Friday, June 29, 2007

Er, which side of the fence am I today?

Do as you would be done by, yes?
Well yes but also, recognise that others mostly do as you would be doing if you were where they are. That is, en masse and specifically when shopping. More specifically, when wandering round the market.

Us market traders have a whole batch of punters we do not love. Those who do the three 'p's (pickup, put down and piss off), those who spend ages trying on, handling, admiring and then say it's lovely but I don't want it. Those who frown studiously at the goods and then leave without acknowledging the existence of the trader, three feet away. Those who scowl disgustedly at the goods from a safe distance Those who launch into a lengthy discussion of their own interests, ventures and ideas on your goods before leaving without buying anything (and also block the stall from people who might have bought something). Those who look and pick up and handle and then say to their friend "I could do this". Those who say "where do you buy the mounts, frames, backing, photos (!), hooks, table cloth" (I positively lust after a cloth owned by one of the traders but I bet she'd sell it to me for a small fortune if I asked and I haven't earned one of those yet) and then wander off having gained lots of information for free.
After all, most of us have items on sale for around £1. A tiny price to pay for spending time winding up our hopes!

So we traders do in fact discuss you punters as you wander off and some of us get quite vituperative and cynical about it! Well we're all so nice to each other and it's all a bit frustrating and exhausting so we have to vent our feelings on someone (as well as the weather and the failure of Oxford Council to provide us with free parking though they do provide it for the regular market traders...a vastly inferior and uninspiring regular market at that, so I'm told)*

But I must remember that when I shop, I sometimes don't want to engage with the person on the other side of the counter and yet sometimes I want to ask them things (though I think I'd buy a little something if I did) and often I want to say "Hey, I do this too!!!" And sometimes I'm in a filthy mood and the goods I'm seeing aren't filling me with joy! And I expect sometimes my face purses itself up and scowls at things all by itself while I'm not paying attention to it!
And then again, one of the pleasures of shopping is to pick up, handle, admire and enjoy without feeling obliged. After all that is sort of what it's all about. You display things to the general public so that they can enjoy your stuff. The buying is a whole 'nother stage of the process.
And one of the nicest kinds of punter, whether they buy or not, is the kind who looks, smiles at the goods, then gives me a small, shy smile before either buying or moving on...sometimes a little thank you even. Also, I couldn't help liking the very tall thin bearded one who veered towards the stall, shot an eyebrow up in apparent astonishment, paused, did the eyebrow again together with a rather birdlike neck stretching thing and veered off. Well he was funny!

So, ok, I'll pop back to the other side of the stall and forgive most of the punters for annoying me, (I do still feel cross with the ones that talk for ages and ages about their plans to do what I'm doing and then don't even buy one tiny card for £1.10 and I can't help disliking the ones who ask how much for the frame without the picture!) and then I'll meander back to the punters' side and remember that the traders have been up since five or sixish and are probably desperate for a loo, and be nice to them too :) Golly, I'm just too good to live aren't I!!!

Having said all of which, I'm going to take next week off. The logistics of providing what people might want (Oxford cards, other local cards, flowers, animals) aren't working out with the logistics of getting to market. And there are still some people who definitely do want something (fiddle cards, brewery cards and Newbury cards) and I haven't even taken the photos for some of them. It's easy to forget that the pictures are only available to be taken at rare and special moments. You can take a hundred, but only one will have that combination of light and subject and perfect moment which makes a picture).
Pffffffffft (to borrow from Mel:)
While I'm on the stall I take pictures every so often just for the hell of it.And after I've set up (this is the new layout)And also when I'm leaving at 6 am. And on the park and ride bus in between setting up and parking.Because after all, that's what I like doing :)

Overnight thought, summing up everything:- The difficulty between traders and punter really, is that they have opposing aims.The one to receive lots of money and the other not to part with it! Since both groups know exactly what is the aim of the other, they/we all expend a good deal of mental effort trying to bridge the gap!

*I mustn't believe everything I'm told though, it may really be a fantastic market. And of course it belongs to Oxford city council and its traders pay a huge public liability premium and for all I know a goodly fee for the hire of the stall. To the council.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Bring on the dancing geese

Not exactly ABBA though!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I've been given one of


Thing is, apart from being ever so proud of it, I don't quite know what to do with it!


Sunday, June 24, 2007

I've found it :)

'A Handful of Earth'

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Washing surprises

like lifting up the peg basket and finding a sleepy cat underneath it or emptying out the washing machine and discovering a very clean, but quite dead, earwig among the underpants.

