Saturday October 6th 2012, a crisp autumnal day and if wrapped up warm, a perfect day for a craft fair. Well for many people anyway. I always find such things rather ‘twee’ and dislike all the pushing and heaving to simply purchase a heavily iced cupcake, or a scarf made on a knitting machine!
At least this fair was at a beautiful country house in Cheshire so I could make for the grounds once the purchases were made. With Christmas around the corner I had no option but to overcome my aversion to such events, and to try to pick up something unusual for those members of my family and friends who would appreciate same.
Entering the marque advertising crafts and gifts, I sighed as I saw the many people who had the same idea as me. I sensed the ‘Il fight you for the last homemade pork pie’, and the, ‘ I was here before you’ feeling and my heart sank.
Each time I approached a stall the vendor, like a flash, was there to greet me ‘ You okay there?’ Well of course ‘Im okay’ – I just want to browse and take my time – deciding between a vase made from Mango trees straight from Africa (ethically made of course) and a set of hand painted coasters from Whitby, takes some doing! After a lecture at each stall and seemingly never ending ranges of ‘homemade’ – I bowed out, purchased nothing very politely, and beat a hasty retreat to the tea tent.
A huge steaming plastic cup of tea and a cheese roll later I felt refreshed and with renewed vigour, I proceeded to wander the outdoor stalls. Half an hour later I placed my heavy ‘christmas’ purchases into the car. Who would like 6 ozs of crumbly Lancashire cheese I wonder? Maybe the black pudding or the quarter of black and white mints? You see, I hadn’t bought a single Christmas present! Just loaded up with farmers market type produce that cost a fortune and didnt give me a head start for the 25th of December!
Slamming the car boot shut I set off on foot to explore the house and its gardens – now this was a treat! More Ivy than the Botanical Gardens, swans and Canadian geese on the lake, beautiful trees turning orange and brown – much more like my idea of a day out! Peaceful and natural and not a knitted tea cosy in sight!