No prizes this month for guessing what I’m going to be writing about.  It’s the talk of the town – or, in this case, the village. 

But before I write about it, I must tell you something I have learnt today on google, which, of course, knows everything.  This has nothing to do with the shop by the way, apart from a very tenuous link with its very popular rhubarb ice cream (well worth giving it a plug!).  Apparently Rhubarb can count to six!  Google reliably tells us that when cutting rhubarb, we must leave six stalks.  Presumably rhubarb diligently goes through a nightly ritual of counting its stalks to check that it has at least six.  I dread to think what might happen if one night it went through its laborious ceremony to discover that its thoughtless and greedy owner had only left five stalks.  Sulk and shrivel up? Or get its revenge by sending out aggressive shoots that feed on the offending gardener? 

I can’t put my subject off any longer.  What could it be?  The start of the new term at school?  I could wax lyrical about all the confectionery, drinks and magazines we stock for those end of the day treats.  Or the practical items of stationery that children might need at the last minute?  Of course, we all know that term starting brings out the best weather, and we are all looking forward to the Indian summer we are going to enjoy in September.  And our shop sells just the thing for those hot, balmy days we are about to bask in.  I’ve already mentioned our rhubarb ice cream, so I won’t mention that again (except that I have, so that’s not strictly true), but I can tell you that our mint choc chip comes in as a very close second favourite, since you’re asking.  I have it on good authority that the mint choc chip flavour is especially good after a curry. 

Or it could be to thank our wonderful committee who work so hard to make our shop the success it is, planning for the future, ensuring that our policies and practices remain current (no small task), and keep it on a secure financially footing.  And I include in that our fantastic manager Angus, who goes well above and beyond his job description to make sure that customers are kept happy, and our equally wonderful deputy manager, Helen.  

No, although both are worthy of being the subject of my article.  I just didn’t think of them at the time. 

My subject is, now in its 762nd year (approximately), Findon Sheep Fair.  If it’s anything like last year, people will be flocking (sorry) from far and wide to come here and join in the fun.  And it’s going to be even better than last year.  This year Findon Village Store will have its own stall.  Last year all the food stalls had queues a mile long, so having our stall there is much needed.  I’m sure it’s going to make all the difference.  The stall will be in a prime position, close to the wattle house, so there’s no excuse for not paying us a visit.  We will be selling delicious sausage rolls, our ever-popular Danish pastries, and hot and cold drinks.  And, for the children, we will be selling a selection of sweet bags.

Talking of the Sheep Fair, I love the topical topper on the postbox outside our shop.  If you haven’t seen it, you must go straight there.  I’ve yet to see a topper anywhere that begins to compare with ours.  Our toppers are fast becoming a Findon tradition – we are very lucky to have such gifted crafters and crocheters amongst us!     

 So, here’s to a September filled with sunshine, warm weather, and sheep! 

 Jean Burden