Retail therapy & iPad persuasion

Daughter is recovering well from her surgery. So much so that yesterday she had reached the point where she really needed to be getting out and about and back to normal. Remarkable considering it's barely a week. However, she knows she should exercise a level of caution, so with this in mind she decided that she'd like a little trip out somewhere in the form of some retail therapy.

A couple of weeks ago, Mrs G and I had been telling her all about 'Cabot Circus'; the relatively new shopping centre in the middle of Bristol. It's about a 30 minute drive on a good day, so I suggested we go and take a look at it. She would drive on the understanding that any discomfort could be dealt with by me driving instead and as Mrs G already had a hair appointment, this was to be one of those rare father/daughter bonding trips. And so our plan was hatched.

Personally I'm not a huge fan of the cult of shopping. Mostly I find it uninspiring and boring, but on this occasion I had some ulterior motives. Firstly, it was just good to get daughter back on her feet and feeling normal again and to be honest that in itself is reason enough to put up with the hell of retail rambling. However, Secondly, I remembered Cabot Circus being a pleasant and compact shopping experience so it wouldn't require hours of mindless dawdling. Thirdly, I wanted to try out some foursquare checkins in a different city (I really am that much of a geek) and finally, there's an Apple Store but no horse ( ) to my knowledge (I know, but like I said, geek) WooHoo! Enough already. Let's get going.

Not a bad journey. We were very lucky to have avoided an accident on the M4 which had just happened and caused a major tailback. No-one was hurt, but their cycling holiday was going to involve a lot more walking than cycling I fear. At the end of the M32 there's plenty of 'Cabot Circus' parking, so it's all very straight forward.

Daughter's jaw dropped somewhat when she realised just how many procurement opportunities lay in wait for her and it wasn't long before she'd busted her budget and was ready to head home. We had a bite to eat and while waiting for my watch repair had a crafty look in the Apple store (as you do).

Daughter is very forgiving of my geekery which I suspect is a generational thing. Mrs G, less so but she does try to understand. Daughter did share an interesting observation with me though; since Mrs G has had her iPhone, daughter hasn't heard her complain once about it (use of her previous handset was generally accompanied by a list of expletives) and now I come to think of it, neither have I. Mrs G may not approve in principal but in practicality it's clearly a different story.
And so to my opinion of my 5minute hands on with an iPad. Press the home button, press the Safari icon, browse a web page. Sold! It's that simple. They say it's like having the Internet in your hand - they are not lying. But my problem with it is the price. Innovative, yes, value for money, no. This is only made worse by the knowledge that the same device is almost £100 less if purchased in the US and that just feels like too much of a gap.

Well, daughter being the wonderful woman that she's become could clearly see this problem and came up with what she believed to be a stunningly simple solution. She's off to Thailand in November for 3 weeks, she'll bring me one back from there. Awww. Bless her heart.

I'm very lucky to have such a wonderful family. I hope they realise it.

I couldn't tell her they're still not available there yet and that grey market prices for them (at MBK in Bangkok) are about 20,500 Baht (£425) for a 16Gb WiFi - So the same as the UK then. They're $499 (£325) in the US. Maybe they'll be genuinely available by the time she goes and the price might be more attractive (or my will power will have disintegrated completely and I'll pay the extra)

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