Man, it was bloody bitter out last night though, so I only lasted an hour or so before creeping off hugging a latte in my numb hands. I also bought a few Easter goodies for my nieces from a stall run by some friends, calling themselves Crafty Sew and Sews.
I was thrilled to hear a youngish mother ask her push-chair bound daughter if she wanted a chicken wrap. A welcome change from “d’ya wanna bag o’chips?”
It saddens me somewhat that some people struggle to accept an event like this as being a good thing for their town. Try having your cup half full people! There were lots of local traders there and it brought vibrancy to a town centre that needs a kick up the jacksy.
Another reason I enjoyed the Night Market was that I saw so many people I know. I expected to bump into several work colleagues of
course, but it was also lovely to have a quick chat with the likes of Vicky, an old school-friend of mine, who was somewhat distractedly looking for a bar, whilst exuding cocktail party glamour. If you don’t already read her amazing blog, and you’re a fan of giving life the big Vs and living it how you want, you really should.
And of course there was Angela Steatham, with her son Charlie, Cllr Kath Phillips and others looking after a tombola in aid of Walsall Hospice, for which they raised over £400. I had a quick hug from Ange. Tbh, I think she was trying to get warm. The woman knows no shame.
I also recognised one of the security guys at the event – I worked with him and his colleagues closely for the Olympic torch relay coming to Walsall last year. We said a quick hello, but he was busy working of course. And I wasn’t, yay! It’s really so much more enjoyable to be at an event when any emergencies that may arise aren’t your problem. Even better is when you’re freezing cold and…. yes, you can just leave, hot latte in hand!
I was surprised to have two people stop me to ask when I’d next do a blog post. I don’t do political, I don’t really do local; so why? Answers on a postcard.
So, big tick for the Night Market, but boo hiss for getting home and having to take TT out for a walk. I don’t think, fondly proud as I am, that she’ll ever master calculus. However, even with the oddities of me being off work and napping, the little sod still knows whether she’s had her two walks or not and complains both vocally (howling to opera on classic FM on in the kitchen followed up by eye-to-eye whining) and physically (determined nose-nudging) until she gets her way.
Today was about catching up with one of my bezzies. Her name is Eleanor, but I call her Ele-bag. In return, she calls me Skates, because she’s known me long enough to remember that I lived in my roller skates from about 1977 to 1981. No, I wasn’t any good; I just liked them.
I love my family, so let’s get that out of the way. The thing with my bezzie mates though, is that they’ve known me for most of my life and know (or knew or know of) my family and vice versa. It seems entirely normal to me to have close friends that I’ve known since I was 5 (Maz the Maz) or 11 (Ele-bag and Susie-belle). And then there are a few good friends picked up at college in London and a few in the last 23 years at the jolly old council. These dear people are, to me, my family too.
There’s an indescribable comfort in spending time with an old friend. They know all your bad points but choose to come back for more. You can both blather on about your work or your families or whatever and they get it. And they don’t miss a beat when the Peroni makes you burp loudly. In Lichfield. How very uncouth.
The high point of my day out with Ele-bag has already been recounted on Twitter. We’d just left the Olive Tree restaurant after a lovely lunch (she did eat but never stopped talking), when we dropped in to the Paraphernalia shop. If you don’t know it, they do lovely furniture and mirrors and lights and so on, as well as various wooden objects. I picked up a wooden basket – made of one piece of teak – and commented on how lovely it was. “Oh yes” said Ele, “I love to feel wood in my hands”. Sue me, I totally cracked up. Whilst bent over double laughing, I managed to croak “Fnarr fnarr”, to which Ele, no stranger to Viz, laughingly responded “yack yack!” At that moment, my bladder was independently glad that I’d used the facilities at the Olive Tree minutes earlier. “You’re dirty” said a laughing Ele as she went upstairs. I had to step outside to have a smoke and stop sniggering.
And then there’s the old fart moments. We’d already had the discussions in the restaurant about my crap ankle and knees, how fat we both were, varicose veins, hypertension, support stockings and so on. Get over it folks, if you’re not in your 40s yet, you’ve got this shit coming. AND YOU’LL PROBABLY NEED READING GLASSES.
I enjoyed leaving what used to be the Yankee Candle shop, now Kringle(?) candles or whatever. I was first out, down the few steep steps and uttered an old fart “ooh” (ankle + knees) on my way. I waited and was ever so pleased to hear Ele also issue an ‘ooh’ (back) on her way out.
I managed to hold myself together in the Kitchen Shop when Ele wielded a fish slice with some firmness of hand and intoned “I need to see if it suits my technique”.
Amen for old friends