The Hatfield Galleria opened in 1991 and sits above the A1 motorway tunnel. It was designed in the shape of an aircraft hangar to celebrate Hatfield’s aeronautical history.

As it’s a cold wet afternoon and only a ten-minute drive away, we decide to go and have a look around at it’s many designer outlets. It feels different from St Albans in some ways, more urban, with a younger crowd, nine-screen cinema and lots of restaurants to choose from.

Before we shop, we sip a cappuccino in Costa. I’m currently reading a book on Venice by Jan Morris, my favourite travel writer. We can hear the children’s train bell ringing out in the play area as it travels in a circle in the background while students from the nearby De Havilland campus of the University of Hertfordshire sit and chat in the warm.

My first shopping stop is TK Maxx, how on earth do I describe this place? It evokes prehistoric hunter-gatherer tendencies buried deep within my female psyche. Bombarded with a huge quantity of discounted stock in disarray, I naturally step closer to pick things up, have a good look at them and check their price. It is a marmite experience, love it or hate it!

The good value means that before I know it, I’m carrying a basket filled with some random items that I probably don’t need like a pair of Calvin Klein tights, a random Figue de Provence soap and a notebook decorated with gold spots; so many jumbled sections, colourful packaging and brand names. I seem to have forgotten who or where I am; that’s the effect it has on me. I leave the store and re-balance with a few deep breaths.

I discover that my husband has left the store and texted me. I find him in Waterstones seated in a comfy leather armchair already on chapter two of the latest Robert Harris book. I love this branch as it’s really spacious and well stocked with fiction. I leave him to it and go and have a look at some fun stationary displayed at the front of the store and travel guides for our summer holiday.

I never quite understood how Sports-direct works. I have a look at some sports vests only to discover that the ones I like are actually arranged on a top shelf close to the ceiling! The place is busy and the sales assistant has to go and fetch a ladder that reaches up to the sky just so that I can have a look at them!

By now my husband’s patience is wearing thin so I sit him on a bench and promise that if he waits for me to have a brows in Ghost downstairs, we can go to CEX before we head home.