“So why is it called Rebecca week?” asked my nephew who has been staying with me.  The straight answer would be… It isn’t! I suspect he was confusing a bit of Daphne Du Maurier with Regatta week. Daphne is probably the most famous of all the literary beings who have inhabited this town and I was telling him about her various books the other day, many inspired by local surroundings.

Rebecca is one of them and if you’ve been dive-bombed by a seagull on the Quay, you will also see where Du Maurier’s inspiration for The Birds came from. Although we also have a Literary Festival, Regatta week isn’t anything to do with Daphne, or Rebecca, it’s a week of yacht racing, flora dancing, giant pasties and carnival queens. (And many more quirky happenings besides).

There is always a theme to the week. This year’s theme was a musical one to celebrate the longevity of our famed Fowey Town Band, celebrating their 50th anniversary. We tried hard to think of something musical that involved lighting so that we could bedeck the shop in a fitting manner. Inevitably it had to be The Electric Light Orchestra didn’t it? 

And Justine, our Customer Manager, was worryingly fast to volunteer to ‘man’ the desk dressed as Jeff Lynne, ELO’s notoriously beardy lead singer.  Sadly my family dragged me away from the shop when Jeff was in residence – quite briefly, admittedly, as his PA rate was high, and his beard itched – but Nick, the boss, managed to capture the spectacle on camera.  The resemblance is uncanny… Yes, Justine is a woman but who knew if she donned a beard, she could be the human embodiment of ELO?

Today I am watching the Spot The Stranger participants fixated on our window display. Although I’m sure they are also enamoured by the lighting, the many intense faces staring in (seemingly totally oblivious to me watching them) are actually looking for something that isn’t to do with lights or boat-y things at all. They are intently hunting for an incongruous object placed intentionally in our window display. (Ours is Harry Potter, sitting on a tripod – erk, given it away!)

And if you spot Harry and all the other strangers hiding in the other shop windows in Fowey, you can win the competition. And 50 quid – which is a lot to the kids currently ogling our lighting.

One small human, barely able to see over the window ledge, suddenly became aware of my presence as I was trying to put a spotlight on a tripod into the window display.

“Is it that lady?” I hear him ask his mother. “She is in the window and she looks strange”

I take off the hat I was wearing. I’m rather fond of it, but clearly it’s not having the desired effect.

You should have been here on Wednesday, little boy. There was an even more unusual lady than me here then – she was wearing a nylon beard and aviator glasses and no doubt listening to Mr Blue Sky.

Another guest post by TJ!

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