The last month has been good.

Sales have been fairly strong across the board and the weather is helping. With the cold weather at night people are still buying plenty of fuel but as the days warm up people are buying compost and flowers too.

I sell compost at £3.89 a bag or five for £18 – I do peat compost, grow bags – the complete range. A lot of our customers out here are keen gardeners and we are also right next door to the allotment which certainly helps. I have an agreement with a flower supplier and we get a good price – it’s mainly bedding plants. But I do have to keep an eye on the weather. One year we got the plants in too early and the frost got them. I’ll really be pushing the plants around Easter.

On the downside our new EPoS system crashed and it meant we were without EPoS for a long time. I’ve had to reinstall my old system. Because all the prices are done by the EPoS we had to check all the time, shouting to staff on the shop floor or running over and checking the price on the shelves.

The system that crashed was within its warranty period so it’s extremely disappointing.

That aside I’d still like to have more input from the trade on exactly what we’ll be able to do in terms of covering up our tobacco display next year. It’s just a year away and it will creep up on us.