When I used to have the soap company, I mainly sold my soap at craft fairs and farmer's markets. My favourite was always the farmer's market. I used to load the car the day before with everything I would need and then set off very early in the morning. On cold mornings I used to think about the market stall holders of medieval times who would possibly be pulling a cart or carrying their wares on their back all the way to the market, many would walk through the night or arrive the day before and sleep under their stall. The one thread that connected us was the same thoughts and desires, will I have a good day? Will the customers like the new product? How shall I arrange my new display?
Now that I am no longer selling soap I still enjoy the markets but as a customer this time! The markets in France were stunning... I was really in my element!
Here is the knife and scissor sharpener... you could believe that only his clothes have changed over the centuries!
And some people were selling just the excess from their garden... it was as if they weren't really in business at all... just making some pocket money.
Of course the Charcuterie is an art form - the French are very particular about sausages!
The farmer's market in Oxfordshire where I used to sell was very careful not to have too many stalls selling the same thing. Here we had literally a dozen vegetable stalls... all quite similar... except perhaps the regular customers knew the difference!
One of the best things about French Markets is that you can usually sit with a coffee and people watch to your hearts content (see the people behind the knife sharpener, this is their weekly ritual.) If only I had my camera ready when the little old lady came scuffling out of the church, dressed all in black and wearing some very down at heel shoes, her face was like crinkled leather and she immediately fished out the stub end of a Gauloise and lit it... leaving it stuck in the corner of her mouth. Pricelessly French!