It was the last Saturday before Christmas and after checking about six different weather forecasts about six times a day and making an informal pact with the fellow traders from the Broadway Market School Expansion (BMSE) I decided to trade. This was largely because I had promised some regulars, a lovely elderly couple, that I would bring them some lemon curd and I did not want to have Christmas guilt by failing to provide them a lemon curd fix.
It wasn't snowing when I woke up early on Saturday so I decided I would indeed go. I stuck to the main roads but managed to hit a patch of black ice on Goldsmith's Row and came off my bike. Lot's of lovely people came to help after me, my bicycle and trailer came to a sliding halt. Luckily I was fine and suffered no bruises, probably due to the fact that I had on four layers of clothing in order to survive a cold day at the market. I pushed my bike over the canal and made it to the market and just as I crossed the threshold into the schoolyard I saw the first snow flake of what would be many that day. I quickly set up and within an hour the snow was starting to settle. There was a steel band playing Christmas carols and lots of people were out and it felt like the week before Christmas. A few hours later and the snow was blizzarding sideways and I had lots of friends and regulars picking up chutney for gifts and themselves. My lovely couple came and bought three jars of lemon curd and after that I felt that I should pack up and go home as the snow had covered everything on my table.
I had been planning on sticking to the main roads and trying to cycle home but it soon became evident that this would not be possible or safe. I decided to get home as the crow flies and push my bicycle/trailer over the crunchy snow through the back roads. My first hurdle was getting back over the canal. I tried to build up momentum to get over but the weight of my snow laden cargo proved heavier than I thought and I didn't get too far and could feel myself about to slide back down. I tried to lower my center of gravity and was starting to panic when a lovely passerby saw my predicament and helped by pushing my trailer so that we could get it over the canal. Many thanks to you kind sir!!!
I felt like a hobbit on Hoth in a disaster film pushing my wares through Whiston Road in Hackney.
My hands were so cold and wet from packing up my stall that about a third of the way into my epic journey I needed to have a chat with myself to just stay calm and be grateful that I didn't have very far to go and that a nice warm flat was waiting for me at the end.
About half of the way into my epic journey I started to revel in the beauty of the day and I had started to warm myself up.
Two-thirds of the way into my epic journey I spotted three young boys on a balcony at Pitfield and Mintern Street and I instinctively knew that a snowball attack was eminent. I stared them down in an attempt to avoid the attack. This worked until I was fully on Mintern street and my status as a slow moving target was too much to be ignored and the snowballs came my way. Despite wearing a massive tartan cloak I only was hit by one snowball. I did have some choice words for the culprits but not as many as the woman who was travelling down Mintern Street about five minutes behind me. I know that snowballs are an obvious outcome of snowfalls but the woman was right to call them 'COWARDS' about twenty times because they did have crates of snowballs and were really going for their targets. I met and chatted to lots of lovely people really enjoying themselves and the snow. I also encountered lots of lovely snowmen....
The maker of this asked me to come back later as he wasn't quite finished...he was also puzzled as to why I was lugging my trailer through the snow and thought I had picked a horrible day to move house.
Finally I made it home and was welcomed by the last snowman I met that day who had popped up directly outside my door. He had such a lovely smile and so did I after making it home.
it's not your chutney...
it's Smy Chutney.