Stories from a small shop - What are the chances?
The delight I derive from running my small shop is due in no small part to having spent the past 15 years working for my husband's hydropower engineering company. Now I'm not knocking it - it has kept me gainfully employed and has achieved some amazing things in the renewables industry. But I am not an engineer, so the fact that I was available, cheap to employ and capable, was the main credential that led to my role of mopping up the boring paperwork that my husband couldn't bear, whilst he got to do clever things in rivers with Archimedean screws.
Where am I going with this, you may well ask? Cut to a quiet afternoon in the shop, a couple came in looking for 'a little something to add some colour' to the property they were in the process of doing up. When they approached the till, I noticed they had picked up a leaflet on Howsham Mill, [a wonderful 18th-century gothic watermill that my husband and I spent 10 years fundraising to restore as an eco-learning and community centre].
"Ah," says I, "My third child! The mill is wonderful place...blah blah...totally self-sustaining...blah blah...produces power by the waterwheel and an Archimedean screw..." The couple looked at each other, then back at me and said "Well actually, we're buying this for our mill in Italy that we're in the process of renovating. We want to install some form of hydropower but haven't got a clue where to start or who to talk to..."
I know just the man.
- Mo MacLeod