The Co-Op in my last post - it's shut! Gone. We thought it was because Aldi had bought the pub opposite and were in the process of knocking it down but in truth the Co-Op were happy to continue trading off the their brave socialist divvy and committed customer base against the Hunnish invader's onslaught of cheap memory sticks, hiking sticks, really awful veg that goes off as soon as it leaves the shop and barely disguised rip-offs of premium comestibles with stupid Anglicised names. That was until their landlord doubled their rent from £25k a year to £50k. In comes Martin McColls, willing to pay. Ever been in one? Don't bother. Their only redeeming feature was that they took on all the Co-Op staff. It is a sad day when I yearn for an Aldi to succeed.
Long term followers of this diary will, I am certain, be saddened to hear that Sharon, she who got me doing this in the first place and by turns muse for and unwitting star of many of the 450 odd posts here passed away on 16th May, peacefully in her sleep, surrounded by her Mum, three adored children and myself. Some of you will no doubt be familiar with her health issues, much of which she bore with strength and fortitude for over ten years but in the end, one infection too many proved too many. She was the finest of people. She could, by her own admission, be a total and utter cow and goodness didn't I know it. But you know when partners break up and one goes "still be friends, yeah?" and you both nod, secretly knowing that you'll probably never want to see them again, ever ? In our case it really happened. We finally split under a bit of cloud but within a couple of months we'd realised that being friends was what mattered most. She could still infuriate - and I dare say that was reciprocal - but I've never had a better or more precious friend. I miss her and I will miss her always.