Today I walked down Caledonian Road, and over hither and yon, to my local Chapel Market. On Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm it’s the farmers market, and what a delight it is! I wish I were more confident in my photography. I love a photographer’s posture, the crouch as they peer through their great lenses and see moments worth freezing in time. I feel invasive with my little point and shoot, rather than artistic. So I’m relegated to stealthily snapping shots with my iPhone when I think nobody is looking. I’d love to capture the market the way I saw it today.
Vendors greeting their regulars with a smile, reaching for a paper bag because they already know what the customer wants. Beautiful rows of brown eggs in warm latte-colored cartons, next to vegetable stands gleaming with shiny aubergines and crowns of feathery fennel stalks, with small pockets of flower stands hocking bright yellow primroses and pansies.
I wander over to a man selling cheese, because, who doesn’t love cheese (save for those poor lactose-intolerant souls)? Two women gabbed back and forth while tasting the blue cheese, the soft cheese, and I sneak a small morsel of the hard cheese called the Wyfe of Bath (the cheese is from the Bath Soft Cheese Company, and I love a good literary reference). The first woman leaves, and the second remains behind to grab her hunk of soft cheese after paying.
“You sure you haven’t got one in there?” chuckles the seller, giving me a wink.
“No!” she says roundly, “just the kidneys!” My eyes widen and I giggle slightly; she looks over to give me a smile.
“Your kidneys?! Lord” says the gentleman
“Oh no,” she says
“someone else’s kidneys, then?” I say quietly with a smile
She nudges me gently “aye,” she says with a laugh “you’d best watch out for me!”
After she wanders away, the vendor says to me “you’re looking rosy-cheeked and full of fun!” to which I give one of the heartier laughs I’ve given since I got here, and said, “yes! I am!”
After a cuppa and a pain au chocolat in what is quickly becoming my little spot (and enjoying the wi-fi to plot some Words with Friends moves), I count out the coins owed, grab my bags and move confidently towards home.
As I wandered back with my haul, meandering down a side street when something caught my fancy, it dawned on me how in love I am with my little borough of London. The city is still huge but I’m tackling it one step at a time.
My farmers’ market haul:
3 apples from Chegworth Valley farm
1 loaf of pain de campagne from Flour Power Bread Company
1 pot of hot apple chutney from The Garlic Farm (called “Vampire’s Delight”)
1 hunk of Wyfe of Bath cheese from the Bath Soft Cheese Company