Sunday, 5 December 2010

Where's Noah when you need him?

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me!

Many years ago when I was a mere slip of schoolgirl, every child in Australia knew these lines by Dorothea MacKellar off by heart.  It was virtually our anthem.

Well, we have come out of years of drought only to plunge straight into the flooding rains - no pause to catch our breath - straight into it.

Of course, it didn't auger well for the BrisStyle Indie Designers Market yesterday.  Perhaps that's an understatement.

This was the view from our car at 6.30 yesterday morning as we pulled in for fuel on the way to set up for the market.  I wasn't what you'd call confident.  However, Mr Fudge had checked out the radar over Hamilton and assured me that all would be well.  And true to his word, the rain had stopped by the time we arrived and stayed away for the best part of the morning.

I love arriving at the early hour to be welcomed by fellow BrisStylers, full of warm greetings and enthusiasm for the day ahead.  Outside marquees were being erected, cars unloaded and inside the hall we plunged into getting our stalls ready for the start of business.

My lovely neighbours were Melanie of Kimono Reincarnate, Renee of Renee's Artwork, and Eliza of Warm Sigh Soap.

Kimono Reincarnate

Renee's Artwork

Warm Sigh Soap
Poor Eliza had a bad dose of laryngitis, but in true spirit she made the best of the situation.  She had printed out a stack of signs guaranteed to answer just about any question thrown in her direction.  It was so funny to watch the customers' reactions when confronted with a printed sign suddenly thrust before their startled eyes, explaining the situation.  The frown of concentration would turn to a smile of recognition and sympathy.  Any question on the variety of soaps for sale had a ready response.  I guarantee if someone asked her who was the first man to conquer Mt Everest, she would whip out her Edmund Hillary sign.   What a trouper. 

The shoppers were a happy lot and were enjoying the BrisStyle Market experience.

I quickly sold a couple of dresses and this Christmas Tree bunting sold faster than the proverbial hot cakes.  In no time at all they were completely sold out, even my display garland, which was quickly replaced with my everyday bunting.  (Mental note to self: make Christmas Tree bunting for the Twilight Market on 17 December.)

The little children were fascinated by the lights decorating my table and I must admit I was a little mesmerised by them as well. 

Then the heavens opened up and things looked a little bleak.

The rain poured down ferociously; however, the hardier breed of shopper simply wrung out their rain-sodden hair and kept on shopping.  In the end it was decided to close down the outdoor section of the market for safety reasons.  

I take my hat off to those girls.  Inside they must have been devastated, but the cheerful front they presented was nothing short of heroic.  Some of them told me that up until the nasty downpour it had been their best market day to date, so at least that's some consolation.  It was indeed heartwarming to observe the stall holders helping each other out with plastic sheets, umbrellas, anything to keep the rain off their stock.

Not long after that, the decision was taken to close the market entirely, as it was obvious that the rain was going to hang around for quite some time.  Despite all the dramas, it was a truly lovely day, full of Christmas spirit which was helped along by these carolers who entertained the shoppers with some beautiful Celtic carols, as well as the better known Christmas carols and songs.

We Fudges had a nice bottle of wine waiting for us at home which we put to good use last night, along with a couple of delicious cupcakes from Enticing Icing.  An unusual yet strangely comforting combination to finish off the memorable day.

The winner of the Gold Medal goes to our brilliant co-organiser Helen who buoyed us all up during the day with her usual positive spin on everything.  She also took out the 100 metres freestyle, splashing from one marquee to another with words of encouragement and a lot of good old-fashioned kindness.  A class act.


Anonymous said...

Ooo. Those lights take me back to the '70s. Groovy.

Hot Fudge said...

Five bucks from K-Mart.

Mannick...91 said...

Thank you for your story ... What a pity the rain, the key is that participants were happy. Oh, all your pretty dresses for girls that make me want! At Christmas, I'll offer her gorgeous dress in Violette and I can not wait to see .... although it is still too high.
Here we are blocked by snow, which is very earlier this year.