I can’t think how many times David, the post office and his shop have been mentioned in my blog. So many times in fact that I feel all three deserve a post dedicated solely to them. Some may wonder whether I do any work at all outside of the hours spent ambling between aisles, swinging on the office chair next to the post counter and putting the world to right with my favourite shop owner .


The Lismore store (and there is only one) is a most important venue:  a social hub for those who happen to stop by…a place where chance meetings and their resulting conversations are the human syrup that turns this island from an environment into a flapjack. I mean community.

For some reason the mind has a tendency to blank and whirr once within the tardis like womb of the shop. One often hears “Now, what did I come in for?” and I think this is because, once in and also while entering, there are so many diversions. Firstly, there are the island notice boards on either side of the front door where minutes of meetings, events posters, obituaries, lost items and more  jostle for fame  and the occasional drawing pin. Then, upon entering one is faced with a whole array of naughty temptations such as Tunnocs tea cakes, shortbread and sterling bun. It is at this point that I revisit the familiar internal debate as to whether I should stock such items in my house for these occasions when farmers come to visit but at the risk of inducing obesity in my 10 year old who sniffs out sugar like a shark to blood.

How David figures what to and not to stock is a mystery but somehow he manages to stock just about anything one might fancy from bungees to shitake mushrooms, potatoes to crab terrine and any spare eggs from over broody hens are handed by islanders for speedy sale to the henless few. The children’s toy shelf always boasts an ever evolving collection of curios from the far east be it flashing yoyos, pop guns or squidgy dinosaurs. Sometimes I test David with requests for certain items which surely he won’t have ” David, you don’t happen to have any miniature screw drivers?” or “David…coriander?” to which I am warmed and delighted by “Yes I do!”

One of the things I find most entertaining about David is his baffling honesty when it comes to best buys. An honesty which seems to fly in the face of any financial nowce, and yet pays off in customer trust tenfold. Case in point; Firelighters. On certain occasions I have tried to buy branded firelighters only to have them whisked from my hand and replaced with the happy shopper equivalent at half the price. The other day Freda was advised not to buy a certain type of tomato because they didn’t taste of anything. This honesty is a fine, fine quality indeed.


There are certain times when the shop should be avoided if in a hurry , these being primarily grannies visit when the home help minibus brings those elder members of our community on a shop outing. Inevitably the shop then becomes a place where time must bow respectfully to the unhurried and measured pace and chat of the over sixties. The other occasion is any time on Saturday when half day closing induces all and sundry to panic buy whisky, tobacco and maybe cat food to see us and our pets safely through the sabbath. This paragraph is all a little ironic since I suspect I am the ultimate shop delay on this island with my endless bouts of bulky packages to destinations far and wide.

On this point I have to offer massive applause for David’s measured and calm approach to a myriad of postal options over which we procrastinate almost daily, from the pros and cons of 24 hour to 48 hour service, maximum and minimum size, can I stuff it through the large letter slot? why can’t I stuff it though the large letter slot? Can you lend me some parcel tape so I can bind it and then stuff  it through the large letter slot? what’s  a tariff no? How long will it take to get there?…HOW LONG?  Should I track it? what about recorded? guarantees?…ENDLESS! And as yet David has remained as calm and collected as the Dali Llama.

Thank you David. May your shop continue just as it is for many more years to come.

Posted by:mogwaii

Born: 13th March 1969 in Edinburgh Star sign: Pisces Where do I live? An beautiful island called Lismore Who with? I live with my gorgeous man - Yorick, and my beautiful boys Ruben (currently 14) and Tom (10) and we also have cat poppy, cat Bashy and cat Spyro. What do I do there? Water veggies in the polytunnel, loads of mopping up, picking up clothes, cooking and washing dishes. The rest of the time I'm in a blissfull state in my studio making things out of wool and designing the next must have (in my head!) and a lot of cycling to and fro My favourite Books: Right now...empowerment books like "The power of now" and "The Secret", but also John Fowles "The Magus" and "The kite runner" and I love the "Tao of Poo" My Favourite films: Babettes feast, Wings of desire and The colour of Pomegranites. My favourite music: Bach cello suites for designing, Dolly parton for making (especially her album Little Sparrow), Teddy Thompson and loads of other stuff! What did I do before moving to Lismore? * Went to school in Edinburgh (South Morningside primary then St. Mary's music school and then George Watson's) * Went to Brazil for a year, fell in love, learnt Portuguese and spun a lot of wool * Studied foundation in visual arts in Manchester poly and then went on to study BA Hons in textiles at Goldsmith's college * Made felt hats, sold them at Camden market and then eventualy Liberties and had Ruben in the midst of it all - moved to Pathhead * Tom came along and I stopped making hats. sung lots of Jazz, taught Brazilian and samba singing, recorded an album and started singing with La Boum * Tom went to school and I set up Mogwaii * Moved here in 2006 There you go!! xx Sarah (from left) Ruben, me and Tom (from left) Ruben, me and Tom

8 replies on “David and the Lismore store

  1. This is what America needs. Community, more small businesses. It is also one of the big reasons I would move to Scotland. It feels… smaller. More closely knit. There are, of course, stores kind of like that (i.e. small businesses) here, but fewer people appreciate the quality of business there. This issue is especially important to me because my mom owns a bead shop. I could ramble on forever about community and blah blah. I’m really happy you did this post, I loved reading it!

  2. What a lovely lovely post. I’m sure David enjoys your visits as much as you do. And what are we without community? I think everyone craves a little of what you’re describing Sarah. Thanks for yet another post to get me thinking 🙂

  3. Hope you’re feeling better. The memories of days when climbing onto the chair in the post office (now to be seen in York museum) whilst grown ups performed miracles in stamping, smells of coffee grounds and bacon and loads to see, sounds just like your current post office, not like my soulless, albeit in a village, chrome and glass parcel posting. British mail services obviously are surviving thanks to your posting, and mine to sons serving in far off places. ;0)

  4. I have to back up Sarah’s every word. The shop as run by David is the best and I have lived here when it has been on other hands.I stood yesterday for what may have seemed ages to anyone from off Lismore while he told Janette how to get the airlock out of her hot water flow upstairs and I was totally plumbing savvy by the time he finished. I know he would have fixed my bike brakes which were dodgy had I mentioned the fact because he offered to fix my windscreen wipers another time. I could go on and on… The icing on the cake is that he is extremely funny and interesting to talk to.But that’s Lismore…cake and icing.

  5. I’m an avid reader of your blog and had noticed that the shop gets a regular slot. I came to the conclusion that it must play quite and important part of your daily life, only to read this post which confirms my suspicions. I loved the post you did on guessing the destination by accent – totally childish but something I would do! Could David have a chat with Tesco about customer service.

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