Yvonne was one of my first customers. When she came in, she apologised for using a kindle. She said, ‘You may as well know’. She loved racy thrillers – Clive Cussler, and she said that when she was young, she was quite a dish.
Every day she walks the block with Marco. She rescued him. She said he’s a gem, but terribly naughty. She always asked after my family. When she was young, she learnt an instrument that nobody had ever heard of.
One day, she brought me in a glazed tile. She’d bought it up the road. It was a picture of my shop (as close as you could get) and she wanted me to have it. I was very flattered. I hung it on the wall. Every day, customers would ask, ‘Where did you get THAT?’
Yvonne said, ‘Gawd. You can get that picture anywhere.’
The day I closed the shop, I saw her walking calmly by, Marco clicking away at her ankles. She passed me when I dashed over the road for groceries. She said, ‘Times are grim,’ but she was squared up, ready for a challenge.