Sunday, 18 May 2014

Happy Little Sunday

I can't really remember Saturday but that is not because there was any alcohol involved.  I think there was a lot of reading involved, a game of scrabble and some laundry.  Sunday was sunny and I really wanted to get outside. I had tired myself out by getting groceries on Friday so that made Saturday a mandatory rest day.  On Sunday I headed out with my camera to walk around my neighbourhood and pop into the little church across the street where a market was advertised.  It didn't look promising as I arrived, only a few cars in the area indicated anyone was present at all.  Sure enough when I poked my head in the door I saw about five tables set up with various crafts on display and several women all looking at me.  "Come on in" they chorused.

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.

28 comments:

  1. Thanks for the little walk. Is that a bay at the end of the road or a lake? Looks nice whatever it is. Cute ex church and I like that it has another life, even if it had pushy sales people inside it.

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    1. Yes it is just a glimpse of the bay, the same one I see from my own window. When that little church was for sale a couple of years ago I had a little fantasy of buying it and making it a home. Just a passing thought though. ;-)
      xo

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    2. I dream of living in an old church, not for religious reasons obviously. Just love lead lights, arches and other such things churches offer.

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  2. Shawna! I too love simple little roses. And they have to smell! Or should I say, have a scent. Roses without scent seem a waste of space, almost plastic. Aargh that dreaded word. I totally get the plastic abhorrence :-) a lovely little walk. I enjoyed having a glimpse of your world. I wanted a picture of your purchases, or are they in the bin already ;-)

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    1. Yes, roses must have a fragrance to impress me! I did think about taking a photo of my purchase I am vaguely worried that the woman who made them might see this but that is actually pretty laughable and unlikely. I will get a photo of them and post it soon. They aren't in the bin because I've got Scottish blood. I bought them so I have to pretend to myself that I want them.
      xo

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  3. You take such lovely photos when you go for your walks. I had to laugh at the money spent on the craft. Great post Shawna!!!

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    1. Thank you Elsie. I'm glad you enjoyed them.
      xo

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  4. Your stories always bring a smile to my day! I could completely relate to your adventure at the craft fair, and I sympathy for you, as I too have felt trapped by the "not so great craft items."
    Your neighborhood looks lovely :)

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    1. Craft fairs can be a mix of things and a big one is easier to slip around in unnoticed. I'm glad you enjoyed my little neighbourhood tour. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.
      xo

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  5. You are too nice...how sweet that you still bought the trinkets! And your neighborhood is beautiful! I love the spring flowers!

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    1. Yes, I am too nice. Or at least I am often told I am too nice. I don't think that's going to change so I should just get the tee shirt that says Hi, I'm Nice.
      xo

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  6. I'm nodding in agreement to everything you've written. I love creating and admire anyone who does but I feel awful at craft fairs, I don't know what to say and can't bear making eye contact at the women (and they usually are, aren't they?) behind the Scrabble rings, Lego pendants and cross stitch. Its extra tricky for me as crafts and vintage seem to go hand in hand here and when a fellow seller buys something from me I feel obliged to reciprocate.
    On a brighter note your neighbourhood is beautiful, the wine glass intrigues me, here it's a dented can of super strength lager and a festering chip wrapper, talk about how the other half live! xxx

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    1. I wondered if you would say that, knowing that craft fairs and vintage probably do go together often. I completely understand your feeling of needing to reciprocate. I would be that way too.

      The wine glass was one of those plastic disposable ones so does that make it seem less posh? LOL I am sure I could find the dented can of lager somewhere else in town but now that I think about it, there is not much litter here. That probably has something to do with the demographic being largely people over 60. If you went to the skateboard park, you might find a candy wrapper or two.
      xoxo

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  7. What a pretty town you live in. Thank you for taking us on your walk, and stopping to sniff the roses!
    I know just what you mean about some handmade craft items... They often aren't my cup of tea, and seem over-priced and amateur. I don't have the same problem with feeling under pressure to buy, though. I am very happy to browse, then walk on! I think I have seen enough crocheted flower brooches and button jewellery to last a lifetime! xxxx

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    1. It always starts with my instinct to say something nice, and encouraging and positive. I shall have to learn to stomp around a craft fair wearing my resting bitch face.
      xoxo

