its going to be maude’s 15th birthday next week – she is already taller than me and growing out of her wardrobe rapidly. her birthday present was a trip to top shop for not only practical clothes for forthcoming school trips, but for summer holidays and everyday wear. i have to admit, the prospect of spending 2 hours in such a busy store on a saturday is not something to look forward to, but our friend (who works there) kindly booked us a personal shopping service appointment, which made the whole experience pleasurable. i didn’t realise that this service is free for anyone who reserves it in advance, but you get your own personal dressing room, which you can use as a base to come back and forwards to with your potential buys, leave your coat and any bags in safely, so that you are not carrying around lots of stuff whilst you are browsing, and your own allocated assistant, who searches for sizes and alternatives if the items that you have brought dont prove to be right. it made shopping with teenagers a pleasure and on our first return back to our room, we found cup cakes and water – all for free. i would definitely recommend this service, though it did mean that we stayed much longer than usual, and spent more money than we would have done due to the whole ease of not queuing for changing room, swapping sizes etc… its quite a clever device for relaxing you rather than making you rush and just get what you need.