Most of the time I convince myself I don't really want to run my own flower shop (the cold ... the hours ... I wouldn't have time to be a flower shop hunter ...) and then, yet again, I see a shop that steals my heart and I imagine myself stood in my own shop ...
One such heart stealer is Martyn Crossley's flower shop in Windsor. Martyn was a jeweler for many years before becoming a florist, but it seems he never forgot the flowers he used to love looking at in his father's green grocers shop, and eventually he was drawn into opening his own shop.
I have to just add a note to any florist reading this blog; can you imagine working in a shop that has acres of work space, a cool and airy selling space, a storage room, proper loos (2 of them - and not a block of Oasis in sight) an office AND a loading bay?! Now that is florist heaven.
Add to this, Martyn has a Matthew.
Every flower shop needs one.
Matthew is Martyn's partner and it is Matthew who does all the paper work - I told you, florist heaven.
Martyn and Matthew met when they worked together on the QE2 (thoughts of floristry were put on the back burner for a while when Martyn was offered a job as a jeweler with a cruise line).
I am intrigued as to whether there was also a flower shop on board. Martyn explains that fresh flowers were loaded when they reached different ports, but that it was only in the early days that there was an actual flower shop on the ship. It was in the days when men wore button holes and women coordinated corsages with their cocktail dresses. I catch myself drifting into an "Affair to Remember" daydream.
This is a simply lovely shop. As I browse amongst the flowers and gifts I discretely watch Martyn and his staff as they deal thoughtfully and sensitively with a customer's funeral order.
I fall in love with a fat, ice cream swirl of a rose - a variety called, appropriately, Fiesta.
And as I browse I pick up a trick or two, that I will be unashamedly copying. Three vases, three different levels of water and three fully blown peonies. Simple but, oh so stylish.
Tucked away on the counter I notice a photo of one of Martyn and Matthew's neighbours in Windsor. It seems she also enjoys their flowers.