July 23rd – July 29th


Another week flies by.

One week ago we had just landed at Bristol and it was strangely warm when alighting from the aeroplane.

Back into the routine on Monday as if we had never been away although I did have to get the fans out in the shop as the temperature soared especially in the afternoon when the sun streamed though the window.

At 5:30 pm we shut up shop and went to sit in the garden, opening a bottle of Cava of course, which had been acquired as a winning raffle prize. Not quite up to the standard of Freixenet but it will fizzy and chilly on a warm evening.

The temperature on our garden thermometer had zoomed up especially in the direct sunlight.


After dining in the garden until well after 9pm we had to retire inside to catch up with five episodes of Coronation Street.

On Tuesday a Dutch family came in to ask if any of the local pubs or restaurants were showing the Olympic opening ceremony as they were hoping to watch it.  I said I would try to find out and asked them to call back the next day. I tweeted the request but got no response.  We called Blackberries the next day to see if they could solve the problem and they said that they could.

The Dutch did not return until Friday morning but they really wanted be part of a community event so they could get into the atmosphere so they decided to stay at their holiday let and watch it as a family.

On Wednesday morning one our customers was telling Ian Buchanan (of Olympic Torch carrying fame) that she had sent a photograph of the event to a relation in Australia and the Aussie had taken it into the local school to show them. Ian is now famous in Australia as well now.

A customer came in to post a letter and explained it contained a pair of ears!

Her grandchild had lost a favourite toy which was carried about by its ears so she made some ears to attach to another soft toy to give the same effect.

A lady was searching for her card in her handbag which you females know is often harder than searching for a needle in a haystack. After a fruitless initial search she went to the back of the shop and tipped the whole contents of her bag on the floor and eventually found what she was looking for.

About 5pm a lady came in with a dish of cucumber mousse.

She was waiting to be picked up to be taken to a picnic and did not want to wait outside too long in the hot sun as her mousse would melt. After 10 minutes she left and we now have another new recipe!

On Thursday as one of customers left the shop he was stopped outside and was chatting away for ages. The chap from Bristol came into the shop after their conversation to explain that he had bought a car engine from our customer four years ago as he had been told that any engine this person was selling would be excellent. Evidently out customer used to lecture RAF engineers and anything he worked on had to be precise. He now spends time doing up vintage cars.

The Bristol chap then confessed that he still had not fitted the engine to his own historic car as he has been busy.  He has been busy as he is doing up a house in Plymouth and when finished would move into it – he is only 12 years behind schedule! He went on to say he loved coming to Bampton and always tried to make time for a detour when travelling from Bristol to Plymouth as he loved to also travel on the Exe Valley road to Tiverton.

On Friday an older lady came I to pay for her newspaper deliver which was a surprise as we do not sell or deliver papers. We sent her down to Costcutters.

A tourist came in for a chat (lots do even when they are not buying anything!) telling us he was with his two sons on holiday staying in old coaching inns/pubs.

He was staying at the Quarryman’s Rest and had dined there the previous evening. He asked for ideas for another place to eat. I suggested the Toucan as they had a meal followed by entertainment from a local Belly Dancing group. http://kalash-ats.com/page.php?3  

Although it was fully booked I said it could be worth leaving a number in case there was a cancellation.

When I came back from lunch the toucan had asked us to put up a notice saying ‘Due to late cancellation a table for 2 was available for the belly dancing’ I guess he did not take my advice and missed out on a great evening, especially for his 20 something boys.

Late Friday afternoon we arranged a BBQ with our friends so we had another impromptu Bampton evening. It was the first evening of the week that the warmth disappeared when the sun went down so we retired indoors and watched the Olympic opening ceremony but only until the teams started to enter the stadium.

I gather the ending of the ceremony was quite good apart from Sir PM trying to sing.

Saturday morning one the first customers, a young lady, came in asking if there was a chemist in Bampton which there is, so I pointed her in the right direction. I could have said “Why, do you need the morning after pill?” but I bit my tongue!

During the morning a young chap was writing out a cheque for his car tax and was sniffling for which he apologised as he said he had hay fever. My other half handed him a tissue to solve the immediate problem then gave him advice of which tablets he ought to try.  He left a happy customer for the free medical advice.

I spied a cycling family going past and parking their bikes outside of our house. One of the bikes was a tandem with an extension on the back for the little one.


Today, Sunday, I had planned to get a few odd jobs done, but after a lie in that was disturbed by a yapping dog outside for 10 minutes, the mid-morning rain put paid to my enthusiasm. I put the Olympics on and actually spent 4 hours watching ladies on bicycles followed by an hour of female beach volleyball.

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