Other surprises have included finding a pair of underpants nestling in the hedge several days after hanging it out (was this the work of a successful earwig?), having a pair of jeans suddenly throw themselves into the air and spit a peg at me in passing, having the washing line lay itself down on the ground with all the washing (this was also a surprise to the dog who usually considers the washing an incomprehensible irrelevance and was sleeping in the sun just underneath it) and receiving an entirely unwanted gift from an overhead, passing housemartin (such pretty little birds but why do they nest under the eaves just above the honeysuckle and with the washing under their flightpath?).
Well, that's washing for you.
You can see some washing just behind the tomato plants. Barney has green fingers and therefore we will have tomatoes :)
And I get to have pictures of furry plants (not to be stroked though, they're a bit prickly)
And, for Latharia, this is what I thought was elephant's ears. A sort of giant mushroom :) There is a similarity I feel :)

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I've lost a handful of earth

No not from the garden, Sister in law's book!
I was reading it last week and we both thought it was on the chest by the window and then it wasn't. Can't find it anywhere. Ridiculous!

I had one of those Watchtower people at the door today and I suddenly thought I ought to have a leaflet to give to him. It would say,

Sorry I haven't got time for you today.

But think on the lilies of the field.

How many sheets of paper have you pressed into unwilling hands today?

How much petrol will you use during the day?

Does God want us to look after our home on earth or not?

Am I right in thinking if you manage to turn one single soul towards God today, you will believe you have done fantastically well and He will be overjoyed with you?

Because quite frankly, if I manage to turn one person's thoughts towards wasting less of earth's resources, that's barely worth considering. We need every single person on earth to give thought to the waste and destruction that is happening on this planet and even that would hardly be worth a few sheets of paper. We need every single person on the planet to do something about it and to think of better ways to live in harmony.
Please recycle this note by passing it on to someone else.

and it would be typed very small and on a tiny piece of paper.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Cornflowers and clouds

See? Five thirty, sunlight and rain :)
Unusual angles
evidence of extreme bravery

More clouds :)Going back to sleep now. Well not now. Now I'm going to get up, shower, run about a bit, make dinner and then, possibly after sorting out some flower photos for next week's market (yes I did commit myself to another week) gp back to bed :)

Well I suppose I might do a tiny bit of blogging? Maybe :) Well, probably. I suppose.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

One of those funny old days

Having been warned repeatedly of heavy showers today I firmly expected to be let off the early morning trip to Oxford. But no, the sun shone and the sky looked pretty clear. (at five in the morning I don't know how it has the gall to look so nice considering what a bleary and grumpled sight I am). Still, I set off and despite the constant discussion of dire weather forecasts all around, the sun shone nearly all day, except for one very brief but impressive shower (more like a small waterfall actually, targeted on the market) which caused the awnings to empty themselves sporadically for the rest of the day over stallholders and customers alike. All very entertaining.
I shall pass quickly over the main purpose of the day since it wasn't very interesting and move swiftly onward to the homeward journey, all green and bathed in brilliant golden light set against a background of menacing grey clouds. All viewed by me with helpless frustration as I searched in vain for a parking spot on the A34 which would allow me to take pictures of the best views! Finally on the last leg, from Waitrose to home, I found, not only a spot to take pictures of clouds but also a field full of cornflowers. And then arriving home found that the scaffolders had been and erected a neat platform from which the very very brave photographer could take shots from a new angle! So I did! Mr and Mrs next door, who are lovely people, laughed at me scrambling up the ladder very cautiously with one hand full of camera and the other full of ladder :) Bear in mind that I have no head for heights, ok?

So finally I staggered in, laden with unsold goodies and shopping and immediately rushed to satisfy all my addictions, compulsions and appetites. ie, rolled a fag, poured a glass of wine, gobbled some cheese and positively shovelled the camera card into the computer! Now the computer is digesting and soon I shall be able to see what I've done!
(I'm saying this now in case it turns out disappointingly blurred or dark or badly framed or whatever :)

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

London to Brighton in four hours

No, not the cyclists, the support team!
And back again in another four hours too.

Accidents, traffic jams, you name it, it was waiting out on the road for us. It's amazing how busy the roads are in London at ten oclock at night!

But the cyclists did really well.

