I immediately felt trapped. Fortunately I had my camera quite visible and i offered up cheerfully that I was out for a picture taking walk and had spotted them and popped in. This was meant to suggest I was not carrying cash. I did a quick circuit, politely listening to and enthusiastically encouraging someone's build your own jewelry business, smiling nervously at the woman with knitted dishclothes and the one beside her flogging some sort of slimming body lotion. Then there was The Mustard Lady, who was not actually manning, or I should say womanning her table. I didn't want any mustard and I didn't ant to have to explain I was sensitive to gluten and needed the mustard to have made no contact with it. I glided on, confident that I was nearing the door and then a cheerful woman popped up in front of me.
She was the proud maker of some crafty items which I must say did not impress me at all but she was so sweet. Oh dear this is exactly the sort of trap I am prone to falling into. I had better get it out of the way now and make it clear that I am not a big fan of crafts that involve little to no artistic talent and I particularly dislike them if they have anything plastic in them. My loathing of plastic is a whole other post. I think crafts are a wonderful thing, providing hours of entertainment to the people who enjoy doing them and I have seen many levels of talent on display at craft fairs. I have my own opinions about which items are quality and which are crap. I am known to view many things as tacky which others are happy to display in their bathrooms, covering their spare rolls of toilet paper. You may think I have no sense of fun. Perhaps I don't. However I am being excruciatingly honest here and in real offline life, I am even more excruciatingly polite.
I cringe as I say such things, being someone who dabbles in amateur artistic endeavours and them puts them on her blog where her poor readers then have to come up with something nice to say. But the difference, I would argue, is that I am not asking anyone to pay for them. No, I would be no good at selling my paintings or drawings at all. I would happily give them away to someone who wanted them. So there I was today, faced with a very sweet woman who had some degree of drawing talent, but who spent it drawing on little pieces of plastic which she then strung and sold as jewelry. There were other items on her table, which reminded me of the crafts I might have done while in Brownies. Have I mentioned that she was very sweet?
So I got stuck there. I felt compelled to admire her work and pretend I might buy something, which then turned into feeling compelled to buy something. Her prices were too high. I agonised over what I might like enough to justify spending the money. I disguised it as unable to decide which of the many delightful items I should choose. What did I buy and how much did I spend? Are you dying to know? I spent too much, that's for sure. I purchased two little pendants at $10 each, made by gluing a decorative piece of paper onto a wooden scrabble letter, covering it with some sort of sealant and attaching one of those doodads which allow it to be strung on a chain, or as in this case, a stretchy piece of black string.
Why do I do this sort of thing? I don't really know. I know it has something to do with feeling a sort of agonised sympathy with someone who has put herself out there and is taking a risk, offering up a little bit of herself and hoping it is of value. Like the teacher going around the classroom, encouraging every student, I make my way around a craft market telling every vendor that they have done a lovely job. The only problem is that when I was a teacher I made money, as a captive at a craft fair I lose money.
How did I take my mind off this expensive little adventure? I had a pleasant wander around my neighbourhood and took a few pictures to share, of course.
This is The Little Red Church, just across the street from me, where the unfortunate Market cum Craft Fair was held. It's no longer used as a church but is rented out for artsy endeavours and performances.
I crossed the street here, where there was once a crosswalk but it has since been removed, rather hastily retreating from the church parking lot and heading back into my little neighbourhood to walk a circular route home. This is actually one of the main roads in town and thus one of the busiest, but not so much on Sunday so it was quite easy to scoot across. Why yes, that is a car driving down the middle of the road.
It seems I missed the party.
We are at the bottom of the road now, looking past a few parked boats and campers, to the bay just beyond an old cemetery disguised as a little park. Remember we are just down the road from the town's first Catholic church. All that remains of the cemetery ( oh ha ha I am punny! ) is one cenotaph with names of some of the town's wealthy early inhabitants. No need to pay my respects today, so I veered to the right and carried on.
This building, just down the road from my home is known as The Manor, a sort of tongue in cheek name though my mother refers to it as the old fort. I am not sure why-must ask her! This is the wild west and we don't have much in the way of old buildings. The best we can do is rickety wooden things that date to the 1890s. I don't think this one is even quite that old. Our town did have what was the oldest building in the province, but it burned down two years ago. The Manor is now home to a peculiar assortment of offices. In order to make a sort of circular route for my short walk, I am actually walking through the parking lot of The Manor which connects two roads into a sort of unofficial circuit.
Walking up the next road I approach home, a trio of ugly 1982 built three story walk ups. This one is the foremost one and mine is in behind it.
The neighbourhood is mainly basic family homes built in the late 70s and early 80s. Now a coveted neighbourhood it is a more expensive one though fewer than half the properties could be considered fancy. The gardens are generally nice and the trees well established so it's very pleasant here. I have no garden of my own anymore but I am still surrounded by them.
A neighbour has a large mass of this lovely blue Lithodora, spilling all across the boulevard and along the edge of the road. Rhododendrons are in bloom everywhere and some of the earliest roses are coming out. Along the edge of the driveway as it goes up towards my own building, grows a Rosa Rugosa Alba, one of my most favourite plants and which I had in my own garden growing near the drive. It is beautifully fragrant and has spectacular hips in the autumn. Wouldn't we all love to have spectacular hips?
I have a passionate love of rugosa roses, which are both rugged and beautiful, simple, delicate and yet impervious to any sort of trouble, usually fragrant; they are among the plants that make me most happy, that seem to me to represent what I want life or perhaps my own self to be. Sniffing them apparently makes me wax drunkenly poetic. I can see this one out Sophie's window, though I am rather higher above it than I am accustomed to being. It seems right to me though, that it grows right where I can see it every day. On this happy little Sunday, if I had not gone to the struggling little market, I would have missed a chance to bury my nose in it, this rose that means so much to me.