Since we moved to this little town in November 2010 there has been The Furniture Man, a cheerful soul with the pitch nearest the pub who sells all manner of interesting old finds from house clearances, although mainly - as you'd guess - furniture. Looking around the room I'm typing in right now I'm mentally tallying the sheer number of purchases we've made from him; the old ammo chest we use as a coffee table, the coffee table we use as a side table, a stack of vintage suitcases upstairs in the bedroom, 1930s picture frames, old cigar boxes, a writing slope, inkwell and still more. It reads like the conveyor belt on the Generation Game, minus the cuddly toy. Just before Christmas, as I was choosing books from his '10 for £1.50' box, we got chatting and he told me he was taking a break from the market indefinitely. I felt quite sad as I paid up and he bagged my books for me, I hope he is still cheerful whatever he is up to at present. My last hoard of Furniture Man books are stacked haphazardly on the windowsill, my favourite of which is easily The Heart of a Friend, just a simple little volume full of thoughts on friendship - which leads me to the bunch of white roses, pink carnations and gypsophilia currently hanging out in an old Kilner jar nearby. They were from my beautiful friend Lulu and have lasted almost a fortnight, there is something extra special about flowers from a friend I think.