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Cake & Sympathy

The village I live in is relatively small. As a consequence, we don't have a huge butt-ugly shopping centre shrouded in blue-neon, a special bridge to commemorate the millennium or the largest crack-den in Devon - or do we?

No we don't. That would be stupid.

We do have five shops - count them. We have a post-office, a hardware store, chip-shop, random-corner-shop-type-thing and a baker. Five. I'm surprised we don't have a hairdresser. I know of villages that only have six shops, but three of them are hairdressers, although I'm digressing as the whole point of this entry was to talk about my own village, not somebody else's - hairdresser or no hairdresser.

Getting back to the original topic, it's a worthwhile point of note that our village baker probably makes the best chocolate-fudge brownies in existence. I don't know who rates chocolate-fudge brownies, probably Norris McWhirter or his latter-day successor does. I don't know. But they're damn good, anyway.

But the whole thing concerns me greatly, because the post-office sells cakes and the corner shop sells bread. This must cut into the bakers non-existent turnover. (Bakery joke - sorry)

I am one of the few customers that Mr and Mrs Baker get each week. Each time I go there and no matter what I buy, I don't ever seem to spend more than about £2.25. And £2.25 does not pay the mortgage - or anything in fact. I wonder if it even pays for the basic ingredients. Occasionally, I have bought cakes that I never even wanted because I felt sorry for them - the bakers, that is.

This is the line I'm sticking to. My purchase of cakeage is a purely sympathetic action. You're nothing but a cynic for thinking otherwise.

This leads me to wonder how the baker is staying in business. I don't believe they can be taking more than £30 or £40 a day, meaning that they can't have a turnover of more than a grand per month, so they must be supplementing their income by:

a) Running the largest commercial bake-factory in the South-West, somewhere else.
b) Prostitution and/or racketeering.
c) "Special" Brownies

I've not seen any evidence to suggest a, b or c yet. Whilst the brownies are good, they're not that special.

Village life is a cut-throat world of high-finance and big-business. It's brownies today, but it might be flapjacks tomorrow - who knows? All I know is that I'm doing my best to help keep a local shop in business, but should you be in my local area and know what's going on, please post a comment. In the meantime, I'm going to be a super-sleuth and find out... I might even tell you, too.
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