I nearly broke into French:'Es que vous avez L'Observeur?' but just in time I remembered it was Chirnside, not L'Etang La Ville. Monsieur did. The last one. Last out of three apparently-two had just gone to 'strangers' possibly to people as far away as Allanton. As a Huttonian, I was lucky. Chirnside is our nearest 'retail complex. It will be different in Duns, two newsagents within two hundred yards; Observers galore but you have to get there before noon to be sure of having one left. Once, desperate for our weekly prize crossword fix I remembered too late that Chirnside closed at noon. I got to the shop at 1205. Closed. I was turning away wondering how to get through until next Sunday crosswordless when the door opened and I was ushered inside. Purpose of visit explained the owner painstakingly opened packages of unsold Sundays and finally emerged with the last Observer. I offered the £1.90 and had my money waved away.
The paper is unsold he said. Lets leave it that way.
And you can even get the English edition of the Daily Mail-as insisted upon by our neighbour -we alternate the paper run. This can be problem in Scotland. Once in Greenlaw I asked for the 'English' Daily Mail. Don't take it said the shaven headed Newsagent, giving me a nasty look, as if to say :
'What's wrong with the Scottish version?
Labels: English newspapers, Low Flying Merse, Sunday