Sunday, 21 October 2012

Bustling markets

Where does the time go??  I'm sure there used to be 24 hours in a day ... I need a Tardis.  Then I could disappear inside, do a load of stuff, come back out and it would still be the same time as when I went in.  Good idea eh? Mmmmm ...  In the meantime, I suppose I will just have to carry on rushing about everywhere.

This week was extra busy as my trusty cheesemaking/cheesepacking assistant Julie had the temerity to go away on holiday.  Can you believe it?  So, not only did I have to make my own cheese this week, I also had to spend most of Thursday packing and labelling it and getting the orders ready.  Fortunately, Julie is back to work tomorrow.  Hurrah!

So, the excitement of a new market at West Hampstead on Saturday was tempered with anxiety about how to get there.  I know South/Central London and the City all very well, but once I get north or west of Kensington, I am out of my comfort zone!  I figured out a route straight through the centre of London via Waterloo Bridge and Euston and it all turned out a lot easier than I thought it would be.

Apparently, the good people of West Hampstead have been waiting for years for a farmers market to come along.  The main problem, apparently, was that noone could find a suitable site for it.  Until some bright spark had the idea of a station forecourt ...

And so, every Saturday, the forecourt of the Thameslink station is transformed into a colourful and bustling market.  It's not a very large space but the market managers do an excellent job of marshalling everyone and by 10am there are stalls up in every available position!  Some of us smaller people have to share a pitch and so I was under the awning of the Isle of Wight Tomato Stall sharing with a very nice lady called Jenny.  As you can see, right next to us was the veg and flower stall. 

It was a very busy market with lots of very enthusiastic customers and so I didn't go home with much at all.  Very satisfying!

Meanwhile, the goatlings had a busy day on Thursday when our foot-trimming lady Natalie came to give them all a pedicure.  Natalie works at Buttercups Sanctuary for Goats but in her spare time (!) she likes to visit other goats and do a spot of foot-trimming.  I do actually enjoy foot-trimming but just don't have enough hours in the day to get everyone done as regularly as I would like, so we have enlisted the help of Natalie for a few hours.  She's great!  She has a sticker on the back of her car which says 'Crazy Goat Lady' ... so you have some idea of what she's going to be like.

Anyhow, the girls were all very excited to see someone new ..

And soon, many of them were sporting red dots on their bottoms to show that they had been done:

But, once Natalie had gone and I went back down to give them their evening hay, I noticed that she had obviously got bored with spraying dots and had branched out into something more artistic, as you can see from young Dottie:

Our first three white goats were triplet sisters who came to us in 2006 from our good friend Mary who has a small milking herd near Margate.  Mora, Marlin and Margot are all lovely girls and excellent milkers and it amused me that all 3 came into the milking parlour together yesterday:

The weather was pretty dismal all day today - fog and rain and general horridness.  Goaties did not even stick their little noses out of the door, preferring to snuggle up inside instead.  Of course, by evening milking, they were all thoroughly rested and ready to cause mayhem. 

Figgie, Firebird and Saffron are always right at the front of the milking queue, waiting to come through the moment that gate is opened!

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