The butcher at number 110 had a nice array of fish in the window. I bought a pack of smoked salmon. The butcher smokes it himself in his own smokehouse.
The salmon at Pyrenees Gourmet Butchers alone makes a trip to Avoca worthwhile. It was the best I've tasted and completely different to the smoked salmon you find in most other places. For one thing, it wasn't orange. For another thing, it wasn't oversalted.
Of course, the butcher had meat in the window as well. After all, he is a butcher. But you have to diversify these days. Just look at any post office. You can't see the stamps for Wiggles books, Steve Parrish greeting cards, outdated street directories and useless plastic junk. I suppose you have to forgive them because who writes letters any more? No-one. I haven't received a letter in years.
I bought some sausages as well. Children don't eat smoked salmon. While the butcher was wrapping the smoked salmon and the sausages I glanced around the shop and nearly fell over when I looked to the right of the counter on the opposite side to the door. There was an entire wall of bottles of red wine. All regional. None of your million-selling Fosters Group Beringer Blass Mildara Southcorp or whatever they call themselves this week.
The unusual propinquity of red wine and racks of eye fillet brought me around to thinking, as the butcher placed my package on the counter, that if you liked your meat rare, really rare, you could just about whip the top of a bottle of red and eat in, right there.
I took my package and paid the butcher and, in the paling late afternoon with the low sun painting orange tracery through winterbare trees onto the Victorian shop verandahs, I walked down the main street of Avoca, which is called Main Street, just to save any confusion.
It was a long street, and wide enough to turn a camel train.