This was partly conscious effort from me - my mantra for Christmas shopping being 'keep it simple, keep it local' - but also because I happened to be in Oakham.
This is where we have to buy my daughter's school uniform, in a small independent store run by a lovely lady who occasionally has to shut the shop early if one of her children is ill or if she has a parents' evening.
I also shop in my local Post Office and Stores on a regular basis, where I'm guaranteed a warm welcome by Julie, Mike, Sam and Michele. They know what bread I like, what paper I read - they're even aware of my (slight) Fry's Turkish Delight addiction! It's great to have that level of personal service and interaction.
In complete contrast, my husband was recently overcharged in a supermarket - he bought some wine because it was on special offer, but on arrival home he checked his receipt and discovered he'd in fact been charged full price.
The difference was quite significant, so he returned to the shop for a refund. The staff treated him like he was a complete nuisance, and didn't even apologise for their mistake.
This same supermarket have also sold us in the not-too distant past a rhubarb yogurt which contained what appeared to be ham.
I only discovered this when I'd eaten some of it and wondered why there was something lumpy in my supposedly smooth yogurt.
We duly returned it - we were refunded the purchase price and told they would send it off to Head Office for analysis. To date we still haven't heard anything.
Genuinely, I felt sick afterwards, particularly when I told a friend about it and she replied 'Are you sure it was ham? It might have been the top of someone's finger!'
Apologies if you're reading this whilst eating. I can assure you that I won't be eating rhubarb yogurt ever again!