T-shirts, mead and MPs: the Castle Quarter Festival…

The Castle Quarter Festival was our first opportunity to show off our new selection of t-shirts and we were excited, nervous (in case we had just done that thing where we had made a load of t-shirts that we really loved, but that everyone else thought were rubbish, or perhaps worse, were totally indifferent to,) and cold! The indoor craft village was based in the old Topps Tiles building, which is not renowned for its tropical climate. Excellent use of a disused building though! And it was great. Loads of people turned out, despite the rain, cold and generally awful weather (but it’s MAY!! I kept muttering to myself, to keep my teeth from chattering too hard.) Hattie, who shared a stall and tea-break duties with me, had dressed far more sensibly than I had, in a proper coat, scarf and Ugg boots:

‘But why aren’t you wearing your jumper, Alice?’

‘Ummn, because I’ve just bought this lovely top and I really wanted to wear it!! To hell with hypothermia!’

It reminded me how brilliant it is to take a stall to events like this, just in terms of getting to chat to customers, and fellow crafty people (not as in fox crafty, I don’t think.) There’s always people willing to give you feedback, suggestions, ideas and discuss them with. You don’t get that from online shopping. You don’t get hot chocolate burgers delivered (cheers Chris!) to you either, or at least that hasn’t happened yet. Neither would be wonderful to get through the post. In short, it was lovely. You can’t beat events that bring the community together like that, especially if the event includes Pepper Pig, a pirate with an animatronic monkey on his shoulder, and a medieval band, complete with heavily bearded man wearing felt leaves embroidered onto his waistcoat. With a matching hat. I kid you not.

I also, unexpectedly, met our local MP, Richard Fuller. (Hello, Richard, if you’re reading this! Please be reading this! That would be awesome. In the House of Commons!

“Order Please, the Right Honorable Mr Fuller!”

“In a minute, Mr Speaker, I’m reading this brilliant blog…”)

Anyhow, just asImage I was thinking that I recognized this guy, vaguely, in that way where you momentarily wonder whether he might be an ex member of a 90s boy band, or something, I was introduced to him. Brilliant. He was very nice, and interested, and asked me what it was that I did, and asked sensible questions, and my brain did what it always does in these situations and had a total ditherspaz. ‘And do you have a background in fashion?’ ‘Hahahaha, no! Not at all!’ I shrieked, as if that was a totally ridiculous thing to ask, given that he was looking at our childrens’ clothing collection. ‘I just, um, had children, and we thought, er, there’s a lot of pink tat around, and mumble mumble – why not!’  Eloquent. I’m better written down, Mr Fuller.

All in all, a brilliant time was had, t-shirts and dresses were sold, no one got frostbite, and there didn’t appear to be any mead-related injuries. Karen and Sam, and all the other organizers – well done. Your hard work paid off, and I look forward to another stall on Sunday in the newly snazzed-up St Cuthberts’ Hall – the first of what will hopefully be a regular indoor farmers’ and craft market! If the weather hasn’t improved, I am going to award a prize* to the first person who brings me a hot drink.


* At this moment in time the prize is non-specific. It may be a hug. It is unlikely to have much monetary value. Terms and conditions, people!


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