The town has two markets every week, one on a Wednesday and the other on Saturday.
We’ve noticed that the mid-week one has been reducing over the past few months, though it seems to be meat and veg days as there are at last two counters for each.
Hubby and I used to love the market, we’d get huge jacket potatoes for 25p each, three pairs of socks for less than three quid, and would stop to chat with the watch repair lady as she had two springer spaniels that could sniff out the biscuit pocket and react from a hundred yards.
As is often the case, there is a lot of month left over after pay day, and we are a little brassic at the moment. Saying that though, we are at a bit of a loose end today so walked up to the market to see what’s going on.
Clothes stalls were always popular, but now this has been reduced to just one or two so there is little in the way of choice, and prices are not the bargains of yesteryear as a lot of the stock is priced over twenty pounds.
The pet stall is horrendously expensive, and there are two or three stalls that sell carpets, cushions and duvets for the same price as you’d pay in a shop.
2017 diaries started at a pound, and I am thinking of getting one for my food diary next year rather than using a tatty old exercise book as I am at the moment. I know I can pick up an A5 size one for about two pounds towards Christmas, so forking out three or four pounds in the market today was unnecessary.
My fruit supply was diminishing so I was hoping to buy a bag of mixed fruit for a couple of pounds and take pot luck on the condition. Some rascals have lovely selections of produce on show but give you a bag from under the counter which contains bruised (but not rotten) fruit. No problem for me as I would just cut out the bad bits and make a crumble!
Maggie was exceedingly well behaved and got a lot of attention from people we knew and some we didn’t. In the case of strangers, they always think she’s male, but fuss doesn’t have a gender, so she’s not too bothered!
Once again though, the market was disappointing and all was not as it originally seemed.
We have a pretty good grocer in the High Street, and he has a stall in the market both days plus a new set of premises in the little parade of shops on my figure of eight dog walk.
He also has a shop in a major town ten miles away.
It was from him that I got some fabulous peaches on offer at 4 for a pound a little while ago. They were bigger and juicier than the ones I could get in punnets from the supermarkets, so each time I passed I’d have a look to see if he had any more.
The funny thing is that last time on his market stall, he was selling 6 peaches for £1.50, so still at 25p each, but you had to buy 6 as he wouldn’t sell them separately. Walk down to the High Street, and you could buy 4 for a pound.
Today in the market, the same variety of peaches were on offer at 5 for £1.50. I decided to walk down to his shop where, lo and behold, I could get four for my pound.
I noticed several other things on his market pitch being sold at a higher price which included bananas, mushrooms, kiwi fruit, oranges and strawberries (and not necessarily more weight), and thought for visitors to the town, they probably didn’t realise they weren’t getting as good a bargain as they believed.
Hubby has always said a bit of local knowledge can come in handy.
We decided to have a cup of coffee and people watch for a bit. The girls in the coffee shop see us coming and the cups are under the machine before we reach the counter. Our usual bench by the traffic lights was free and once again people passing by made a fuss of Maggie as she waited patiently for her bit of froth.
Not much going on really today, market day or not.