I’ve just encountered one of the interesting aspects of our drive to buy everything online – emergencies. It used to be that when you lost an item, say a power cord for a computer, that you could do one of several things: ask a friend or colleague, or go to the shops. With the push for ‘everything online’ that last option has disappeared.

In the 90’s there was any number of places where you could find spare items for your travel kit. For example, I often added to my kit bag when travelling through an airport – the electronics shops there invariably had quite a collection of ‘things’ including mosquito zappers, bug spray, ear buds, headphones, travel pillows, clothes detergent, and any number of odd fitments for your average travel worrier. Failing that, the absentminded could exit their warm cubbyhole and venture into, shock! horror! the strip-mall or high street shops, and buy things from any number of places which stocked bits and parts. They used to be as frequent as nail bars in my local area.

Now, along with the growth of fixed-price betting shops (and those nail bars), I somehow miss those electronics shops replaced by endless coffee bars and empty hoardings. Of course, evolution of the most adaptable and all that so commerce has moved online where prices are cheaper, but the immediacy of picking things up when you wanted is now lost, and I’m back to ‘making do’ for a couple of days while the latest item wings its way to me via the postal service.


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