What a lovely day, and unexpected. The forecast said showers and it didn’t even mention hot! I started with a couple of hours work in the greenhouse, which made me very hot even before 10 o’clock. However, with great cunning and foresight, I delayed a shower until after the grubbing around in earth job, so I was all neat and spruce (except for the hair of course, which is tidy on one day a month, when I’ve been to have it cut) when I went out.
High excitement today in Yagnub! The new Factory Shop has opened, where the old Co-op used to be. When their smart new supermarket was built, the old shop lay empty for ages – it must be a couple of years since the move. They put in a clause that new owners couldn’t sell foodstuffs and it’s quite a big shop to fill. It’s the other end of the main street from Al, and the shops around there have noticed the difference in passing trade. It did nothing but good for him, as people who used to pop out at lunchtime for their shopping started to come to him instead, and the same after office hours – it was then that he started to be open from 8.30 – 5.30 instead of 9 – 5.
Anyway, all the locals hurried in to see what was on offer and by the time I went in there were queues of people waiting to pay. Children went trotting down the road, clutching their blue and white ‘Factory Shop’ balloons and sticks of rock. I accepted a flier, with highly entertaining photos of homely people wearing cheap clothes. I quite badly wanted a new and impressive alarm clock, but reflected that more than one is not really necessary, unless you are a particularly heavy sleeper. I bought nothing, tempted though I was amid the general fluster of excitement.
In the afternoon, I spent a few hours working for Al, so that he could get on with painting the shop exterior woodwork. It needed it, it must be said. Trouble is, there’s only Sundays unless he closes the shop, for someone to work, so he decided to do it in bits himself. But all these pesky customers would come and bother him by handing him money!
He isn’t spending as much time as he’d like with his family. I can only help on odd days during June, but I said I can keep the first two weeks in July free and he can have a holiday. The thought worries him. It’s a very busy time of the year, and he thinks it might be too much for me. This is, I’m sure, simply polite consideration that is due from a loving son to his elderly and feeble mother, and I am confident that I can convince him that his concern is, though welcome, overstated.