If you thought that you’d be able to escape the word of the month, I’m sorry to disappoint.  I’ve got to mention it.  I’m hoping that in tackling it head on at the beginning of this month’s offering, we’d be able to get it over and done with, and then move on to other matters.  Coronation.  I would say I’ve put you out of your suspense, but I’m sure you weren’t in any.  The shop will, of course, be selling all sorts of patriotic tableware, food and gifts to help you get your street parties off to a swing.  And I suspect that there will be a wonderful post box topper to get us in the mood.

There’s another word of the month to describe this May (or technically two words).  Bank Holidays.  Usually May has two, but this year, we have three.  You could add Saturday May 6th, except that it’s not a weekday so can’t be a Bank Holiday. In theory some banks do open on Saturdays – although you need a sniffer dog to find a bank these days.  I guess it’s a historic thing, that doesn’t have to relate to today’s reality.  Anyway, I think I’d better move on quickly before I get myself into too much hot water.  The gist of it is that May 2023 will have a lot more than its fair share of Bank Holidays.  Stay with me – it’s not a complete red herring, it does have relevance for the shop.  For a village store, our opening times are generally excellent, perfect for the lastminute items you almost forgot: Monday through to Saturday 7am to 7pm, and Sunday 7am to 12pm.  Well, on the Bank Holidays, you’ll just have to be a little bit more organised.  On Mondays May 1st, 8th and 29th, and Saturday 6th (Coronation Day), the shop will close at 12.30pm.  Hopefully you’ll be out enjoying yourselves in glorious weather, and shopping will be the last thing on your mind.

By the way, isn’t it lovely now that the evenings are getting lighter!  Summer really is on the way.  It’ll be even more on its way when the ice cream freezer arrives, full of ices to whet your taste buds!  Sticks, cones, bars, pops or tubs – what’s your favourite?

Our Post Office operates a Drop & Go service, whereby regular parcel posters can open an account and then drop parcels off without having to queue.  That sounds like a really good idea, both for the dropper-offers and the queuer-uppers!  Another service we provide is newspaper delivery – every day, rain or shine.  Let us know if you’re interested.  Never let it be said that we don’t go above and beyond for our loyal customers!

The Volunteers Meeting lived up to my high expectations.  As well as the annual statutory training we have to have, we discussed improvements we could make to our displays and storage, and also came up with some wonderfully imaginative (outrageous?) ideas for volunteer socials!  What I loved most, however, was the sense of togetherness that working towards a common vision brings.  The Store is very much at the heart of our community, and everybody wants it to succeed.  A big thank you to Angus, Helen and the staff, who do so much to set the ethos – the degree of goodwill at that meeting is a credit to you all.

One exciting plan we discussed is to have a presence at the Sheep Fair in September.  We will be serving our delicious pastries and coffee, together with hot sausage rolls.  Suggestions and requests for other goodies are of course welcome.  Offers of help are equally welcome, well, essential in fact, without putting too fine a point on it – without sufficient volunteers it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to man.  Please form an orderly queue – our volunteers are very enthusiastic!

Jean Burden