Saturday, 10 February 2018

Clara, the Clock and the Candles - Part II

We went back to the Fleamarket on Sunday, in large part to observe how it might have changed. When I first moved here Saturday's market was more of a yard sale / car boot sale thing. I bought kitchen stuff - plates, cutlery, pots and pans - to use until my possessions arrived from the States. I found an old crockpot, a standard lamp and any number of useful items on Saturdays. 

Sundays were more about collectables: fancy china sets, very weird WWII memorabilia (Nazi stuff even), tons of costume jewellery sellers. There were still book stalls on a Sunday, so that if I didn't get to the library before noon on Saturday, when it - and every other business I needed - shut, I could buy paperbacks for 25p (they are at least £1 now, but still a bargain).

The market has changed a lot in recent years to something much more upmarket. There are very few tables that sell old household goods and I saw none with any old electrical items. There is a wide array of (incredibly tempting) ethnic fast foods. There are up-cycled goods, such as wood items made from pallets or gorgeous bags and jackets made from re-cycled wool, tweed and leather. There are loads of handmade jewellery stalls, funky crafted items, stalls specialising in 'coastal' home decor. There are still some second hand clothing stalls, but the prices are higher than in thrift shops; then again, the merchandise is carefully curated. Bill likes the stall that sells fancy Failsworth flat caps in a patchwork of several Harris tweeds. I like the garden centre in the back corner. 

In short, it's a fabulous place in which to empty your pockets, one reason we don't visit often. So we went mainly to observe the changes (and to look for candle holders). I would say it was about 70% the same sellers. There was a bit more empty space on Sunday than on Saturday - but still plenty to browse. 

We found some glass candle sticks at the first table we came to, but in the interest of observing, made the entire rounds again. When we returned, we gave the lady £7 for the pair and for a small lidded sugar bowl. None are ideal, but will do for the time being. I think these clear glass candle sticks came from a 'bedroom set'. I never saw such a thing in the States, but they are still easily found at flea markets here. These sets consisted of a tray, a couple of glass bowls (with or without lids) and two candle holders. They were meant to be on a ladies chest of drawers or perhaps a dressing table. I'm not sure when they went out of fashion.

I had an idea when we got home and made this arrangement using two seld0m used flower vases (one I gave Mom, one that was Bill's mother's). The two candle holders on those upturned vases belonged to my Grandma and Grandpa. The shortest one came from some previous trip to the market long ago. I added it to the recent purchase to made an odd number. This is something I've only learned since retiring, that somehow odd numbers make a more pleasing design. 

The candle arrangement looks a bit mental, I know, but that's part of the fun. We smile when we see it and the cut glass looks rather nice when the candles are lit. Pity my camera / photography skills aren't likely up to capturing it. 

I'm not really a candle person, actually, other than at dinner. I used to like all the paraphernalia of pyromania but my asthma is not always amenable to perfume-y smells and I'm paranoid about house fires. We probably have a lifetime supply of tea lights for various kitschy souvenirs from holidays on the front porch. I expect tea lights are relatively safe, but I never think to light them.

On my 'wish list' for new skills, however, is to learn to make candles - dipped candles, even, at home (and soap, too!). I'll be sure to let you know if that ever happens...

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