Tuesday 18 June 2013

A view from my kitchen window and a bit on my soap box.

A warm sunny day, just what the doctor ordered.

Have a quick look outside my kitchen window.

One of my Geoff Hamilton roses, lovely to look at and sweet smelling.

A swathe of firethorn, pretty in flower, stunning in berries and a food source for the birds who over winter in my garden.

The flowers are starting to fade on my Broom, I have to cut this back every two years, it is a little bit thuggish.

Early potatoes in pots, nice and handy near the kitchen, the mint is just round the corner.

This yellow rose is free to rampage as it likes I love it's flamboyance and just cut it hard back to keep it in check. 

This elder is one of four, two supply flowers for cordial and goose berry ice cream, two give berries for jelly wonderful with any rich meat dish and very good with sausages.

I also make Rowan Jelly but gather the berries from a wild tree, it is quite sharp and goes with blue cheese perfectly.

Things to be grateful for,

1. My garden.

2. The Thrush who eats the snails.

3. The Hedgehog who eats the slugs.

4. The Birds who sing to me daily.

5. The Village Shop, Open Nearly All Hours.

Soap Box Time.

The first four are inter linked, the fifth is a wonderful convenience. Village shops are a dying breed, if you are lucky enough to have one do support it. As the saying goes " If you don't use it you lose it"

Our shop used to be a run down, quite scruffy place , mainly used by passing trade for papers, cigarettes and snacks.

Then along came a couple, from the village, with foresight and courage to take it on, shake it up and turn it into a thriving, pleasant place to pop into.
I aim to spend a little every week, if every household spent just £2 per week added to the substantial passing trade the shop would continue to flourish.
Luckily enough of the residents seem to understand this but other villages are not so fortunate. One of the shops in Long Sutton is closing down through lack of trade, many people have gone in and said what a shame it is to lose a shop but not many of those actually use the shop.

I have seen this scenario acted out in several places, for years in Diss there was a shop called The China Cabinet, shoppers from all over bought wedding presents, christening gifts, anniversary and birthday presents there.
Rates went up, rent went up, sales went down. when the closing down signs went up there were letters in the press, people calling into the shop all bewailing the fact. how strange with all this reaction that so few of the complainers were customers.

My home village has a thriving shop, when I was a child there were three plus a tobacconist and sweet shop, a butcher and a wool shop.
It is the way of the world, so many of us work and have to shop on the way home, we shop weekly, some less frequently, just as many have it delivered a "new " concept.
 My Granny had her shopping delivered FREE for her convenience, all she did was have her list dropped off in the morning and the shopping was there before 4.

Soap box stored away now, dinner is quiche and salad for us and a pie with veg for Francesca, she is always starving when she gets back from work. Bertie has just woken up and is wandering off to the garden, Ben is snoozing beside me, we did have a long walk this morning, it was so warm that we went almost double our normal distance.   TTFN    Pam


  1. I love your view and my sweet Ii am so with you regarding local shops...your writing style is so soothing..

    1. Thank you Madame Samm, I read your blog posts avidly and find them inspiring.

  2. That was only a small soapbox!
    No sign of any flowers yet on our climbing rose and no flowers yet on the Elder - we are SO far behind, thanks to that cold NE wind we keep getting.
    My Mum used to go to a shop called International, you went around and bought your stuff and then they delivered what you couldn't carry home on the bus. That was in the 1960s! And because we lived in a hamlet without a shop there were about 4 shop vans that came around selling different stuff every week. Women didn't drive much then. Had to catch a bus to town.

    1. It is just big enough for my feet! I remember the International stores, they turned into Gateway I think. Granny used used the nearest village shop to us, funnily enough it was in the next village.

  3. Beautiful pictures. We aren't all that far from you but our firethorn and elder are nowhere near flowering yet! We try to use our local shops as much as we can and we go into Long Sutton on market day, it is one of the few villages left that has a good selection of shops and the service from these small shops is amazing. We recently bought a fridge freezer and, whilst it was a few pound less in a big electrical chain, the personal service from both the shop and delivery men was worth every penny. So important to do all we can to help small shops.

    1. Hello Lucy, my firethorn is buzzing and moving with the number of bees on it, the honeysuckle will be next. I may well have walked past you in Sutton I visit the market most , I get most of my buttons and ribbons there.

  4. Lovely post, Pam, and I agree with every word you say about local shops.

    Now, I never knew Broom could have deep pink flowers! I thought it was always yellow, hence always being mistaken for gorse. Lx

    1. When the Broom first opens it is so deep that it looks purple. I used to have a variegated as well but for some reason it turned its toes up when quite young.

  5. No roses or elder flowers out yet here, almost but not quite. Love your photo's and I agree totally on using the local shops and services, we try and put some of our money back into the local community by using the coal man, log man, once a week fish van, newly opened fruit shop,and small businesses where possible.We may not spend an awful lot of cash each week but if everyone put something back into local businesses it would help keep them afloat.

    1. You may be waiting for your flowers but they will be in their prime while mine are fading.

  6. You've reminded me of some of the stories I've heard when my in-laws ran a shop in Skye. My FIL spent as much time in his delivery van as he did in the shop back in the day!

    Now that I've moved from the city to a rural area I appreciate our local shops more than before. I for one would be lost without them.

    1. If I had to I could do most of my shopping in the village shop and the rest in Sutton but at a price. I bulk buy in the big 4 the big savers such as flour and tea and coffee when on promotion. Big packs of toilet rolls and shampoo and bath stuff. This means that I can shop local and not have to worry about cost. I have found quite a few things cheaper close to home.


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