It seems awfully early to think about it, but I am going to get my euros tomorrow. As well as pay the car tax. And I've drunk - well, we've drunk - all the wine again.
Last week when I went into the shop, Tim gave me some grapes from a bunch that he'd been given from a neighbour (of the shop's) vine. Very unusual, quite pale pinky red with a distinct flavour of wild strawberries with possibly a hint of guava. And grape. This week, Tim has his daughters to stay, so Al is standing in for a couple of days or maybe three, and while I was dropping off something to him, Julian came in again so I praised his grapes - no, darlings, that's just rude. Wash your dirty minds. I did praise his actual fruity grapes, and he straightaway went home and picked some for me. Isn't that kind? I asked for the variety and he didn't know the name but did know where the vine had come from, which is Read's specialist fruit nursery at Hales Hall near Loddon and I have the catalogue. It is actually called "Strawberry".
While we were alone, Al was telling me an anecdote about a customer who is really quite outspoken, and she asked how Al is keeping himself financially now that he hasn't got the shop. So Al said he's all right thank you, this and that, and she said "but how, specifically?" which he thought was a bit off. So he answered. well we've got the income from two rental properties and would you like the full details of our other earnings?, so she backed off rather smartly, as well she might. But then in came a lovely lady who had a chat, and then Julian and then another customer friend, so it made me very aware of how much we've always enjoyed it there. I'm so glad that Tim, who is such a friend, has it now. It's still sort of in the family.