Saturday 14 November 2009


The Oracle at Delphi conjures visions of grace and wisdom. An oracle foresees events and advises on effective ways to deal with them. An oracle is noble, commanding respect.

It has another meaning in Berkshire, UK. The Oracle in Reading is a large indoor shopping and leisure mall on three floors. It is situated on the banks of the River Kennet and has cinemas and restaurants to afford relief to weary shoppers.

It takes its name from a 17th century workhouse once located on The Oracle site.

What puzzles me is how a workhouse and subsequently a temple to commerce can be 'associated with soothsaying. For its unfortunate inhabitants a workhouse foretold only abject misery and little hope of escape for no other crime than being poor.

Shops selling luxury ephemera perhaps forewarn of credit crunch and crash to those who have eyes to see. The revelation The Oracle affords is of a nation seduced by advertising to spend hard-earned money on things which are not necessities.

I understand the lure of 'retail therapy'. I do not understand why classical names are given to what is after all merely 'trade'.

Thank you to Laini and Megg for initiating and hosting this meme.

To see more interpretations please click here.


  1. Very well said. Interesting thoughts penned here

  2. Thank you Jeeves (can't believe I just said that. I never imagined I'd have a butler . . . ;-))

  3. Wonderful. You make so much sense and do it with writerly talent!


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