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  8. oooohhh - i can feel your pain :-)
    i try to avoid such situations, but hubs love to look at every stall on the market and not all markets have a coffee&wine stall where i can hide behind a cup and my sunglasses.... so i do it like vix, don´t look at the woman behind. when they try to made up a conversation i smile, say something about the weather and "thanx".

    it is very green and flowery where you live. it looks like places where people go for holidays, with this great view to the sea. this wild roses are one of my fav too - hubs rescued one last year from the railroad track by the house. now she can grow in our garden, on the railroad she would be cut to the ground two times a year....

    xxxx

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    1. Some people take a violent power tool of some sort to their rugosa roses and buzz them down to the ground regularly. I suppose it is one way to control it but I was never a fan of controlling plants. A little gentle guidance perhaps but it is their natural exuberance which generally appeals to me.

      A craft fair that is full and big and busy is much easier to cope with than a small unvisited one. I like to look but I also like to breeze on past the lego necklaces ( still laughing over that Vix ) and move on to the things that appeal to me. We have a couple of those here in town come summer and a sort of Ten Thousand Villages thing in winter.

      People do come here for holiday. It is a rather popular tourist destination being both attractive and full of recreational opportunities. You and hubs must come some day!
      xoxo

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  9. Where you live is so lovely, pretty views, beautiful buildings and with a sophisticated discarded empty wine glass! and you got your rose after being mentally hijacked at the craft fair, that sounds harsh doesn't it?! I find it hard when the craft fairs are quite empty, the vendors look pleading and are so charming, it is very difficult to walk away. Yes please to spectacular hips though!. x x x

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    1. Yes, I am very lucky to live in a pretty place, a tourist destination really. Mentally hijacked-I rather like that term. You already have spectacular hips, darling Sandra! Come and visit me, and we will toss wine glasses into the road and confront the roses telling them your hips are much better.
      xoxo

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  10. Lovely to see your neighbourhood Shawna and you made me laugh with your craft fair tales. I was one of those women behind a craft stall last year though so I'm sure the stall holder was overjoyed at her sale and when the item you are buying is a bit dodgy then you have done a good deed for the day. xx

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    1. Jayne, I cannot imagine you making anything dodgy but I think you've hit on something here. I think my instincts are to be supportive and encouraging of these women and although it's a bit frustrating to end up buying something I don't think is worth the money, maybe on another level I did think it was worth the money. Maybe what I really wanted to purchase was a little bit of happiness for that women. I wasn't thinking of it as a good deed, I just wanted to be supportive. I wanted her to take her abilities a little further, and make something a little better because I thought that she could. That's me, saving the world one craft fair at a time.
      xoxox

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    2. That's what I was trying to say Shawna but you have put it so much better xxx

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  11. Thank you for the neighbourhood tour ... I have a much better concept of where you live now. It's funny how we end up feeling almost familiar with the inside of a bloggers home ... but wouldn't have a clue where or how it's situated ... does that make sense?
    I hear you on the feeling obligated to buy something ... I have to avoid "Open Houses" ... for fear I might accidentally buy somebody's house out of sympathy ;0)
    xx

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    1. Goodness it would be awkward if you went to more than one open house in day.
      Yes it does make sense. I love to see both the insides of homes and the neighbourhoods otherwise it's a bit like when you read a novel and you make a picture in your mind of what the characters look like. Our brains are made to fill in the blanks. You might have accidentally imagined I am a princess living in a castle, looking out on the moat, so it's a good thing I clarified. I'm just one of the peasants living near The Manor.
      xoxo

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  12. What a beautiful neighborhood! I love that pretty little church, but I can feel your pain at getting stuck with the craft ladies. You're very generous to have bought something. What a soft touch you are!

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    1. A soft touch perhaps, but it also makes me happy to make other people happy. Maye I'm just really selfish.
      So when are you coming over for a glass a wine and a wander round my pretty little neighbourhood?
      xo

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  13. You are too funny, Shawna! :) I have a similar reaction. Though I think I am getting better at this sort of purchases. I try to avoid such situations all together mostly. They are just so uncomfortable.

    Thank you for another pretty walk with you - everything is lovely, especially now with all the blooms. I am so glad that you met your favorite rose and smelled it! There should be time in out life for smelling roses. xxx

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  14. I should probably have bought mustard instead. Oh well. I'm sure I could have frittered away $20 on something else I don't really need.
    xoxo

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