How very strange time is. This past week has been a good example of what a subjective unquantifiable commodity it is. Sitting in the shop for rather longer hours than I had become used to I saw some hours at the beginning of the day pass quite quickly others toward the end pass so slowly that I shook the little clock to see if it was still awake. Each hour and each day therefore took an age, yet moved too swiftly one into the next... well I won't labour the point and slow this entry down with too many words.
The temperature was -10 at night and not much better first thing. One morning seemed especially nippy when I slunk downstairs to make my coffee. The horrid truth dawned as I felt the radiators - the boiler had ceased to work. I'm scared of gas so did nothing but ring the help-line, for which I pay a healthy sum monthly, to be told there would be no visit until the morrow. My daughter arrived - she's always cold and braver with boilers driven by her desperation to be warm so she re-pressurised it hastily and we had warmth again. There had been a power cut - doesn't often happen in these parts for which I suspect we have to be grateful for the proximity of the RAF and their needs. The boiler faltered a few times throughout the day and when the expert arrived finally he told me - well, I would need a lesson with illustrative white-board and felt tips before I understood what he told me, but something vital has to be replaced.
The shop has done well despite icy pavements and the disgustingly wet blobs of snow falling almost constantly. Maybe it works in our favour now - when people feel out-of-sorts they reach for our stock! It's becoming apparent that although I don't yet know what's in what and where to look for the cure for all souls, I soon will know because the customers will tell me. What is also evident is that the same rules apply in this sort of shop as in the bookshop: Firstly it will never be possible to stock everything people ask for. If we stocked all the different teas that are sworn by we would have one room devoted entirely to teas. Secondly, if a lotion or potion doesn't actually say it does what the sufferer wants it to do then it's no good - witness the throat sweets that we bought in when requested: 'But they don't say they are for coughs and sore throats do they?" Well, no, because they aren't really allowed to make those claims unless they are giant drug companies and anyway, as any doctor will tell you there is nothing useful in any cough or throat 'medicine,' it is just as useful to drink hot chocolate and take a paracetemol.
As before, I bite my tongue. I do almost get into arguments with a certain sort of potential buyer, always male, very know-all about cooking who will insist on telling me how to make sushi (for example.) Now I too have a big, know-all, ego about cooking and I'm wearing my tongue down to the last inch trying not to scream at them.
Some poor folk are not made for this planet. They can't tolerate anything with wheat, gluten, sugar, dairy, etc. etc. and should definately book themselves on the first flight to Venus. Me too of course. Kind people gave Chloë flowers at her opening do, those beautiful lillies that last ages, and they have been assaulting my breathing apparatus all week.
Other newsworthy items for the journal:
a) G'son has been naughty at school and lost three 'Flight Points.' He was humiliated and upset at himself but personally I am rather heartened - it's NORMAL naughtiness! He also went to spend the day with a friend yesterday. Another advance. The neurologist had nothing useful to say naturally.
b) I had some rather snappy highlights put in my hair, a bit blonde and a bit coppery, and a nice spikey cut. No-one has noticed except daughter who had to because she knew I was going to the hairdresser and another woman of my own age, which I think bears out the theory that the older we get the more invisible we get. I should go in for emphatic hats like Chillsider.