Like my Mum was, I can be rather stubborn. I can get it in to my head that something is of no interest to me and from there on in no amount of persuasion will convince me otherwise. Case in point, the little farm shop I drive past everyday and never, ever go in because it says "butchers" on the sign and I don't buy much meat and thus decided that there would be nothing to interest me in this apparently thriving little store.
And then my Dad took it in to his rather daring head to visit it, having experienced many years of my Mum feeling the same way I did about it, and lo and behold he came home carrying fish and pate and singing the praises of a little shop he said was like a miniature Booths.
Readers I swear, the snobbish little Madam in me, stopped in her tracks.
Like Booths you say, said I?
Just like a little Booths, you know, sells proper food and nice things? said he. So you don't need to go to Booths anymore, seen as you drive past Taylors everyday.
Booths you see is what supermarkets are probably like in heaven. It stocks locally sourced food, alongside brand favorites and stocks them all with so much merchandising panache I find myself wandering around wanting to lick everything. But it is expensive. And it is a supermarket, which means you go in to buy two things and come out with twenty. While Taylors is a farm shop and I visit another farm shop just a few miles down the road and could quite easily be persuaded take my trade elsewhere, since the selection on the shelves there seems reduced by the day.
Trouble is I don't hold out much hope for local farm shops. While the ones in the Cotswolds, close to where my sister lives are blissful odes to what food shopping should be, ooop North as they say, things are rather more basic. But when it comes to food, my Dad is a man who knows of what he speaks and so yesterday I decided to trust his judgement and visit a shop I had managed to avoid for at least four years. And despite the fact that I noticed I was wearing my trousers on inside out on the ride out there and had to find a deep, dark corner of the car park in which to shimmy them down my legs and back up again, and being thoroughly aware that no self-respecting business would probably encourage me to darken their door again, I wandered in to Taylors full of doubt and trepidation and within moments my eyes were out on stalks at all the wonders to be beholden.
For there was all manner of healthy foodstuffs and deliciousness to be had with none of the ready meal, additive laden nonsense it is so easy to be tempted by in supermarkets. I bought Belgian biscuits and vanilla coffee, Lancashire cheese and local roast beef, rose lemonade, one perfect specimen of a celeriac, and (oh joy to the Mama of a Coeliac) gluten free sausages for a child who would happily live on them if only I would let him! And I was so excited I waffled on in rather mental fashion to the girl behind the counter and then ran out to phone my Dad to congratulate him on a fine discovery.
So the moral of this story is not visit Taylors and all your shopping dilemmas will be solved, which is frankly ridiculous when more than 70% of you live in America and would probably find a daily shop in my local farm shop a bit of a bind, but is instead a rallying cry to NOT BE LIKE ME. Stop being so stubborn, and start investigating all the little treasures probably to be found on your doorstep. Stop the car at the farm shop you drive past everyday and see what they have got in store! Visit the local bookshop you eschew all too often in favour of Amazon, and take a trip out to see the antiques mall you have heard so much about but have never got around to visiting.
Do as I say Darlings, not what I usually do. For even the stubbornest of elephants can change her spots, don't you know?