… no, it’s not something I need to trouble my GP with, but thanks for your concern!
The itch in question is ‘Village Itch’, the occasional craving that hits me to jack in city life and pop off to the country to live a quieter life. I touched on this in an earlier blog, but today it’s risen to the surface of my consciousness again after an afternoon adventure.
I had to see someone ‘in the country’, you see. My appointment was for 4:30pm but I did that thing you do when you just know you’re going to get lost/stuck in traffic and so you leave about twice as much time for your journey as it’s likely to take. Or am I the only one who does that? Well anyhoo, I arrived in Ye Olde Country Village with an hour to spare and, unsurprisingly for anyone who knows me, needing a wee.
The problem with your standard Olde Country Village, of course, is that their Olde Country Village Pubbe keeps Olde Country hours – in other words, it’s shut at 3:30pm for the landlord to inspect the insides of his eyelids prior to bottling up for the evening rush (one old chap making half a pint of stout last four hours). So when your City Lass comes through looking pained and walking in the internationally recognised Need A Pee crab-style scuttle, the door of the pub remains firmly closed.
Thank God for Ye Olde Village Shoppe, that’s all I can say. This one was a joy to behold, and not only because I was by now giving the absorbency quality of my trousers some serious consideration. It had, for starters, the vegetable rack outside. Yes, outside! You know, not inside the shop, not chained up! And the veg were.. naked! Not a scrap of shrink-wrap in sight! Inside, it had a corner which bore the proud sign ‘Internet Annexe’ and boasted a corner desk with a PC on top that I suspect had ‘Property of Noah, do not remove from the Ark’ stamped on the back. They’d even crammed in a couple of tables and a kettle, thereby making themselves a Village Stores & Coffee Shoppe. Thankfully they’d also supplied facilities (out the back, not in the shoppe) and in a very short time I was able to walk upright again.
I know I’m mocking but honestly, I loved this shop. Outside there was a poster advertising that the ‘film next month’ would be ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’, and inside there were home-made cakes on sale, and home-made cards, and a basket from which you chose your own eggs, and an antique chap behind the counter who couldn’t work the till and called it a ‘new-fangled contraption’. I loved him, too.
I want to live in a village with a Shoppe, and a closed pub, and a twelve-year-old film once a month in the village hall!