We are lucky enough to live round the corner from an independent shop that delivers newspapers each and every day, in wind and rain and snow, by 6.30am. The newsagent section is just one part of its business; it's also a Post Office, small supermarket, off-licence, general emergency shop, and a place for Tom to do his Christmas shopping at 10.55 pm on Christmas Eve. We call it the 'Blue Shop' because when we moved here from Brussels, Tom and Alice hadn't yet learned to read (all children learn when they are six there, and spend the time till then acquiring pre-literacy skills - an excellent way to do it), and the word 'Mace' meant nothing to them. Even though it hasn't been blue or Mace for years, has been through quite a few colour changes, and is now yellow and green, it's still fondly known as the 'Blue Shop', and we are all immensely loyal to it.
I grew up with a brilliant newsagent's just up the road. It delivered Mum's newspaper, and our comics at the weekend. I was sent to pay the papers every Saturday when I was young, and I find it amazing that I am still paying paper bills in person at a time when most newsagents have either disappeared or stopped delivering, having fallen victim to a lack of paper boys and girls, and competition from supermarkets. And I appreciate this anachronistic service every single day - on weekdays when I wake up to a cup of tea and a read of the Guardian in bed before 7am, and at weekends when I can sit for longer surrounded by papers and supplements and magazines, and bless the Blue Shop.
[The Blue Shop even sells fireworks, just like the newsagent of my childhood, and the newsagent of Eric Ravilious' 1938 High Street (a beautiful book with lovely illustrations of shops and businesses).]