County Stores in Taunton:
That could be me sitting on the bench outside couldn't it?
This was going to be a post about the history of one of the oldest established shops in Taunton, certainly one of the longest still running shops that, until recent times, was entirely family owned.
County stores was due for closure this month. Then It was given a reprieve until the end of March and yesterday it was announced that 'due to overwhelming local support it will remain open for the foreseeable future'.
Just what that foreseeable future will be remains to be seen. I suspect it will only be until they find a new owner for the premises but hopefully that will take a while.
So I thought I'd write post about this iconic shop, a place where, if you can't find it anywhere else, you will almost certainly find it at County Stores.
A place where you can buy handmade chocolates, handmade ON the premises. A place where they not only have their own bakery making bespoke cakes for all occasions but they've also had the same baker making them for over 30 years! A place where you can take afternoon tea, buy exclusive and often locally sourced gifts in the gift shop, chocolate olivers, little paper packets of herbs and spices, dried fruit for your Christmas cake sold by the lb and so much more.
But that's a post for another time because this morning I read this post by my bloggy friend K about a trip to the Birmingham Christmas markets with her daughter.
K and I have daughters of a similar age and every time she write about her it touches my heart because we share so many of the same fears and joys as we watch our girls grow up and form their own lives.
I'm going to be honest (because I always TRY to be honest here), there are times as a parent when it's been HARD. Only fleeting moments and usually because of silly things like not being able to go to the loo on my own for several years. There have been times where I've longed for just a few minutes to myself. Times where I haven't wanted to have to think of them first before making any plans. Times when I've just wanted to be ME.
But they were very fleeting moments and the more time I have these days to do just that the more I miss being the centre of their lives so I cherish each and every second they choose to spend with me.
Last week, believing that County Stores was due to close in the next few days I asked Miss Mac if she would like to have afternoon tea with me.
Being truly my daughter she jumped at the chance!
We ate cake:
Both of us had our eye on the last piece of cherry cheesecake so of course I let her have it and I settled for a slice of chocolate and ginger torte which was delicious.
I took her photo so we would always remember this special moment.
Got her to behave long enough to take a 'proper' photo.
Caught her unawares with this one in the gift shop.
And proved without question that she is indeed my daughter!
And found this - jelly with GLITTER which made us both so happy.
I'm going to miss County Stores SO much when it finally closes it doors and I will write a proper post so I can share the wonder that it is before that happens.
But right now, well, right now I'm just revelling in the wonder that is my beautiful, funny, lovable Miss Mac.