Ever since I was very young I have loved making things, be it sewing or knitting, encouraged and helped by my Grandmothers and Mother. The early days were endless bits of tatty binca covered in cross stitch progressing to needle cases, Dorothy bags,oven gloves and applique pictures. Some of these pieces are still in existence albeit suffering from being well loved! While I was at boarding school I learnt how to make clothes, a few odd items emerged but by the time I left I had a few garments that I could certainly be proud of and by then was hooked.
I did continue to make for a while once I came to London but the demands of catering took their toll and my beloved Bernina was cast aside.
This did not stop me however from continuing to collect fabrics! Some would say that I hoard but I like to think that I collect, more of a serious feel to the whole proceedings!
Finally, when the catering took more of a back seat I decided that before I was swallowed by a toppling tower of fabrics I should start to make again. Thanks to Michael in Fabrics galore I discovered the existence of Duck Pond Markets and am happy to say that I have not looked back. I contacted Caron and the rest, as they say, is history. Michael Dankwah designs wonderful bears for his company Grin and Bear, see favourites for contact.
My first market was in Heron Square, Richmond and I have to admit that I did not have a clue! I look back now and realize that with the help and support of Caron and her team and of the other stallholders I would still be in that position. Duck Pond really is like a family.
I am of course my Father’s daughter in that I have to have a bit of kit for every eventuality ! This causes much amusement when I can produce even the most unexpected item someone may have left behind. I am always up for a challenge and do have one or two bits that have not yet been requested.
It is never hugely entertaining to set up, sell or pack down in the rain but we mostly manage to do it with humour, rarely is that silver lining entirely missing. It could be just that we are a bit simple but it is rare not to hear loud laughter coming from our corner of the market. The endless argument of course is which is worse, wind or rain, never a definitive answer but to be honest we do like it best when the sun shines. Sun equals smiles and happy customers and stallholders alike.
My other hat……..
My other life is as part of a small but perfectly formed team at a flourishing catering company in Battersea. I normally do three days a week but for various reasons frequently do more. Juggling both hats can be a bit frantic at times but it all seems to work in the end. Hats are not the only things to be juggled!
JF is the proprietor and took me in a couple of years ago, I turned up to meet her and realized that my dress was on inside out and had to nip into the wash up area to put this right. Jacks did not seem to think for a second that this was the result of someone batty and past it, in fact we hit it off fantastically well and the only think that shut us up was the fact that Jacks had a job to deliver!!!!! MORE ABOUT J Harmony is the watchword most of the time thought the occasional artistic difference can occur! This all makes it more interesting and productive.
Jenni is our full timer. She is well travelled having set out from Australia to head here with many stops along the way. Jenni makes for her Madame Macaroon stall at various farmers markets and produces mouthwatering sweet things with the jewel like macaroons center stage. Happily there are often samples to be had which can cheer us up enormously!
Mandy, our fantastic KP keeps us all organized and in line with a constant supply of clean gastros, pans and bowls. One minute she looks overwhelmed by a huge pile of washing up and what seems like moments later she is wiping down an empty bench……..magic?
If we are lucky and she can be persuaded away from her own busy business Jaz brings her sunny personality in to help us out. Not often enough in our book!
James, driver extraordinaire is the last but by no means least member of the team. We are very spoilt having him to do the deliveries as before it meant one of us was out of the kichen battling the vagaries of London traffic. Not so happy when he has a day off……..we are thinking of disallowing this sort of behaviour.