I spent the weekend just gone bounding about London, strapped with boxes, cards, table cloths, floats, cheese sandwiches and display boxes. One of the display boxes disappeared from the top of my bag near Kings Cross – an unprecedented break for freedom. I’m sure it will it happily confuse any passers-by that come across it. And the reason for this cross-London unofficial tour? I was selling at four different markets, skipping between Of Cabbages and Kings in Stoke Newington, Mile End and down to the Corsica FLEE at Elephant and Castle, with the help of Mr Moll and the magnificant Andy (TM).
In between times, between market number one on Saturday and markets two, three and four on Sunday, I took a little time for a drink and a sit down, and to be blasted by glorious waves of sound by the magnificent Rumour Cubes.
By Sunday evening, I was exhausted. I was beyond exhausted; that type of right to the bone tired, where the only choice is collapsing into a heap and weeping gently or bed, or perhaps both. Preparing for four markets at the same time had definitely tuckered me out.
A few positive things came out of it though- who doesn’t want to take their weekend on Monday when most people are having their worst day at work? Especially when it’s sunny, there’s a garden and a salad of green beans, potato, egg, crunchy lettuce, tomato, and griddled sweetcorn on offer. And not forgetting the Ottolenghi classic broccoli salad, which is popular with all the members of my household at the moment.
The other positive thing about having markets booked in advance, is the way it focuses your mind and forces a little innovation here and there. You may have a vague sense of work you need to get done, or even a tick list, but it’s all too easy to let the list or idea sit idly by while you get on with something else. Or even to become all consumed by the first point on the list – unless, like me, number 1 on the list is always ‘make list’. Then it really looks like you’re doing well in a day.
Having a set day on which you’re presenting your goods to members of the public and other traders, makes you really look at what you’re doing, and solutions to purely practical problems can be surprisingly creative. I developed my gift box range because I had lovely papers that were too big for a card, and because I wanted levels and heights for my stall. And because I love boxes with a love that is pure and true and bright.
So, talking of excellent innovation, I have started to frame some of my favourite images too, for selling. They’re the photos at the top of the blog. I’m so glad I did – I think they’ve turned out really well. I’m going to be framing some more this weekend, ready for a stall on Hanbury Street, just off Brick Lane. The rain foiled my attempt to photograph them in the garden. Can you see my kitchen in the background? It’s a real retro find – one we came across in a house we happen to rent, not that we put together painstakingly from Spitalfield’s market. The kitchen tiles are brown and orange. Need I say more?
If youdo like one in particular, they’re up for sale. They’re only £9.00 (plus p&p) each. Leave me a message or send me an email and we can arrange a paypal payment. Or come along to Brick Lane on Sunday.