Small town life
"You know everyone!" my friend said to me as we walked through the Broadway on Saturday lunchtime. We'd just been for lunch at the Cake Bar in the Book Inn bookshop - omg have you been? They have the most delicious food in there.
The vegan sausage rolls from there have kick-started a serious addiction. I find myself going in there at weekends, head down - "you got any sausage rolls?" I mumble, trying to hold it together, hoping with every ounce of my being that they've got a batch in the oven. THEY'RE AMAZING. Anyway. My dear friend and I went for a satisfying lunch - spicy cauliflower soup with oven-warm sesame bread rolls, followed by a pot of tea and a rose cupcake to share.
We browsed in more shops (the jewellery in Castle Collection is so cool, and very affordable - check it out) then went our separate ways: she went off to a wedding dress fitting and I went to buy some hair dye for my greys (we're at different stages in our life!). I tried on some lovely dresses in Nook Boutique and admired their delicious lime and coconut candles - I must buy one after payday. I bumped into more people; waved, said hi, chatted to some. It made me think of Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm who gets into trouble with an acquaintance he passes in the street because he didn't want to do the 'stop and chat'. I don't mind on days like that: it was nice to bump into friends and then go on my way.
Of course, Leigh isn't *that* small (and I really don't know everyone). There's probably 25,000 people here, no doubt more. And not mentioning the people who come at weekends to eat, drink, shop, look at houses, or visit saying "This would be a nice place to end up." But it still has that "we buy independent, we catch our own fish" thing going on. And that's what makes it so appealing to both residents and future residents.
All I will say is this: if you don't want to do the stop and chat, don't go to the Broadway on a Saturday because you will see EVERYONE YOU KNOW. But if you do go, pop in to the Cake Bar and get a sausage roll. You'll thank me later...
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