Saturday 3 March 2012: There are fairies at the bottom of the market....
(Warning to the blokes today - this is a very girly blip!)
I'm glad to say that Nelson seems to have escaped the 'weather bomb' that hit the North Island, and Taranaki in particular, last night and early this morning, ripping roofs off houses, downing power lines and trees and wrecking shopfronts. Although it was expected to hit us, I think we were just brushed by the very edge of it as we were buffeted by very strong winds and torrential rain for about 20 minutes around 2am. But I was rather taken aback to see snow on the ranges across the water when I opened the blinds this morning and the thermometer showed just 10 degrees. And it's only officially the third day of autumn!
We headed down to the Saturday market in town this morning as Immy had lost a favourite ring a few days ago and I think was hoping to find a replacement. We haven't been to the market since we arrived in January so it was nice to wander around and see all the familiar stalls and also discover some new ones. One that was attracting a great deal of interest was selling hand-decorated cardigans. The woman who makes them told me that she buys the basic wool cardigans (I say 'basic' but in fact they are very well designed, more like jackets really) and decorates them herself with appliqued flowers, silk edging, buttons and other detailing. Each is a 'one off' and she doesn't make them to order.
After um-ing and ah-ing for some time, I decided to buy one in readiness for winter. The problem is that I don't really have a very co-ordinated winter wardrobe, as one doesn't really need one in Bahrain! I was dismayed when surveying myself in the mirror before we went out to the market to see that in an effort to be warm enough I had donned black jeans, brown boots, a blue-and-white striped shirt and navy sweater. I stopped short of adding a bottle green jacket! The cardigan that I bought is dark chocolate brown, decorated with forest green and plum-coloured trim and appliques - I think it will be worthy of a future blip! I did take several photographs of the stall and the lady who makes them, but she hates having her photo taken and didn't want to look at the camera. Also, there were so many customers milling around that it was hard to get a good shot of the wares. I was glad that I had (for once - usually I'm a hopeless ditherer when it comes to buying things like that for myself!) decided to have it because while I was away at the cash machine getting some money to pay for it, another woman returned to the stall hoping to buy it!
I took a several photos around the market, including some of a woman spinning Alpaca wool on her portable spinning wheel. The wool was dyed bright emerald green and she was making it to order. In the end though, I keep coming back to this shot of the little girls' fairy dresses on a stall at the bottom of the market. I suppose I'm just a little girl myself at heart, because the colours are just so pretty that I have to blip it.
Immy didn't manage to find a ring, but we did pop into the Bead Gallery, where she found instead a bracelet of turquoise matt-glazed ceramic skulls, which reminded her of the Mexican feast of the dead (Dia de los Muertos). She also managed to extract information from the sales girl about how to dye a small segment of her hair turquoise (the girl's hair actually had a magenta streak, but she helpfully explained that there is a product called 'Paintbox' which has about 30 shades to choose from!) and finished up by announcing that she intends to get a job in the Bead Gallery one day because it's such a cool shop - I have to agree, it is wonderful!