June 2012

Daily service

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We open for customers at 10.30am every morning. Part of the routine is putting this sign on the outside of the playground wall - ‘hanging out our shingle’ as Americans would say. The design for the border and the logo was done for us by Laura, one of our friends from Wotton. We put another sign 50 yards down the path towards the village to tempt people up from the station platform. On busy days we toy with the idea of taking it in, to reduce the flow of thirsty people with complicated orders. A perfect day is one filled with appreciative customers at regular intervals. Too quiet and time slows down, too fast and we risk running out of clean crockery, critical ingredients or our aplomb.

We are keeping up our poem of the week which is written up on the free-standing blackboard outside in the playground.

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It is interesting seeing how many people stop and read. Some have been pleased with the encounter and it has prompted interesting poetry-related conversations. Others look bemused. Some (few) appear to have a strong aversion to anything rhyme related - pentameter-intolerance, maybe? They beat a hasty retreat, wanting no truck with it. It reminds us of Emily’s father (a poet himself) saying the quickest way to clear a room in England is to announce a poetry reading.

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The endless days of rain have given way to sunshine, and our vine is finally, cautiously, putting out leaves and tendrils. It’s got a long way to go before customers can sit under the shade of the leaves with the fruit hanging in heavy bunches. The flowers in Emily’s raised bed are coming on though.

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Our friend Elspeth arrives. She will be staying and working with us through the summer. With a core team of three, we will be able to cope with the busy periods and even have the odd afternoon off. Elspeth gets to grips with our systems very quickly and produces some well-received savoury bakes on her second day, which sell like the proverbial hot cakes. She’s a real asset.
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The improved weather has encouraged us to make more of the late afternoon sun and we (three) enjoy a cycle (strictly speaking one tandem and one ATB) along the toll road to the pub in the next village, after work. We sit outside enjoying the luxury of someone else’s cooking served to us at our seat. We’re glad to be a daytime-only establishment, at this time of year anyway.