May I be the first to welcome back The Old Fossil, an old member of our fold of Loose Bloggers. The term ‘Loose’ allows for members to drift off (as many have) when issues of family, health, love, work or ailing computers require extra attention.
Tee O, Foss, Old Foss or TOF (you have more handles than Ganesha has hands!), may your words run free bringing fun and wisdom for all of us to share.
Our topic this week, chosen for us by Ramana is:
When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained. ~ Mark Twain
Granny Biscuits ran a corner shop. It was the gift she longed for, and received from her new husband to mark her marriage in 1909. She continued to work in the shop for thirty eight years. The hours were long and the days busy. Unlocking the door well before 7 a.m. in order to catch and serve the men folk on their way to work in W.D. & H.O. Wills, a tobacco importer and cigarette manufacturer, Jameson’s Whiskey Distillery, Guinness Brewery or Jacob’s Biscuit Factory.
The purchases were regular and Granny Biscuits soon knew who wanted a newspaper a packet of Gold Flake or Woodbines. She was first to hear the local news of hatches and dispatches from the night just passed. Each hour had regulars, right through to closing time at 10 p.m. Quite often there were knocks to the door after business hours if a family ran short or unexpected visitors arrived.
There was Thomas who only came to the shop after hours, he was quiet and shy and as regular as the local church bell. The list never varied, so in a quiet moment at tea time Granny B weighed the butter, sugar, and potatoes before putting them with the other items in a box under the counter. It saved time and pleased the silent shopper. Thomas paid up front, there was no need for tick. How he earned his money or spent his time was never discussed or known.
Johnnie on the other hand was well known in the neighbourhood, if only for the fact he carried his violin case everywhere. He would duck into the shop when there was nobody about. Once the groceries were weighed and wrapped Johnnie would put the violin case on the counter, open it and set in the various items. Going out through the door he carried the case like it contained a Stradivarius and whistled his way home once more.
Mary was four foot nothing and neat as a new pin. She was a good baker in her day, but her family were all away – three to America and two to London and she was resigned to the fact they might never return. The hat that she always wore hid large areas of alopecia areata. Now a widow with no pension, the letters from America were important to help pay the bills. If the post was slow, the groceries were listed in the book and bill would sit until the dollars came.
Noisy Nelly never liked to wait. She bustled in as if the whole world depended on her, her ample bosoms edged other customers out of the way. She never bought more than a couple of items. The regulars let her away with it, they were glad to see her go and return to their chat. Noisy Nelly became a mouse once inside her own door, her husband lashed out not alone with him tongue but with arms and feet when he was upset, it didn’t take much.
Granny Biscuits knew all the names and back stories and kept them close to her chest. She had a generous heart for her hard working husband, seven children, friends and customers.
Years later she was blessed to see another generation with her 28 grandchildren. The early children visited the shop and a treat was to select a biscuit from the large glass topped Jacob’s tins. They called her Granny Biscuits and the name stuck.
Maria SilverFox may not join us this week as her computer is away for repairs.