Wintry day at Guildford farmers market

Guildford farmers market

Guildford farmers market

The grass was wet this morning, no frost. Whether it had been frosty, raining or heavy dew, I do not know.

Walking along the River Wey, it had dropped a couple of feet or more compared with a week ago.

I looked in Debenhams. Only turkey, no roast pork, which is what I was looking forward to.

Blocking access to the dropped curb as cross Quarry Street is a large A-board. It has been there every day since mid-October. Guildford know about it, Surrey know about it, but worthless jobsworth at Surrey would rather sit on their backsides and wait until a frail elderly person trips over it and fractures a few bones. Card Aid should be prosecuted for wilful highway obstruction.

An interesting stall of wood carvings, new to the market. The guy, Matthew Crabb, had come up from Somerset. He had a couple of folders of his work. Amazing wood carvings, often entire trees in situ. I suggested he may wish to contact Godalming Museum as they may be interested in exhibiting his work. I also suggested take a trip downstream along the River Wey as there are some wood carvings.

Off the Celtic baker, a loaf, a blueberry flapjack, and I thought I would try a couple of his mince pies.

A stall sells pies of various kinds. They are very good. Last month I got a pasty. I settled down looking forward to it for my tea, only to find I had left it on the stall. I told the lady, and she said help yourself to another one.

Off a Game stall (game as in pheasants not computers) four of his sausages. Very expensive, a pound per kilo (or maybe more) than Gloucester Old Spot (a rare breed pig) from Waitrose. A pity he is restricted to fancy highly spiced foreign sausages. But, last least like the butcher on North Street on the Friday street market, everything is loose. Pre-packed on a farmers market goes against everything a farmers market stands for.

As does serving hot food in McBurger boxes. This is totally unacceptable and there is no excuse for doing so, as there are alternatives on the market that are recyclable. Polystyrene goes to either landfill or incineration. Food for Thought in Covent Garden uses recyclable containers, as does Iydea in North Laine in Brighton.

I was pleased to see Kai Jansen back in the High Street playing his guitar. The last time I saw him was in Alton, and that was a year ago at least. We had a chat about bandcamp. I said it was a must for his music, he gets as good deal, as do the fans who wish to listen to, share and download his music, and it gets him known to a much wider audience than playing in Guildford High Street.

I was pleased to see the stalls selling wine and beer are now back to their usual pitches, not as November farmers market. They have to periodically move because only twelve markets are licensed, thus have to then do an additional licence. Whilst it is no problem in terms of setting up a stall, it is a problem in terms of lost business for people used to finding stall in a specific location.

By no means the fault of the market organiser. This is people who licence the market playing the fool. It is not as though we have drunken scum on the street in contrast to the problems caused by the large bars on Bridge Street on a Friday and Saturday night to which the same licensing fools turn a blind eye even though it turns Guildford town centre into a no-go area as it is ok if Big Business is making money. It is only the Street Angels who are keeping the lid on.

I was pleased to see different stalls trade between themselves. Maybe take this further, a distribution system with produce from all the suppliers. Worth thinking about.

I want to scream when I see stall holders with a cup of coffee from Costa in their hands. If they want us to support small producers, then they should do the same. Go up the High Street to Tunsgate. Go into Tunsgate, walk to the end, and there on the left, just before Ben’s Records, is Gluton & Glee, from where you can get real coffee.

Always support indie coffee shops, not chains like Costa or Starbucks (who dodge tax).

It was a very cold day, with a very cold wind blowing. If I stopped at any stall for more than a few minutes, I felt very cold. I felt sorry for those running the stalls.

Too cold to hang about on the street. I walked back down the High Street to take lunch at Debenhams. A big mistake. I should have gone to the Thai restaurant top of the High Street in Jeffies Passage or carried on over the Bridge and to the Keystone behind St Nicolas Church. No turkey left, only a scraggly bit of chicken, vegetables cold, tables not cleared and dirty.

I decided to hop on a bus to Godalming and have tea and cake in Cafe Mila. Had I been a minute earlier or people at the bus stop I would have caught the bus that sailed past. I did not fancy waiting 15 minutes in the cold for the next bus (and that is assuming on time).

I retraced my steps, back over the bridge. I was going to ask in Starbucks, was it true, their appalling working condition, but it was very busy. What is wrong with people, do they not care Starbucks dodges tax, serves lousy coffee?

I looked in Waterstone’s. One solitary copy of NeverSeconds.

Then walk to the station and catch a train.

Guildford holds a farmers market in the High Street on the first Tuesday of the month. The next farmers market will be February 2013.

Guildford farmers market has a facebook page, but if you work at the council you are not allowed to look at it. You are not allowed to look at this blog either.

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