gave him the opportunity to meet with people he hadn’t seen for a while and, ironically, they were jolly occasions. There would be jokes about ‘seeing you at the next funeral’ which happened too often, until one day it was his.

At a funeral of one of my other half’s friends, taken way too soon, the gang there decided that they weren’t going to be the people who satisfied that joke about only meeting up at funerals and started to see each other when they were alive to enjoy each other’s company, even if it was only for a coffee here and there. It’s something we need to get around to doing as we age, don’t put it off.

Yes we are all inconvenienced by the roadworks at present, but come on – we can’t have the cake and eat it. We moan about potholes and crap road surfaces and then when streets are closed off so they can be mended, we moan again. I’d rather have a bit of inconvenience than a knackered tyre. I know we all love a good gripe, but let’s pick our battles as they say.