I have a lot of love for that most dashing of birds the Magpie.
Yes I know …. They come with that one for sorrow, two for joy baggage which I, like any self-respecting neurotic, subscribe too completely. I also believe that any such negative influence presented by Magpies can be nullified by showing respect and greeting them accordingly. Such is the distorted world view which goes on in my deranged mind place.
My love of Magpies explains why I was delighted to discover that the stamp for access to the Vintage and Artisan Market is in the shape of aforementioned winged creature. It is also a remarkably suitable marker for such place for scavengers to find something shiny to please them.
The Abbeydale Picture House is a stunningly appropriate place as the venue, it almost seems to appreciate the attention. I have been there when it is virtually empty and the sounds of ones footsteps echoing around the hall are pleasing …. But it always appears to appreciate being filled.
When the vintage market is in full flow it has an aura of feeling pleased and delighted. It’s a little like visiting your favourite cool Aunt and her delight at your company and that you enjoy her scones.
If you have not attended a Vintage and Artisan Market let me enlighten you a touch to the experience.
Your first experience will be being greeted by one of the charming front desk team who shall politely ask for two British Pounds (kids enter free). In return for this token of entry you will be rewarded with a Magpie stamp, a king of temporary cool tattoo for the day if you like. This mark of the Magpie allows you egress and ingress whenever you should so like during the day …. Such as remembering your phone is still in the car and you need to retrieve in case someone calls.
There is quite a good chance that the first thing to strike you will be the voice of someone singing something lovely. Evidence of this can be seen with the amount of people who curtail their Vintage and Artisan hunting by sitting down on some of the provided seating to simply listen and enjoy the songs sung.
You may find yourself also to be enchanted by the smells of lovely food being prepared. Indeed you shall find food to fill or something tasty and naughty such as fudge or doughnut. And if you should find yourself on a whim of letting oneself relax for the day there is of course beer … And the wonderfully exquisite Gin wagon ….. Which sells Gin.
The temptation of course is to immediately make your way through to the wonderful insides of the Picture House and experience that ambience I was talking about (unless you have been distracted by Gin/Doughnuts and such ...) but this would be to pass up the trinkets on offer outside. Stalls line the car park area selling Vintage, Art, Antiques, Collectables and, of course, Artisan produce.
You can of course make your own road map and decide your own journey, but the one thing you will notice very quickly is the friendliness. The more times you go the more you get to know the people, but even first timers will be a recipient of wide genuine smiles and greetings.
It is a pleasant way to spend a Sunday and sometimes a shame that they only happen four times a year.
Happily there is another one cropping onto the horizon for the month of December. Time moves pretty fast and with Halloween peaking at us from over the space of a few weeks it will be Christmas before you know it ... .Now I am not one to do early Christmas shopping or even plan ahead ...
But I do know where I am going to going to get something for beloved friends and relatives ...
And I damn well may have a Gin and Doughnut while I am there.
See you later all
Photography by Barton Chase