CHAPS who aren’t interested in the niceties of feminine attire can switch off here.

Right, ladies. Am I the only woman in Salisbury who needs slippers in summer?

Am I the only one whose last pair wore out at an inconvenient time in the retailers’ calendar?

Why couldn’t I find any in May?

I tried M&S – everybody’s first suggestion – and found a dismal rack skulking among the nighties, featuring half a dozen grimly utilitarian styles in grey, maroon or navy, any of which would have looked acceptable on my granny if she was still alive.

Which, bearing in mind that I’m 64, tells you just how sad they were.

There was one pair I could just about have borne to be seen in, but they only had one size and - you guessed - it wasn’t mine.

The offerings in the market were even more depressingly – well, elderly.

And everywhere else I looked in town, I was greeted with a shrug and “Oh, we really only have them in at Christmas”.

Why, for heaven’s sake? We all wear them all year round.

Why was I forced to search online – no shortage there - when I want to support local businesses?

You may wonder why I didn’t just ‘click and collect in store’.

But in that case, I might as well have ordered online and had them delivered to my home.

What would be the point of going into town just to pick them up? Or indeed, of going to a shop in the first place?

But then, if we all take that attitude, we’ll put armies of shop assistants out of work. How does that benefit society?

On a related matter, I was sorry to read last week of the difficulties Timber Treasures have experienced since the nerve agent crisis.

Readers on the Journal website have suggested that the real reason shoppers are not flocking to the city is not, as Wiltshire Council would have us believe, because commuters have grabbed all the free parking spaces, but because our overall retail offer isn’t tempting them.

Sadly, there may be some truth in this.

I had no trouble whatsoever finding a space at any time of day throughout the freebie weeks. But slippers?

I did finally discover some. In Waitrose. Another lost opportunity for the city centre.

I SALUTE Rear Admiral Philip Mathias for his perseverance in battling Wiltshire’s clinical commissioners over their failure to fund continuing healthcare.

He is right, it’s “an absolute disgrace”.

You may recall that back in January I wrote about a lady whose husband has dementia, among other significant ongoing conditions. She, too, was struggling to obtain funds to pay carers to lighten her load.

After that article, lo and behold! Help was suddenly forthcoming.

I’m delighted, but that’s not how things should work.

Now the commissioners are under orders to come up with an improvement plan.

An explanation might be in order, too.