Shopping in Beaumaris

The butchers across the street from our flat took considerable pride in their window display. We looked directly down onto this butcher shop from the third floor window which was at the front of our living room. We talked with them about their display, and they admitted to us that the center head was supposed to evoke the image of an American tourist. We kidded with them about that, and they were a little embarrassed, but it was all in good fun.

We were very much impressed with the owners of the butcher shop, who were brothers. They were fine men who took pride in their work, and were helpful and generous. We became good friends in the year we were there.

The greengrocer also made his daily display. His individual shop was next to the butcher shop. Around the corner was the bakery, and a half-block away was the "Chemist", their word for the druggist.

Brenda coming home from her grocery shopping trip. She had to climb the stairs to the third floor after shopping. Shops did not provide bags - everyone brought their own bags, and it worked quite well. It was a lot less wasteful than U.S. habits. The small village setting meant that most people just walked to do their shopping, and shopping was nearly a daily event. Brenda would walk to the individual specialized shops to get what she needed from each shop, and put them in her bag.

Brenda in our kitchen with the groceries laid out. There were a lot of interesting differences from U.S. shopping. The greengrocer did not clean the vegetables - you bought carrots and celery with the dirt still on them. That was the custom and done by design - you could certainly tell that they were fresh. Note the Bird's Custard, a standard fare and something you got on nearly all desserts in restaurants. Self - raising flour, one of the many minor differences in language. Note the fresh milk in glass bottle, pasteurized but not homogenized. The box of "Jelly" - their word for Jello. One of the common puzzlements among them about American customs was that of the peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich which they had heard about. They pictured it as a peanut-butter-and-jello sandwich! Note the fresh butter and fresh bread. The small village practice was quite convenient, and quite practical. It was an eye-opener for us. We had never experienced anything like it.

In the background in our kitchen was our small brown teapot - we made tea like they did, with loose tea. We really enjoyed the tea. Up on the wall at the left is the flash water heater. We had one here in the kitchen and one in our bathroom which was down one flight of steps. It is common to have the coils of small copper tubes in the gas flame which heats the water on its way to the tap. There were no tanks for hot water.

Rod settles down to read in our living room. It was rather spartan, but quite adequate for us. We spent a lot of time reading this year, with Rod pursuing his interest in the writings of C. S. Lewis and William Temple.

This view of Brenda in our kitchen shows the small refrigerator in the corner and the small range. This was not so untypical for refrigerators. The climate was cool, and the pattern in Beaumaris was almost daily food shopping, so there was not so much need for refrigeration.

We didn't have any trouble knowing when the fresh produce was in since the greengrocer was just across the street and we could hear the lorry come in. ("Lorry" is what the British call a truck - when you said "truck", they didn't know what you meant.)

Ladies who came in to shop would often leave the baby outside in their "pram", as you can see here in a view from the window of our flat. Nearly every mother of a young child had a pram. Some of them were quite elaborate and expensive.


Houses in Beaumaris
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1966
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