The Sennen Cove Diary

July 1st - Monday

The wind dropped out a bit today. For three days of relentless howling northerlies, we sold precisely no windbreaks at all. Today, we sold three before the middle of the day. What sort of world are we living in, I have to ask.


Yes, today we had some semblance of a decent day. There was still some breeze from the north, but it was nothing compared to the last few days. There was enough sun and warmth in the air to encourage many of those leaving to delay their departure by a few hours to enjoy what they missed through the rest of the week. It was difficult to know whether it was just this that gave us an unexpected boost for the day or there was a larger influx for the coming week. Certainly, there were some faces that I had not seen before, so it is likely that the season may have started.


It was the sort of day that the arrival of a cash and carry order would have been quite awkward as I would have little time between customers to process the new stock. We had one anyway because that is the sort of people we are; we love a good challenge. I spent the remainder of the day balancing the needs of our customers – and indeed our own need for income – against the requirement to clear the store room floor. The delivery came in early again, as expected, but with a different driver. This one asked if he could be even earlier next time, which is fine by us provided he calls ahead to let us know when.


The beach was the busiest we had seen it probably since the start of the year. With the wind onshore still, it was never going to be a big surfing day but there were plenty of people in the water with boards and quite a few without, too. The encampment at the head of the beach looked bigger than it had all week, but I did not spend much time looking as we were busy. The little camps were still there long into the afternoon. They will be pressed a little before long this week as high water draws ever closer to the middle of the day but with neap tides they should be safe where they were.


By near closing time I had just about finished the unpacking of the delivery, so I can claim a feather in my cap, thank you. We are seeing a few more grocery purchases, now, which is heartening. Also today, two customers conspired to coordinate two advanced postal orders which I managed to get right, even though I spent the day fretting that I had got one wrong when I had not. We are grateful for the faith placed in us over a Tesmorburys order or even in addition to one. The advantage we offer over delivery is that we have top quality local produce that is not available from the big supermarkets and you get to hand your money over to a fawning, Uriah Heep of a grumpy shopkeeper and who can resist that.


I had taken a risk and placed a larger than normal order with our local bread supplier. I was clearly not brave or big enough because when I looked close to the end of the day, it had all gone. We are also bereft on other bread too, which I can do nothing about until Monday. And there was me thinking that it was too expensive but it is also very good, which makes it worthwhile. I should realise that people are prepared to pay for quality and many still are not as sensitive about price as I worry that they are.


A gentleman, well, he might have been, came to me to ask the price of our wet shoes. I told him that they were less than ten pounds, just, and he raised an eyebrow. Rather that berate me for being a seaside grasper, he was amazed that they were so cheap. This worries me more than someone complaining that they are too expensive, and I then have to go and check that I have got the price right. As it happened, the price of shoes has gone up again this year and our price has been the same for several years in a row. It probably is time for a review, so if you are buying wet shoes this summer and they are more than you expected, blame the fellow I saw today.


Very subtly through the day that northerly wind increased until, just before I closed the shop – and hour earlier than yesterday – it was blowing a bleddy hooley again. I knew of at least three people with new windbreaks who would be feeling very smug about that.

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