Christmas Shopping


Little shops at Christmas time are the best fun. For customers and shopkeepers.

Today I spoke with children, dogs, grown women and men. I suggested they save their money and buy nothing; I sent them to other shops for things I don’t stock; I reduced items on the spot, gave things away and rounded down totals to a nice round number. Christmas shopping in my shop is not dull!


That’s what small shops are good at. We are part of your community. Customers like small shops because they reflect the shopkeeper’s personality. They’re real.

Have a very happy Christmas. And be sure your Christmas shopping is fun.


Cup of Coffee

Let me tell you about my relationship… with coffee.

Cup of black coffee for me, please

My parents had an aluminium, glass topped percolator which bubbled and boiled on their Belling electric cooker.

One summer we were going on holiday to South West Scotland. My parents were excited about a brand new drink we were taking with us. Instant Coffee. They were amazed and totally proud of their purchase. Of course, we all loved our cup of coffee. Mum boiled a pan of milk, poured it into our cups, then added sugar and the wondrous coffee powder. I was nine years old.

When I was fourteen my parents took us on holiday to the Netherlands. I tasted cups of coffee so good I couldn’t believe how wonderful it was.

From then on, while still at school, I spent what money I had on little tins of Lyon’s Ground Coffee from the supermarket.

I must’ve bought this in the 1980s.
Now full of nails!

I started work aged sixteen. Wages meant I could up my coffee game. Always in my mind was a goal: to make a cup of coffee as good as the ones I had loved in Holland.

Each month I would make a bus journey to Thomson’s in Renfield Street, Glasgow. I knew nothing about varieties or blends but I loved the smell, and the noise of the beans falling from the hopper into the grinder. My favourite was Full French Roast. I adored the dry, high pitched sound of it being dispensed.

The only sort of beans I like!

I moved to Edinburgh where my coffee supplier was Valvona and Crolla. Preference: Continental High Roast.

You can tell I like my coffee practically burnt.

Now I have my own shop where I sell coffee. Locally roasted (my preference is your Sumatran, Three Hills!) and always, always a jar of Thomson’s Full French Roast.

It’s so dark.

Thank you for reading my Shop Blog.

See you again soon.