I’ve developed a sort of half trance way of looking at markets.


I’ve developed a sort of half trance way of looking at markets. Whilst oblivious to whatever else is going on around me, it is a sort of visual grazing. In order to stop and buy there has to be a positive internal reaction, a “must have it” urge. Over time I have learnt to temper this down a little, giving a thought to the “Return on Investment/Space in Van” ratio (though I dearly love those ornate metal garden chairs that don’t fold, they don’t pass the ROI/SV measure). Then come the “How much will it cost to refurbish”, or “How long will it take me to refurbish” considerations.

At Joue les Tours I learnt another lesson: when you buy something and leave it with the stall holder to pick up later, make very sure you know exactly where that stall is on the way back! Where had the woman with the old mirror with the red sticky backed plastic on the back gone? A little notebook became a necessary part of the kit. Graham ferried back and forth to the van, bless him, and I was surprised to find myself almost relieved when we reached the far end of the market.

Finding a loo can often be interesting. Much as I believe in drinking lots of water through the day, I tend not to when I am out buying. It often means that, as well as being sleep deprived from getting up at 4.30am, exhilarated from a day’s driving around, haggling, purchasing, packing the van, I am grimey, cobwebby and dehydrated.

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