As always I dropped into the North African shop on the way back to the train and was fascinated to overhear a discussion between the owner and a possible buyer. Purchaser was wondering if he could redesign the front to make more sales room; 'modernise it all a bit'. He was told that the shop front's protected , "because it's been like this for the last twenty years." Considering the church round the back is at least a couple of hundred year old, the man looked a trifle puzzled but , of course, the street just used to be an alleyway. Anyway, I realised then just how long I've lived here; I watched the facade being done. When we first came it was the only place to buy olives, proper tomatoes, good lentils and feta and, home-sick as I was, it was a lifeline. It's funny to look back and think that the only way to get chorizo was to go to Amsterdam! And Manchego cheese is still really only to be found at Christmas.
It's impossible to think of life now without these things. I settled down the end but have always enjoyed trips to Groningen … in fact, I've just talked myself into another tomorrow. Lots of birthdays next week and presents to be found….