Trees leap. Life moves on. Things change. And Blogger doesn't always work, which is why the badge is under the damn photo not above it!
I remember - I'm sure no one else does - that one of the first things I blogged about was the local pharmacist calling me Jean. It made me feel odd, somehow defined by chronic illness. Strangely, really, as I hate being called anything else and my instinct is always to use first names. Ms Morris? Who's that? Too much like Ms Mouse! But he's much younger than me, and everyone calls him Mr Patel. It felt wrong: 'ça cloche', as the French untranslateably say.
I froze him out, and he never did it again. Until today, when I went for the nty-nth time to collect my migraine medication (for which I daily thank god, or whoever), and the shop, exceptionally, was empty. Since the first time I mentioned it, the pharmacist's shop has been refurbished, extended, sells all manner of lovely homeopathic and organic everything from shampoo to handcream to insect repellant, as well as holding the repeat prescription franchise from most of the local doctors' surgeries. An exemplary independent business holding its own in the age of globalisation. But today, Saturday, at 12.15 pm, it was empty. The pharmacist emerged from behind the partition to serve me himself and said: hello Jean. Hello, I said. How are you? My goodness, how rare to see the shop empty! Ow, he said, do not tempt fate! That's what you get for having such a lovely shop, I said. It's lovely. Really. You sell such great stuff. He smiled and we were equal. I was not patronised. The shop is lovely. Two and a half years seems a long time. Sometimes.