I got to spend time by the seafront trying to take pictures of seagulls (there's always a longish period, punctuated by texts from the cyclists, telling us they're nearly there now, when I improve the golden hour by trying to take pictures of seagulls) but we missed the arrival of the main group because they didn't tell us they'd arrived. Barney and Eldest came in a good bit later and waved as they passed so I caught them :)

Then next day (Sunday) I got to see deer in Richmond Park (rather early in the morning which was very good) and had breakfast in Barnes (no not here, I went to a cafe and had bacon and egg. the waitress seemed a trifle ouzzled* by my idea that breakfast could be just bacon and egg instead of the full english).
Barnes is a really lovely place though it was sad not to have a much looked forward to meeting with a very lovely person :(

And on the way home I stopped at the lakes near Theale and that was pretty good too.

Now I'm knackered and will have to spend several days recovering.


Oh! did I mention dragons? Hosewell was seething with them :) Who'd'a' thought dragons would be bright blue!

*alright, puzzled. But I think she was a bit ouzzled too.

Friday, June 15, 2007

So by the time yesterday morning came I was sort of hoping for rain...not that it isn't fun and all that, going to market, but I'd got it into my head that it was going to rain and I'd just have to take this week off!
But the weather forecast was all wrong and there wasn't so much a s a spit of rain at five o'clock so I went. And lo and behold, it didn't rain and the sun shone a little bit and this week I covered my stall costs and the park and ride and a little bit over. And I didn't feel dizzy either. Also I met Anne and Harry who were lovely and kind and helpful and although at first, I was given a pitch which was all alone in the middle of a nearly empty row of stalls, Anne suggested I move to the pitch next to theirs and helped me move and then did a bit of compulsive re-arranging of my cards (she used to window dress for Allders, a frightfully smart store) and the result was very good. All the people I'd met before were lovely and really it was all rather successful!
I must say, the market people are a lovely friendly, helpful lot and you never feel anxious about leaving everything to go to the loo or to get a coffee.
And the lady who asked last week about cat cards came back but what with the dizzy thing and another, I hadn't done any! Oh well, I told her next week!
Now I have a plan to improve the whole thing even a bit more and if it wasn't for the London to Brighton Ride looming and a special card to make I'd be doing it now.

It was only an hour or two after dawn and already the sun seems very high (though it has a half awake look, peering through the clouds)
The Thursday market is enlivened by occasional renditions of, er, cornet music? Is this a cornet does anybody know? I don't think it's a trumpet!And the pigeons know when it's time for us to pack up.
And go home past houses farms and fields.
Sleep well.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


For the last few days I have been feeling rather odd. Dizzy in fact. When I woke up the other morning to see the ceiling scrolling gently from left to right across itself I thought something like "Oh bother I'll have to take this to a doctor".
Then, naturally I began to list the possible causes of such a symptom, starting with a hangover (unlikely on that particular day) proceeding briskly past high blood pressure, heart failure, emphysema, diabetes, cancer (of the brain, lungs or somewhere along the spine) to BSE pausing thoughtfully at ear infection and wandering guiltily back to high blood pressure.
Then I considered the likely course of the conversation at the doctor's..." how much alcohol do you drink? do you smoke? when did you last have a cholesterol check? Do you eat a lot of sweets, fatty foods, carbohydrates? Do you eat five helpings of fruit and veg every day? any day? do you drink several litres of water every day?....Lots? yes? never? yes? no? no? no?...Oh go home and die quickly before you add more straws to the back of the National Health Camel."

Then this morning came, gently scrolling across the ceiling and I thought, well you've earned your telling off...go and get it and just pray they decide to operate anyway.

Well she didn't. We don't actually like our doctor much but the last two visits have been pleasantly acceptable. She said I probably have Labyrinthitis (I think I'm malapropising there...I'm not sure it's really the labyrinth, the relevant bit of ear, but it sounds like that and it looks a bit like it too so it'll do. It's the twisty bit full of fluid that tickles your ear hairs and tells them to tell your head when you're falling over). she checked my blood pressure and said it was fine. She said I could bring in a sample if I wanted to check that I haven't got diabetes. She said I could have some medication but it would make me sleepy. We discussed things that make people feel dizzy and I left feeling probably about as dizzy but very smug about my blood pressure...and therefore much more cheerful.
So I probably will go to Market tomorrow, and have decided to take the risk of packing everything into one big bag, oh no, two big bags, and using the park and ride. Which costs £2.60 instead of £14.70. Unless it's raining in which case I shall turn over and go back to sleep. Or turn round and drive home. Or even pack up and catch the bus back and go home.

