IN PRAISE OF SMALL SHOPKEEPERS WHO UNDERSTAND SMALL PEOPLE
I stopped off at a corner shop on my way home with X last night. It was just a newsagents, really, but there, nestling by the box of sprouting onions was the loaf of bread that we urgently needed and it wasn't even out- of- date.
X was tired. Well, that's my excuse for her appalling behaviour. She saw chocolate on the shelves and snatched it up.
"No, not healthy,' I said quite firmly, attempting and failing to wrest it from her iron-firm grip. 'Healthy' is probably a word that isn't used as much as it should be by me. In my life 'healthy' has been a can of worms best left for hunger and what's around to manage, really. Amazingly, the three women at X's nursery, looking after thirty children, seem to manage to actually teach these words which I don't manage to find time to teach the one little child in my care. 'Healthy' is the latest word they have got her excited about. Well, the word. The concept still appears to be a little beyond her. X also clearly gets her own way far too much because, ignoring me, she marched up to the counter where an elderly Indian lady was tiredly flicking through Grazia. X threw the packet up on top of the precariously piled newspapers, and turned around to me, clearly fully expecting me to get out my purse. The right- royal, little madam.
"No, ' I say in a brave attempt to endorse the teachings of the great Miss E. Maybe I would have weakened, I don't know. I'm a weak and feeble woman in the face of a royal tantrum, sometimes.
'Not for sale,' said the Indian lady staunchly, in a way that clearly said this lady was not for turning. She hauled up her sari, picked up the packet of stars, got down from her rickety stool and placed them carefully back, where they belonged, on the shelf. X was open-mouthed for a long moment, a moment just long enough for me to grab her under the armpits. Then the old lady opened the door for me while I hauled a disgracefully kicking, screaming child from the shop. Averting my head to avoid being hit in the eye I just caught a glimpse of the old lady waving us a friendly good-bye.
Now you don't get that in supermarkets. This is not a first. All my local shops are incredible to us.
Any one else got a great story about their local shop?