My mother used to send flowers to her friends. Not just for birthdays, or special occasions, but because – she was thinking of them. As much as I describe my mother as like me, but worse, that’s my privilege as daughter. As much as she was quick-witted and dry-humoured, occasionally quite dark in her humour, she was terribly thoughtful.
After many years of sending flowers to people, we moved down to Devon, and found a small shop in Sidmouth that could be prevailed upon to send clotted cream through the post.
I have been back there many times in the years in between, but since I could get lost on my own road (my internal compass is missing), I have never found it.
But I have found a brilliant company in Chudleigh, just the other side of Exeter, and they do amazing hampers. I know, because I have sent a couple of the cream tea ones in my time. I, too, am surprisingly kind.
What I didn’t know, until relatively recently, is that they send all kinds of hampers. Not just cream tea, but Devon Foods, Cake and Biscuit, Cider Hampers.
It’s like when I learnt that pillow menus were actually real. It was a shock that turned into a smile, and found its way into book four (out today). The idea that there are fancy-pants hotels that let you choose from a selection of pillows was like something from another world.
But cider hampers… I think I’m going to struggle choosing between the cider and the cream tea. For other people, I mean. Not just for me. That would be… well, that would be…
I need to go shopping.