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Saturday, June 09, 2007

Barney has a plan (yesterday)*

and a request.
Could I drive with him to the Basingstoke canal, while he drops his pick-up at one end and then drive him to the other end with his bike so he can spend this week's practice run (for the London to Brighton Ride) along the tow-path.
Then I can go away and leave him. Could we do this at 8 oclock so that he can set off on his ride at 9 oclock.
Well yes. That's ok because I can be home, or somewhere interesting by 9.30 or 10 ish and there will still be some morning light to take photos and I'll have time to eat and shower before music group in the afternoon (must remember to collect Dorothea, she of the gentle wittering).

Only when the day arrives, somebody isn't ready to go until 8.45 (he of the many complaints about my time keeping) and then he takes us by what seems to me to be an extraordinarily circuitous route to somewhere near one end of the canal, then by further complicated zig-zags across the countryside to the other end and after at least one complete circle and a wrong turn, finally to the parking place. (This, by the way, is he of the many complaints about my map reading). Then we set off together, back to the other end of the canal and finally, at about 12.00, he cycles off and I am free. For what's left of the day.

My choice is to hurry home, shower, do something vaguely useful and rush off to collect Dorothea or to stop on the way home and take some pictures of the canal (as if I haven't enough canal pictures already) and then skip the shower till later. And the useful stuff of course. (remember what a slovenly, slatternly creature I am).

So I arrive with Dorothea, late, at the music group, having forgotten my music reading glasses and I have to borrow fiddle teacher's reading glasses to see the music (better than nothing but still a rather hit and miss business, hit some notes, miss some key signatures, hit some rests, miss some more notes) and then rush home to make dinner because that other person, the one who complains about my time keeping and my map reading, is tired and hungry and would like to flop in front of the telly now. If I don't mind.

I admit, privately to a twinge of exasperation.

On the other hand, 30 years ago, Barney worked on the restoration of this same canal and while he dug and hauled and chopped and burned, I wandered along the tow-path and made a drawing of a sunken wreck. Thus (if I can scan it in successfully):

And today*, Barney took a photo of the last remnants of the same wreck:

Cool or what! I forgive him his time keeping, his map reading and his sense of direction. And the rest. And after all, it was a 32 mile ride which is quite an exhausting thought.

Well and I did take a picture or two :)

* That's the day before yesterday - it took me a whie to get round to scanning.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

And the Good Lord (or possibly the small god of stallholders)

Looked down from on high and saith

"today, we will tempt Mig Bardsley a little further along the road towards Mammon"

Thus it did not rain, neither was it cold and windy. And many passers by stopped, looked, said extremely nice things, smiled pleasantly and walked on by to the other side of the aisles to buy cheap tat from another stall (but woman cannot live on nice comments alone, however encouraging and heart-warming they may be and a bit of bread wouldn't come amiss)

And one or two good Samaritans purchased very small items and chatted for ages about the pictures they and their spouses and children liked to take

Yeay! And in one case those taken by a friend or colleague (I forget which)

And the daughter and friend of the daughter of Mig Bardsley came and said

"the stall looks better than last week" and the friend of the daughter of Mig Bardsley bought two cards (and a pork roll for which thanks and praise be given - it was a very good pork roll)

And the companions in commerce of Mig Bardsley came and looked at the wares she had set out and said

"Those are very beautiful pictures. What a shame you haven't sold more. It's been a bad day for all of us too". (didn't I hear something like this last week)

And the kindly neighbour of Mig Bardsley said

"You should take a stall on the Portobello Road in London, where, on a Saturday, a host of people will come and they shall be more discerning than those few people of Oxford and they will spend great sums of money on your beautiful pictures"

And Mig Bardsley took the great sum of £12.50 which is not quite as much as the cost of hiring a stall which is £13.15 but is £9.25 more than last week and all of which is quite small

And the lovely Eddie said

"do you want to come back next week?"

And Mig Bardsley was tempted and said

"Er, Yes".

Oh! Did I? Oh, ok. Well I suppose I will then, seeing as how Eddie is going to put my name on a space (2nd row, third from the end) and all. All I can say is, if the good Lord sendeth not a great horde of discerning people and a few rays of sunshine next week, I may sleep in, the week after. 5 am is not my kind of time of day! In fact, unless it has dawn rays of light shimmering along the edges of trees and hills and things I don't consider it a time of day at all!

And Mammon, you know, I bet he's not such a bad guy if you get to know him. I would like to get to know him just a little bit. Next Thursday for preference.

