There’s a light drizzle as I unload the van, dragging several trolley-loads over to the spot where I’ll set up our mini 2×2 gazebo for the little country farmer’s market.
Once the gazebo’s up and the gear is stowed underneath, I drive the van over to the free nearby car-park and hurry back to finish setting up.
As time ticks by the rain starts to really get heavy, turning from a steady drizzle to a proper downpour.
Today was clearly a day for tea and toast and movies in bed. Why oh why did I not check the weather forecast?!
On the bright side, now I’m all set up, it’s definitely time for a decent coffee and a fresh croissant (or two).
Ducking in under my cosy blue tent with my cup of magic, I notice the front of the table is getting splashed and wet – horizontal rain, cheers Ireland. Thank crunchy I didn’t attempt to display our precious merino wool shawls.
I carefully drag the table further back but in this tiny gazebo there’s not far to go. At least the roof still seems to be holding up well against the deluge, despite several nicks and tiny punctures.
I spend the next twenty minutes polishing some watermarked jewellery; there’s a steady drumming on the roof and the other traders are looking damp and glum in their own gazebos as the stormy weather puts off all but the bravest of punters.
Thanks to my stall being at the end of a slope, I’m standing in a mini stream as rain water pools and flows beneath my table. Surprisingly, my fashionable boots and fancy new winter coat are doing a stellar job at keeping my feet dry when it’s wellies and a heavy raincoat that I should be wearing. Actually screw that, pyjamas and a duvet are what I should be wearing right now.
A little later, just as I’m chatting to a passing customer (one of only two that didn’t tear through the market place like the devil himself were chasing them) I notice someone else arriving at the stall, spotting their shoes first, and it’s funny because they’re just like ones my husband Alex has.
Hang on a minute, they are Alex’s shoes! I look up at him in surprise.
“What are you doing here?! Why aren’t you over in Bantry??”
“Arrey, I didn’t even set up my gazebo, the weather is too bad! Only two stalls set up in the whole market. I tried calling you twenty times but you never picked up your phone!”
“Sorry! Left it in the van.”
It’s so lovely to have his unexpected company that despite the weather worsening, my internal world starts to brighten immeasurably.
As expected, sales are crap and given that everything’s just getting sodden (including me at this stage) we pack up early.
I run off to get the van and Alex helps me load it up as fast as possible, partly because he has no coat and is getting absolutely soaked. Then we sit into our damp steamy vehicles, turn on the heat full-blast and head off in the wild stormy weather towards Cork city.
Market life huh! The joys of spending half your day getting cold and wet only to head home with little to show for it besides a mucky gazebo, damp socks and a few euros less in your wallet…
I still reckon it beats a 9-5 office job though.
Well… kind of!