Exciting news! After, I am guessing here, nearly two years, the shop across the road, here in lewes in England, has finally been sold. the sign went up yesterday morning and, ever since, I have been speculating what kind of shop will be opening up in such a convenient place to my house.
It had been simply “Ron’s” for over twenty-five years until Ron retired leaving an empty space where he had been in more ways than one. “Ron’s” was a convenience store, run, so the wags would have it, at Ron’s convenience. It is true that he didn’t always have what you needed but then he was always there with his bread, white sliced and he usually had milk. It was perfect for me when I needed an emergency jam tart or some kindling for the fire – all I had to do was walk across the road where I could choose from a variety of products that had not been seen in other shops for, well, twenty-five years. I am not talking about the bread and milk or course. I did go over there once, in my clean-shaven days, for shaving gel and found what must have been a collector’s item with what looked like a young John Travolta, circa 1976, on the can. Why not? It worked perfectly well and, in its day, made John Travolta look good too. In case anyone was in any doubt about Ron’s attitute to sell-by dates, there was a yellowing newspaper cutting on the wall from an ancient report about how we should not be taken in by the randomness of these dates. Quite right too Ron – in these days of excessive civil obedience and unquestioning belief in what the authorities tell us, Ron was a voice crying in the wilderness – I for one miss him dearly.
Walking passed our local pub on my way to the park to practice kungfu is not the same now that I don’t hear his voice ringing out in gentle mockery: “Give it to ’em, Bruce!”
I hope you are enjoying your retirement Ron.
Now, of course, after looking at the empty shop for so long, I have to worry about what is going to open there now.
Sadly, I suspect, it will not be a conveneince store and, anyway, there can never be another Ron.
I dread some of its potential uses.
A cream cake shop would be too much temptation, a pet shop would break my heart and turn my house into a menagerie, a sex shop would be just too distracting as I would always be watching who went in and a fast food take-away would be just awful to contemplate with all those late night drunks and their capacity for litter.
No, I don’t want any of these. Ideally, it would be a poetry shop where people could go in and buy their daily poem and look at some others on the walls or posted, like Ron’s local adverts, on the window itself to entertain passers-by. Maybe, there could be a coffee grinder that sends out the wonderful aroma of coffee beans to my now opened windows to tempt me over in time for an espresso which I could drink sitting in a luxuriously upholstered wing-backed chair listening to Beethoven or Schubert played by the new shop’s resident string quartet.
That, I suspect, will never happen.
Maybe it should be a DIY shop run by a friendly chap who wouldn’t mind dropping into my place whenever anything goes wrong that I can’t fix.
Whoever moves in must keep the name “Ron’s” – it is written, as you can see, just off centre to the street even if it is centred to the window. it has always made me think “Ron’s what?”
Ron’s Poetry would be perfect but for Lewes residents, it will always be just “Ron’s.”