I had my future planned at six years old. I wouldn’t work in an office, discuss the price of meat, sit for hours over Sunday lunch, or get fussed about the weeds in the lawn.
In fact I was going to skip across a lawn strewn with daisies to my elegant car and drive to my toy shop. There had been a few months when it was hard to decide whether I would run toy shop or a sweet shop. I finally settled for the toy option: I could always eat sweets whilst I opened the boxes, as this could take some time.
Eventually I did have a toy shop of sorts, a stall in Covent Garden Market. Selling my own handmade wooden toys, unboxed. A distant cry from the heady mix of cellophane and cardboard boxed inspirational toys that I’d imagined years before.
Shops are hard work. Not just the beavering over The Accounts – when you discover just how much you are actually earning each year. It’s the hard graft. I was slim in the toymaking days. Looking back, I’m not surprised. The banana boxes packed with toys were quite a hefty weight. At the end of a bad day this weight had magically increased ten fold and somehow the boxes had expanded in size as well. Hard to compress into the back of the van. Since then I’ve always been kind to stallholders. Like hospital patients they are stuck to their stalls, whatever the weather. They can’t run away.
Sixteen years ago, when I was fitting wheels onto wooden roadsters in my workshop, I would never have dreamt that you could trade with no boxes of stock to trip over. Tonight we celebrated the opening of The Cottage Smallholder Bookshop. Our virtual shop stocks all our favourite tomes. Check it out, if only to see what snuggles on the stool by the loo. The Cottage Smallholder Bookshop is an Amazon affiliate and it only stocks books that we have handpicked ourselves. I had great fun filling the shelves.
Leave a reply