There are these little oases all around our country. They are made special by the characters, the food producers, the town’s people and especially the rural communities around them. Every so often, I come across a business that I know is a huge asset to its place. A hub where doing business morphs into the model of serving the people of the locality. I found such a place in Field’s SuperValu in Skibbereen. It shows that a supermarket can set itself apart and can support local food producers in an innovative way.

I stayed in Baltimore for three nights with my friend Anne. It was an end-of-season get together before the madness of autumn began. Everyone is buzzing organising their big bang thing with the unspoken promise of “then I’ll enjoy Christmas”.