I've just got back from the St. Kilda craft market. I'd been a bit upset about the loss of my favourite brooch, my silver brolgas brooch — I'd last worn it two weeks ago in Sydney at the Romance Writers of Australia national conference, and when I'd taken my jacket to be drycleaned, the brooch wasn't on it. I phoned everywhere I'd been in Sydney, but no luck, and since I'd bought it some years ago at the St. Kilda craft market, I thought I'd see if I could get another one.
I was almost ready to leave when I went to put on my earrings, and lo! there was the brooch, in the bowl with my earrings. I must have removed it on auto-pilot when I got home and not recalled it at all.
Still, the morning was brilliantly sunny so I decided to head down to the market anyway. My time at the beach in Sydney had spoiled me and I wanted to see the sea again — I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky — she says, channelling Dad, who used to quote poems at the drop of a hat — that one's Sea Fever by John Masefield, one of his faves.
Despite the bright sun and brilliant blue sky, it was chilly -- 10 C -- and I got there early enough for most stalls to be just setting up so I wandered off and bought a coffee at the The Europa Cafe — St. Kilda is renowned for great cake and coffee shops in the European tradition— where I resisted the delicious fragrance of fresh-baked cakes and chocolate and stuck to one small coffee.
I took it to the beach and basked in the sun with the sound of waves on one side and seagulls and rainbow lorikeets in the palm trees above me. Seagulls are noisy, pushy brats, but I love lorikeets. They cluster in my flowering gum tree every morning chirruping and squawking happily, and each summer they descend on my plum tree and steal my plums, but I don't mind. There's something magical about them, and I'm not sure whether it's the drought or the bushfires or simply a result of more people planting native trees and bushes in the city, but I've been seeing a lot more lorikeets and other native birds lately.
Anyway, back to the market. It's a mix of crafts, some junky and not to my taste, others beautiful. Prices range from a few dollars to thousands — I saw one gorgeous silver bracelet for $1200 and a beautiful pair of gold sea-urchin earrings for more than $1000. I shopped at the cheaper end of the scale. I bought a couple of lovely pewter brooches and a pair of earrings, and despite my intention of not buying anything for the house — I'm planning to renovate and am supposed to be getting rid of stuff, not acquiring it — I was also tempted to buy this gorgeous glass dish. I congratulate myself on not buying one of the hand-turned wooden bowls — I have a weakness for beautiful wooden bowls and spoons.
I do love markets, especially craft markets that sell lovely things. Do you?
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