Views from under a canvas awning are beginning to pall. I don't like to take pictures of the punters. Somehow I feel they might not feel welcomed by a camera pointing at them as they approach.
So here are some more of the canal holiday, for instance, two lovely ladies making the best of the bad weather while we were trying to empty a lock which was filling up busily behind them (the water's not supposed to pour over the top of the gates like that!)

The advantages of being slow and a long way behind the others is you get shots like this of them being blown around on a hill-top
The geese really hoped we had some more stale bread

and next door's boat cat had a great deal to say to our boat dog - through the window. I don't think he understood all the words she was using, he's a bit of an innocent when it comes to swearing cats. Our cats tend to say very simple things to him, like "take that" and "slap" and "mine! Piss off" and occasionally "oh I'm not hungry, you have it (you stupid non-cat person, you won't know what to do with it anyway)"

Now I'm going to continue recovering from getting up at 5 am. At least it seems to be day time now.

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

'Tis the season to be.......

I wasn't the only person appreciating the show....see the Roe deer? though I think he was appreciating the flavour rather than the colour.

And according to Barney, a couple of days ago, there were photographers there too. I expect to see a lot of poppies on flickr over the next few days.


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

'A Handful of Earth' by Barney Bardsley.

This is the title of a book I have delayed beginning until I had cleared my mind of previous reads.
It is written by my sister in law and is, if you strip to barest essentials, an diary of a year in her garden and allotment and the tale of how it began the healing process for her during her husband's long and terrible illness and after his death.
Anyway, today I began reading it and because her writing is so absolutely beautiful and truthful, every word resonating so it feels like poetry, though it reads like a story, I shall read it slowly and reflectively...not at all the way I usually read which is in a kind of slurpy gobble!
And because she writes with such unpretentious candour about the tragedy of losing a husband and about the faith and support that she found in the growing earth I know I shall be quoting from it occasionally!
I'm half way through February already and have already shed a few tears and had a few wry laughs and warm smiles.
She's a lovely lady, my sister in law and we've always been proud of her. Have to say, I'm now growing a bit of awe as well because this book is tremendous. Not only a testament to her husband and child but also to her own courage and endurance. And a song of praise for the giving earth. And if you think this sounds gloomy (because tales of courage and endurance can be quite heavy reading), it's not.
A bit of earth and some chives and parsley. It doesn't look like a recipe for saving a life does it. Unless you know about earth magic :)

Well I'd better shut up about that now because Barney (mine, the elder brother of the lovely author) want his cup of tea before he falls asleep. Umm it may be too late already.
I'd quite like my front door to look like this
and to have a little room of my own up thereAnd to look out at this every day
It's one of the houses in Bampton where the dancers go into the grounds to dance and the following hordes get to wander around the garden. It has a a fabulous garden but I'm in love with the courtyard. There's a sort of grand granny annexe on the other side. I wonder if they need someone to live there!

Still, if you live in Rochdale, you could always go and be impressed with this Garden Centre. I expect its front doesn't live up to the promise of the back view from the canal though.

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Friday, June 01, 2007

The Destruction of Sennacherib

I was just thinking about posting this picture and it reminded me of the only poem I ever remember learning, by heart, all the way through.

All I can remember now, is the first two lines, thus:

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold. (it was the purple bit that reminded me)

Nice. Suddenly I became curious about the forgotten remainder of the poem so I looked it up and found this:

 The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold, 
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;

And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,

When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.

Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,

That host with their banners at sunset were seen:

Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown,

That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.

For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,

And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;

And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,

And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!

And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,

But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride;

And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,

And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.

And there lay the rider distorted and pale,

With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail:

And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,

The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.

And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,

And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;

And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,

Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!
George Gordon, Lord Byron
Very nice. The odd thing is, though I like it very much and am delighted by the imagery and the stylish way it all fits into the meter without any awkwardness and how all the phrases and sentences make sense, I don't remember it at all...not another word, not an image, not even an idea of what it was really all about.
So much for the value of learning stuff parrot fashion!

Well, we've had fields of rape and fields of flax and though I quite like yellow and pale blue in their places and in decent proportion to their surroundings, I felt they had got a bit out of hand, landscape-wise. So are we now going to have fields of thistles? The purple haze is more in keeping with the general tones of the average English landscape, d'you think?

