I managed to sneak in a cycle ride yesterday afternoon. There was still potentially work from clients, but in practice it would wait for Monday, and I was feeling really rather rough: like I was coming down with a cold, but quite possibly just the result of stress and long hours in a short week. Given the weather kept threatening rain, then rather than heading out like an arrow I zigzagged north, hoping to zigag back south afterwards, and thus get more fresh air than the crow might in flight.
I reached our local marketless market town at—and I checked—16:26, and was glad to see the door of a local food shop open. As I approached, with almost comic gardez-loo timing, a woman stepped one foot out across the threshold and flung soapy water down the street from a bucket. The door was then shut with finality: after all, it was nearly 4.30pm, and who wants to buy food after 4.30pm?
Further investigations elsewhere proved fruitless, apart from chains like the Co-Op. Here, it seems, is the town with almost nothing open after 4.30pm. Come from miles around, to see this strange sight: the marketless market town; the townless, marketless market town. You don’t need to tip your guide, but please be advised it’s 20p for the toilets (parking your cars, rather than your stools, is of course free; and good luck finding a Sheffield hoop.)
Luckily I had another hour’s worth of zigzagging ahead of me, and could work off the dull funk that had descended upon me while fighting both the unwelcoming meanness of the Cotswolds and my dropping blood-sugar leves at the same time. But do ask me again why we’re moving. Go on, ask.