Wednesday, 29 December 2010


 When I was a young girl my Mother and Aunt and I caught the bus every Saturday into a local town to visit the market.  In England, 'the market' isn't a shop or a shopping mall, it's numerous stalls with canvas awnings, full of produce either neatly laid out or haphazardly lying in heaps.  Over-riding all in my memory are the sounds and smells, and how hardy the market-people were to 'stand the stalls' in sleeting rain and biting snow or ice.  Raucous calls to buy chickens and eggs rang out in dialect, rising into the air with their breath, and always there were fragrant odours from the fresh beetroot stall, where earthy glowing-wine coloured globes would glisten and shine whatever the weather.  Roughly wrapped into newspaper still bearing their frondy tops dusty with soil, 'Ready to boil, fresh from the earth this morning.'  a swarthy vendor with purple stained hands, would shout.  I did love the smell of it!  But I was only interested in a small stall right at the rear of the food, hidden away next to the bus-depot was the second-hand book stall.  I would leave my Aunt and Mother buying cones from the ice-cream van because Saturday was my 'Spends day' and numerous old musty books of poetry and fairy-tales would come home with me to be dusted and polished, poured over, read aloud and cherished.


10 comments:

Lesya Khyzhnyak said...

I think that the market here is just the same what you described in the post :) As usually, great picture of the "air-castle" made of colorful bubbles. I wish you a great New Year (I think I've already said that in the comment to your previous post, but such wishes are never too many) :)

Sonia Florian said...

How vividly you describe the market and its people! It fels as if I was there myself and saw it with my own eyes. Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog post! A very happy New Year to you too, full of god news, blessed with great health and sprinkled with pleasant surprises!!!

June said...

Jane I have a similar memory (and I am grateful to you for unearthing it for me tonight), my mother would take my sister and I to her favorite used bookstore about twice a month and I would sit in the children's corner looking at all the wonderful books and the illustrations. I still remember the smell of that ole store. I loved it!
Thank you so much for the visit and the message you left for me.
Wishing you a blessed new year!
hugs to you...

Ann Nichols said...

Oh my... we are kindred spirits!!! I have always haunted all second hand book stores too and my favorites... the older the better!! It is such a privilege to read people's thoughts from so long ago!
Blessings for a wonderful 2011, dear "kindred spirit!"
Ann

christine said...

did you keep many of your childhood books? i was a bookworm as well, but sadly, as often happens, as i moved through life, i left many things behind... :)

Half-heard in the Stillness said...

Dear Lesya: I did think that you would recognise the market,as I know the European markets are the same. I loved them in Czechoslovakia as it was known when I lived there, and Poland too.
I bought the book purely for the illustration of the iridescent bubble-castle! I'm still transfixed by it!

Sending you even more of those wishes...A Super-happy 2011!

Half-heard in the Stillness said...

Dear Sonia: Thank you for letting me know that my descriptions have made you 'see' the market, that means such a lot to me, somehow we all want to 'reach out and touch, make a difference' don't we? To just say, I felt this, do you?

(I mean, touch in the sense of,make a person think or remember)

I loved the enchanting phrase you added to your good wishes for the New Year...'sprinkled with pleasant surprises'.

Half-heard in the Stillness said...

Dear June,

How wonderful that I caused you to remember those happy visits with your Mum and Sister, even the smell of the books! I used to work in a huge library and loved the smell of all the tomes.

Blessings to you from England my friend!

Half-heard in the Stillness said...

Dear Ann:

It never ceases to amaze me the synchronicity of us all across this world!! Even tho' we might be different ages, generations,colour,creed, living a myriad different lives and in different countries, we are all from the same melting-pot really!! Wow...tremendous, I agree with you Ann!

Meet you in the nearest Secondhand-Book store then! ;))))

Blessing for 2011 my friend.

Half-heard in the Stillness said...

I did manage to keep some of my childhood books dear Christine! I admit to hanging on to them more than anything else I think, and I'm SO glad that I did now. Although a few did get lost and I've managed to replace them since I retired by searching Ebay and Amazon.

Blessings for the New Year and hope your heart lifts Christine!