Monday, 6 July 2015

A Handbag

This is an unusually long post for me. But then it's a long story....
Early this year, perhaps it was February, I went out to lunch with my Dad, his friend Pam and their 89 year old friend called June.
June is a widow who wears colourful clothing, tells colourful tales and calls everyone "dear".
And I adore her.
Anyway, on this particular occasion she told me she'd recently bought a handbag from a garden centre but realised when she got it home that she didn't like it:
"I can't get on with it, dear," she said, "would you like it?  To raise money for that lovely church?"
She meant the baroque church in Great Witley, which badly needs a new roof.
I said yes, thinking I could use it as a raffle prize.
Until, a couple of days later, I finally saw it.
It was truly horrible. A nasty yellow colour, funny sticky-out bits on shiny brown handles, a long purse contraption which doubled as a closing clasp. Awful. No one would want to win it in a raffle. No one.

So I hatched a plan and put it on eBay (with June's permission, dear) with a no-holds barred write-up. I described it as a bag with no redeeming features, the worst I'd ever seen.
Local BBC radio picked up the story, interviewed June and myself and raised the profile and the bidding in the process. We made £28. And I got rid of the bag.

A week later I received an email from a lady I didn't know. She told me her husband had bought the bag having heard us on the radio. He'd been on his tractor at the time, somewhere in Gloucestershire, and he bought it as a joke. She told me she was now re-auctioning it for a cloth-nappy library charity. It made £24 and was bought by a lady in Norway.
Janicke's daughter had been born prematurely. She re-auctioned it on eBay for the neonatal unit which had saved her life and made £94.
At this point it gets complicated. However it's now in Newcastle upon Tyne and being sold by a lady with an incredible story of her own:

Thursday, 2 July 2015


Here she is - Wimbledon Cake II.
Now no longer with us.
Incidentally my dental appointment turned out to be even more overdue than I'd thought since I was a day late turning up for it.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

If you can't stand the heat...

They can't say they didn't warn us.
Last week the forecasters told us it was going to be hot. A heatwave. A difficult-to-sleep-in kind of heat. 
And it is.
It's even more difficult to work in.
Especially when there's an hour-long power cut which means we can't open the freezers and the fans aren't working (3.45-4.45 this afternoon).
This didn't seem to worry the many who sat in the garden shade, sipping elderflower presses and eating the first Wimbledon Cake of the season.
I made it this morning - orange zest sandwich sponge, filled with fresh local cream, local strawberries and not-so-local passion fruit, topped with more strawberries. I so wish I'd taken a photo but it had all gone before it even crossed my mind. 
I shall try again tomorrow but may be thwarted by an overdue visit to the dentist. 
Who I am sure will tell me to eat more cake.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Glimpse of another life

Overheard, as I was clearing a nearby table:

"....and you hang in that one spot and meditate.
It's absolutely extraordinary.
That's the reason I'm going on this retreat."

Sunday, 21 June 2015

a big yes from me

My kind of email:

Hello Gill
I am planning to visit the tearooms and to have a dozen or so of my motorcycling friends meet me there too.  We have been before on several occasions. Although our bikes might be noisy smelly things most of the riders are not and I can assure you there will be no shootouts or anything like that, just a few geriatric bikers looking for a cuppa and bite to eat!
Hope this won't be a problem to you?
Velocette Owners club

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Four letter word

We have a jar on the counter for tips, should the fancy take someone to express their happiness with our service through the medium of loose change.
It's there more in hope than expectation.

This is how we advertise it:

which, of course, leads to some scrabbling. There's not a great deal of choice, given there are only four letters, but quite a few have a go.
This is typical:

As is this (usually accompanied by a schoolboy guffaw):

But this week someone came up with a NEW one. 
After nearly five years of PITS and SPIT someone thought out of the box:

Clever and appropriate. 
And he even dropped a coin in the jar.

Monday, 15 June 2015

accounting for taste

So there's a lady in a brilliantly orange t-shirt and she's looking at the choice of cakes and she asks her husband what he'd like and he points at the millionaire's shortbread and she says what? I can't believe you've chosen the most boring one I'm having the victoria sponge.