It was so quiet this afternoon that, at about 4 o’clock, I decided to start packing up. There is a big outside display, which fills most of the shop, so once you’ve brought everything in you fairly well have to close up. I did it slowly, occasionally stopping to serve a customer.
After a while, the Sage turned up to lend a hand. I went to phone in tomorrow’s orders and counted out the change for the tills for tomorrow. I kept a little pile of change in case I had a final customer. I suppose it was inevitable that, between 4.30 and 5, I had about a dozen final customers.
One of them usually arrives at 5.15 and stays for a chat, which is very nice and friendly, but does rather hold me up as I’m trying to bring everything in and count the takings at that time, and have to wait politely. But he came a bit early, and there were other people there too so he didn’t stay long. Another 5 o’clock customer, who comes along after finishing work, turned up too, and they are the two latish regulars whom I’d not want to disappoint, so after that I shut up shop half an hour early with a clear conscience.
It was a churchwardens’ meeting tonight, and I remembered to take along grapes and satsumas as well as jelly babies, wine gums, chocolate Minstrels* and Maltesers to keep the meeting cheerful. I really wanted a jelly baby, but I didn’t have one.
*Minstrels are not at all like M&Ms. For a start, they are much bigger, so more chocolately, and they are not multi-coloured.