Friday, October 3, 2008

Fantasy Camp and the Village Shop

I understand that some middle-aged men who, like most of their contemporaries, never made it to the big leagues pay to go to 'Fantasy' baseball camps where they put on uniforms and rush about pretending to live the baseball life.
It is the fantasy of many middle-aged women to live in an English country village.

Needless to say, I did not pay but merely went to stay with a friend who included me in all her activities.
These included decorating the church for Harvest Festival and helping out at the village shop.

Needless to say as well, the effort at the top was not done by us but someone much more accomplished.
These are bits we used in a bigger wilder (messier?) effort which included vegetables.

I still think the picture at the top is quintessentially fall/autumn.

The village shop is manned/womaned by a rota of volunteers. I'm not sure if it would survive without them.
We did the 9-11am stint on Sunday morning.
Here we are helped with the cash register. I hadn't worked in a shop since scanners and bar codes were invented.
In my day you had to work out the change yourself. Now it tells you. math required.

The stock in the shop was wonderful. Anglophile foodies -if they exist - will discern
Marmite/Branston Pickles/Saxa Salt/Birds Custard/ HP Sauce and Carr's Water Biscuits amongst other things.
You can also buy Pinot Grigio and Pain au chocolat which weren't available in the village shops of my youth.

This is me as a trainee shop assistant. Maybe, if the economy continues to tank, this is a new career opportunity. In the long run, I would prefer a bookshop.

This cheery little boy offered to pose as a satisfied customer.

Note: Blogging allows us to make contact with all sorts of worlds both horribly sad and relentlessly cheerful.
My friend Maryam is currently in Rwanda. I recommend her deeply moving recent posts. Not for those who prefer to keep their heads in the sand.
What Possessed Me, on the other hand, has a picture to make you smile.


  1. Elizabeth, you continue to offer me a glorious, if vicarious, holiday in beautiful places, doing interesting things.

    Many thanks. xo

  2. Oh dear, that must mean I'm middle aged... ;-)

  3. Now don't you look just too cute in your roll as shop keeper?

    Yes, you are right about my fantasy. And there is something about a bookshop, too!

  4. You made me laugh with the fantasy baseball comment.

    And dear E, thank you so much for linking to Vestine's story - I put up the paypal email address on my blog now.

  5. Hello Elizabeth, you look great in that picture :D Beautiful flowers everywhere! and yes, I read about Maryam's tale in Rwanda...almost unbelievable..
    Have a good weekend Elizabeth, much love and hugs :D

  6. I love that boy's happy thumbs up!

    Question... Did you find any custard tarts whilst in England?? I see Lionel eat them all the time on the PBS airings of the BBC show As Time Goes By, but have never found a single one in Britain. And believe me, I have looked.

  7. I have simply adored all of these "postcards from England" you have been posting for our pleasure.
    I can picture you in your dream English Cottage [do you want chickens like Ruth's, too? ;)] and walking the morning to your book shop where we all would visit to enjoy a good book and a great cup of tea.

  8. You look great behind the you really know what you are doing. I, too, remember the days when we salespersons learned how to make change without the help of the cash register....It wasn't my favorite kind of job (at May Company)....a bookshop, however, DOES sound quite tempting.

  9. I enjoyed seeing these village shop photos. Love the pic of you playing 'shop girl' but can certainly picture you better surrounded by shelves of books! I think I'd be happy working in a bookstore also. Just so long as I didn't have customers coming in & wanting to disturb my reading time :)


I look forward to hearing from you!