Edited to address dear elizabeth's questions :-)
Children here move to Comprehensive School at age 11. Is that the same as your Middle School ? I imagine so.
Jasper Fforde is an author about whom I can wax lyrical indeed ! His first book, "The Eyre Affair" is summarised well here. Set in an alternative and quite hilarious Britain, where people still travel in airships as public transport and croquet is an obsessive national sport.......it just gets funnier and funnier.
Our local Superstore (well, about 7 miles away) runs a free bus three days a week so folk who don't have access to cars can shop there.
Today, the young ones and I took advantage of it. DD3 needs an extensive selection of stationery etc for when she starts Comprehensive school in September, and this particular store has a good promotion on these items. And I wanted chocolate :-)
The journey took 45 minutes, as it travels a circuitous route, taking in not only our town but four other little communities as well. This gave us one and a half hours to shop, and get back to the bus stop.
I deliberately only chose a small shopping trolley, knowing full well that a big trolley would be full to the brim by the time we finished, and we still would have to carry the shopping home from the bus stop :-)
We managed to get DD3's supplies, for the princely sun of £3.94. Not to mention the young ones at last have new headphones for their MP3 players, so they are blissful about that.
I am particularly blissful at finding a new Jasper Fforde paperback about Thursday Next which I haven't yet read, namely "First Among Sequels" for £3. I was also able to indulge my desperate need for Hummus and Matzo crackers, as well as a few more groceries.
You will be glad to know that I was very restrained and only bought one bar of economy chocolate for 27p.......though I was sorely tempted to buy more !