Sunday, 12 May 2013

Old Home Weekend

It was a chilly start to my season at St. Lawrence Market, so it was business as usual. I was not able to be there for the real start, May 4, when the weather was sunny and balmy and business was booming, by all accounts. That was because I had exactly one and a half week's notice that the season for Market cart vendors, like myself, would be going ahead.

In mid-March when I went to the office to ask about the status of my application for the season, I was told that the program was on hold, that we would all have to re-apply, and to wait for further news and advisories by email. None of that happened. So, I stopped scrambling to figure out Plan B for the summer and went back to making stuff.

Bureaucracy. Don't you just love it? So my season began a week late. What the hay?

It was good to see the few regulars who braved the pre-Mother's Day chill and set up shop. Mark, my tent neighbour who sells jewelry made by the Miao people of China, has a new associate who was minding the store for him. Erin is a very nice minion who is a helpful neighbour and doesn't seem in the least expendable, so I won't be calling Mark a kingpin, as he would like, now that he is a mogul. And he doesn't seem to like being called King Pinhead, as I discovered. And moguls are for jumping over, aren't they?

Since Salome, my jewelry-making neighbour to my right, was vacationing in Cuba, celebrating a significant birthday with her sister, she sent her daughter Adrian in her place. Maria, the jewelry-maker to Adrian's right, was there, as usual. She and Salome are very hardy, maintaining their stalls all year round, through all kinds of weather. The indispensable Scott and I hadn't seen Maria, and her husband and daughter, in quite a while, as we hadn't been shopping at the Market for months. Pretty unusual for us to stay away so long. I guess we can blame the particularly wintery winter and its attendant lassitude. Maria's daughter Isabella was so big! When I started my annual gigs there, she was but a toddler. Little kids' weed-like growth makes me feel like such a geezer. Lordy, lordy...

Photographer Roberto Riveros was at a table across the street, too, so his friend and associate Stephen told me, although I never saw him. But seeing Stephen after so long was great. As it was with Liz, who makes really gorgeous bags and little textile accessories under her Froggy Fingers label. (Froggy Fingers is what her mother called her prehensile digits when she was but a little bitty crafter.)

My friend Janet came by to say hello! It was good to see her smiling face in person, instead of on my computer monitor. She did my the honour of purchasing a "Fred" (fuchsia and red) fascinator for her mother to wear to her birthday party that evening. Her mother had just had a haircut and was joking that she felt like the Queen, so needs must she be "crowned". Apparently it went over very well, so I'm very happy.

Another visitor was Jean, who had bought a hat from me a season or two ago. She told me that she still wears it a lot, and gets a lot of compliments whenever she does. How kind of her to say so! And she very sweetly went to her nearby home and reappeared, wearing said hat! I hope we'll be seeing each other more, and that Jean will add to her Hats by Anne collection soon.

So in good company we spent our first day of the market cart season, eating fresh soft pretzels from the baked goods goddesses at Oodles of Strudels inside the farmers' market, sipping lovely cappuccino from our fave Luba's Coffee Boutique, buying the first asparagus of the season from the farmers' market, and having a very jolly day. And the sun did come out!

My table, with a riot of someone's artwork as a backdrop.
The busker du jour, who made these pots, pans and lids sound like Tibetan singing bowls.
Jean, in her 2011 Hat by Anne.
Morris dancers, very jingly. Must be early spring.
Someone should tell Morris and his friends that playing at bashing each other with sticks is all very well and good until someone gets hurt. (More geezer talk.)
The Adrian series. I asked her to pose in this hat, because it went with her hair and complexion so perfectly. The sun that day came out like Adrian's smile does, a bit at a time. Adrian would have taken much better photos herself. She is a very talented photographer. Google her: Adrian Raymer. You'll be glad you did.

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