Well. Bampton, to which I didn't exactly hasten after the wet flopping of Art on the Park, (I love it there but the rain dampened my enthusiasm just a bit), was mainly wet. And otherwise very, very windy. So windy that several tents spent most of the weekend bending, reedlike, into sort of cartoon tents and let in a lot of the rain. There were many wet beds and cold people and I'm so very grateful that ours is of the old fashioned solid variety that doesn't really do bending except just before total catastrophe and collapse. And it didn't do that so we slept dry and relatively warm while others shivered and were sadly awake. Two newcomers to the Bampton Experience were told so often that it's never been as bad as this before, that they must have wondered what they'd done wrong (apart from being persuaded to come, that is).
But both said they enjoyed the good bits and I think they'll come again :)
Tent trying to have a lie down

So onward to Oxford. I may as well start by saying that it rained steadily all day until half an hour before packing up time and then the sun came out and a very sweet lady bought two cards.
Actually it was a bit like Bampton..all the regulars assured me it wasn't usually like this and they'd had shit sales too and usually it was much better, really! Hoped I wasn't put off by the bad day! All very sympathetic and my neighbour, George, was particularly kind and looked after my stall several times while I went to the loo and bought coffee and soup and attempted to put more money in the car park ticket machine.*So I spent the day shrouded in billowing plastic watching and learning. Punters (that's you and me when we're wondering whether to buy things instead of wondering if we're going to sell things) are fascinating. You can tell a mile off if one is likely to stop and look and you can tell almost immediately if such a person is likely to buy.** There weren't actually very many of them and mostly they were shrouded in rain wear and hurrying past.
Still, I've learned lots of things. You mustn't huddle down in a chair waiting hopefully, you must look busy and wrap and unwrap things and re-arrange stuff and generally look as though you've got lots to do apart from waiting for a punter or two. You need to have lots of stall was far too plain and simple so it was easily dismissed. I need to have lots more sunny pictures! With brightly coloured frames...rainbow frames maybe :) Also, my plastic sheet needs to be weighted so it doesn't envelope me every time the wind blows! And I need something to hang up at the back of the stall. Maybe put my prices down a little bit and have a few little cheap things to tempt people to get small cash out. I might cut some of the card blanks in half and sell some tiny ones. And I need to have my display boxes looking prettier. I might tuck a few old scarves or silk shirts in to make then look more colourful? and I need to be ready with a few friendly but not pushy comments so that punters make eye contact if only briefly. Because it's very bad for the ego when somebody picks up some stuff and pretends they haven't noticed you're three feet away smiling politely and pretending you haven't noticed they're actually there!***
It's all experience and weather really. I'm not deeply concerned, yet, about not selling anything because just as one swallow doth not a summer make, one wet day doth not complete failure make.
However, I am definitely considering plan B, which involves shops. And plan B (1) which involves nice people I know who want me to make cards specifically for them:) As, after the big build-up to all this sitting around in the rain, it's a bit embarrassing to have so little to report!

Took a brief walk in the woods on the way home :) It had brightened up quite a lot by then!
And there will be canal pictures appearing at irregular intervals, since apparently I took over two thousand. Barney has looked through one folder before becoming exhausted but found time to add up the contents of the rest!
Next Thursday is the Farmers' Market. I'm told this is always much busier. And of course a quite different kind of crowd attend Farmers' markets...usually, I suspect, local people with more money than the weekly visitors and perhaps more interest in greetings cards than the tourists. Which does make me wonder if Oxford is the right place. We'll see. So I'm not feeling too bad about the whole thing. Though I'm not quite ready, today, to start improving my display. Tomorrow will do! And although, sadly, I don't need to do much replenishing :( I do need to make some more 'jolly' cards! In case of more rain, see. Cos I suspect that in the wet, people might be more attracted to sunshine and flowers than moody, arty stuff!
So regretfully, I shall still be buzzing around like a demented bluebottle next week, printing and cutting and sticking and muttering a lot!

Hmm. Sleep well. I'll visit tomorrow.

*The car park machine was a monster from another planet. As well as being horrendously expensive, it wanted me to use my mobile phone to open a parking account and pay by debit card. I managed to tell it most of the numbers it wanted (one was my mobile phone number which of course I don't know...who ever knows their own mob number?!!!) but when it came to entering my car reg using the phone keypad, I gave up after the third attempt. It's too complicated to even begin to describe how you're supposed to tell it whether you're entering a number or a letter! But George gave me a little china bunny and obviously this was lucky because I didn't get a parking ticket.
**I know there was only one of the buying kind but there were quite a few of the other kind, mostly quite nice, but clearly not intending to part with cash!
***Conversely, I must remember to smile at the people I'm not going to buy things from when I next go to the market!