Another hectic few weeks have passed, and life is still full of strange events, which you will discover further on down the newsletter. Surely these things can’t just happen to me?  Anyway, we will start off with something normal.


I must admit I was not looking forward to having one, (then I end up having 2). One of our customers did them for us and we could not be happier. I actually feel more secure (and not for the reason they went up).

As a shopkeeper and especially for myself, when I am on my own there is always that worry that you have to push to the back of your mind, that someone could come in and try to steal something, or lean across the counter and grab either myself or money from the till. Well the screen has certainly reduced that possibility. So, this is one reason we will be keeping the screens, but there is another reason too.


The other part of the screen covers an area where customers could help themselves to cigarette papers and cheap lighters, as you can see in the picture.

Well this screen has now given us a form of display case. I had been looking at ways to have more cigars in stock, and one idea was to use Kilner jars, and place them on shelves at the back of the counter, but then Dad had the brilliant idea of using our new “display case”.

So to start we bought varied sizes of Kilner jars to experiment with different size of cigars, then the idea was given to us, why not use empty cigar boxes to stagger the height of each jar, which would make the display more interesting and eye catching. It’s been a lot of fun.

This is the result so far, and my customers are very impressed. We know it’s working as its causing spontaneous sales, one guy hadn’t smoked a cigar in years, but couldn’t help himself as the display looked so attractive.


It was a normal Saturday morning, and I had just served a lovely couple. Five minutes later, Jason (one of our regulars) came in wearing hospital pyjamas (they were very thin by the way) and he had two drips hanging out of his arm. The story is that he needed some tobacco, so he had pulled the drips out and left the hospital, then walked all the way here which takes about 30 minutes, bought his tobacco, and then told me he was going to walk back again, (and it was also quite a cold morning). 

As soon as he left the lovely couple came back in again, they had seen him come into the shop and wanted to check that they weren’t going mad, and what they had seen was real. None of us could believe it, I mean how did he get out without being noticed? In all of our years here nothing like this has ever happened before, and probably will never again. (Oh, how wrong was I).


The third day of the 2nd lockdown, using our new phone and collect system (which we will talk about in the next newsletter), a chap called Mark rang up and placed an order, he said he would be over later after leaving the hospital.

Now I thought he meant after an appointment, so when I answered the door to him later on, there he was in a wheelchair, he was missing about 3 fingers, had one leg, but then I saw that under his coat sleeve two drips were hanging out. (Now here is the best bit…) Under his coat I could see a hospital gown, and the rest I will leave to your imagination!

What’s going on? How are these people getting out of the hospital without being stopped, especially with what is happening at the moment? It baffles my head. I know one thing – I don’t want a third experience.

OK, so that’s another newsletter for now. As I was finishing this off, we have just gone into lockdown again, so I very much guarantee there will be more peculiar stories to tell, and that’s not including the card machine scenario which happened 3 weeks previous.                              

So for now, stay safe and sane (if that is at all possible).