It is midnight. A preserving-panful of jam is cooling. A wok-ful, poured there some time ago, is nearly cool enough to be potted. The third panful (in either direction) was potted slightly too early and now there is beautiful clear jelly at the bottom of the pots and plump strawberries at the top. I almost hope this batch will not quite set, so forcing me to reboil it and pot it again properly.
Otherwise, all is done for the night. Behind me, Tilly is breathing, not quite snorily but quite loud. Tomorrow (or is it today? I suppose so), Al & family, with Ro, are going to the Norfolk Show. Eileen and Tim are running the shop in the morning and I'll take over at 12.30.
Some excitement, or what passes for it in Yagnub. One shopkeeper was heard, the other day, having a blazing row with his wife. Shrieks from her, shouts of "I'm not going to discuss it!" from him. He demanded that she leave and eventually dumped her shopping bags on the pavement. She stormed off. Al went in, a little later - "I couldn't help hearing...?" "Oh, we've split up." "Oh dear, I'm sorry." "Nah, I walked out a fortnight ago. Should have done it a long time ago." Ouch.
Over the road, the bargain shop remained closed on Monday, its windows whitewashed over, although all the goods were still there. He only took it over from his parents, who were retiring, at the beginning of the year. Rumour has it that he has gone out and got a job. *Shrug* I dunno. It always seemed pretty busy to me, although probably not so much since the discount store opened a few weeks ago. I'm sorry, because he was a good bloke and it was a useful shop.
There was some huffing in the local paper last week, because said discount store had posters in the window. It was felt that such blatant advertising was not really for Yagnub.
Overheard, Al to friend "What did you say to that lady, when she asked you how is your lovely wife?" "I said, I don't really know. I haven't seen much of her since she went off with another man." "Ah." "She was so embarrassed she nearly cried. I had to give her a hug to comfort her."
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Blimey, it's all go in Yagnub, isn't it?
So who's split from who? And the bargain shop - nooooooooo!!!! That's very disappointing indeed. Still, would make a great spot for a fishmonger...
As for the discount store posters... Well, it's just not the Yagnub way, is it?
Al thinks there should be a fresh juice bar there.
The posters aren't that glaring, it's only other shopkeepers who have had a drop in trade who are complaining. I think there's room in the town for competition - I know plenty of people who used to go over to Harleston to visit the factory shop there. It's a big shop to have been empty for two - or is it three? - years and I'm glad it's open again.
I'll have to email you the name - can't talk about people, they might not like it.
We may have to talk about this re-pot thing. I have a whole batch of jelly that didn't quite... well, it's syrup. Can I fix it? Or should I go find a good pancake recipe?
It happens, once in a while, however carefully you test it.
If it's just a few jars, I eat it runny (also goes well with plain Greek yoghurt and maybe a touch of cream, to make ice cream). But it doesn't keep so well, so if there's lots of it, bung it back in the pan, add some liquid or powdered pectin (if you go for the powder, mix it carefully with a bit first or it will go globby) or some lemon juice and reboil. It won't taste quite as good, it'll be a little darker and have a more cooked flavour, but it's quite all right..
Not that I'm an expert - anyone else have an opinion?
Nope, not a jam making man, though I keep thinking about it.
Poor Al's friend having to comfort instead of being comforted!
In your spare time, Boy? Maybe in a decade or two...
Yes, he's dealing with it by being stoical at present. He's been, in my view, shabbily treated. I think some women behave very badly and the odds are all stacked against men at present.
it feels like we all lose a bit when couples give up. silly maybe, but it feels that way. like love lost.
Yes, both couples married a long time, but one with very small children - the wife is behaving in a way I'd have thought quite out of character. People think the grass is greener on the other side, but it rarely is.
That co-op building has been empty since November 2005. It closed a month after I moved to Yagnub - I know because I equipped my kitchen there, pretty much (including the Kettle Mafia business, which I know with your memory you'll remember). And I was in Yagnub for 11 months, left last October, so it's been empty about 19 months, if the new gaff opened last month.
I'm avoiding work again. I really shouldn't.
Blimey, give you a hook to hang a reference on and your memory is highly impressive.
It was the closing of the Co-op that boosted Al's business no end - instead of going in there to shop for daily essentials, during their lunch hour, people started to come to him and the Gay Shopper.
No, but when you've been working diligently for a while, you give yourself the treat of a little blog reading/writing. Well, I do. And you are.
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