The Pantry group’s first meeting of the year is always a buzzy occasion.
It’s a chance to debrief after the previous market – to mull over what went well and what was less successful, and think about how we can improve things next time. And it’s also when we look into our crystal balls and pick what we hope will be the best dates for the coming year’s markets.
Of course, we have to make sure that key people won’t be otherwise engaged – the date for the spring market was finalised only after a quick phone call to a rather startled parent that began ‘I’m in a meeting … when are we on holiday?’ But we also try to pick dates that, from previous experience, will encourage the most people to come along.
The Christmas and spring markets are always well attended, the summer and autumn ones less so. We’ve therefore decided that, like last year, we’ll just hold three markets this year, on the following dates:
Any changes to these dates will be posted in this blog.
We look forward to seeing you!
Well, April’s not quite there, but it won’t be long before we see ‘the lowest boughs … in tiny leaf’*. With spring definitely in the air, we’re turning our thoughts to The Pantry Spring Market.
With the market date this year falling so close to St George’s Day and Shakespeare’s birthday (both on 23 April), we’ve decided to celebrate all that’s special about England.
The posters and flyers are now out – see below.
Everyone has their own take on Englishness, and their own ideas about what gives England its character. Is it our sense of justice and fairplay? Our willingness to stand up for the underdog and be a place of refuge for those that need it? Our ability to queue? Morris dancing? Or our certainty that absolutely anything can be made better with a nice cup of tea?
The English are particularly proud (if that’s not too strong a term for people who tend to distrust such emotions) of their sense of humour – the drier the better. We are experts at laughing at ourselves while at the same time fiercely appreciating all that we consider good and valuable in our country. And it’s that spirit we want to celebrate in the next market.
So do come along to the Spring Market on 18 April. We can’t promise Morris dancing, but we can offer you an array of local produce, some proper home-made English cakes, a nice cup of tea and a sit down.
Can’t say fairer than that, now, can I, guv?
* Rupert Brooke, ”Home Thoughts from Abroad’
Are you a local craftsperson, supplier of locally sourced food or drink, or something similar, looking for a new outlet to sell your wares?
The Pantry always welcomes new stallholders, as this helps make each market a unique event. So if you’re tempted, or know of anyone – either foodie or crafty – who might be interested in selling their wares at The Pantry, please contact us on 01869 320950 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The fee for a stall is a very reasonable £10, and we usually do get a good number of potential customers coming to each market.
Of course, we’re very happy to see lots of old friends too, so if you’ve had a stall at a previous market but haven’t been for a while, do get in touch if you’d like to come again.
If you can’t make the date of the next market (18 April), dates for the remaining markets in 2015 are: 8 August and 5 December.
It’s Mother’s Day on 30th March, and you’ll find lots of ideas for gorgeous gifts at The Pantry this Saturday.
For the first time in the General Store, we’ll be offering the full Gin & Tonic range from the Littlecote Soap Co., including home fragrances and candles. These natural bath and body care luxuries and home scented products are all carefully made by hand from natural ingredients, using time-honoured methods, and are individually hand-cut, hand-poured and hand-wrapped. They would make an ideal gift for Mother’s Day – or a treat for yourself. If you already have a fragrance diffuser, we’ll have great value refill bottles this time too.
Free pink jute gift bag with pretty labels if you spend £10 on toiletries. While stocks last!
Alternatively, you can make a selection from the excellent Jacobs Field Lavender range of toiletries made from lavender grown, harvested and distilled in Islip.
Or choose something from Polkadot of Winslow‘s cornucopia of delights. Lisa makes all manner of exquisite things, and for our market she is also offering lovely personalised keepsakes available to order in time for Mother’s Day – baubles, hearts or boxes. Pop over and say hello – and be amazed by her creativity.
At Aurora Jewellery you’ll find pieces that have been inspired by classical and vintage jewellery as well as ethnic influences from Asia – timeless chic fused with contemporary twists, to make your mum feel really special.
Of course, your mum may be a foodie, in which case you’ll really be spoilt for choice!
Only the Coffee Shop volunteers know (and they’re not saying) just how they’ll be interpreting the theme of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.
But one idea we did put some thought into was having an activity at the market that would interest children. So we came up with …
A space where children can get crafty making their own Mad March hat, or mask, or whatever their imagination comes up with.
Craft materials and equipment will be provided, and there’ll be a competition to find the best creation.
Children can enter on the day – all entrants will get a small prize – and there’ll be two age categories: Under 11 and 11-16.
The judging will take place at 1.30 pm – at the same time as the raffle draw.
So you can shop the stalls and have a coffee break in the knowledge that the youngsters will be happily occupied with scissors and glue – and someone else will be clearing up after them!
Despite the almost constant rain and general greyness, you can sense a faint stirring of spring in the village. Snowdrops are sprinkled in gardens, primroses brighten up the bare earth beneath trees and the earliest daffodils, beside the stone walls, are pressing upwards urgently and will soon be bursting into flower. It’s lighter a little earlier at the two ends of the day, and, after the rare glimpse of sunshine yesterday, I’m sure I wasn’t the only person to feel a lightening of the spirit and the step. The earth has turned on its axis once more, and everything feels poised to hurtle into the turmoil of spring.
At Pantry HQ, we’ve had our first planning meeting for the spring market. I don’t know whether it was the satisfaction at starting on our second year, the pleasure of getting together again and throwing around lots of new ideas or the two bottles of wine that mysteriously disappeared over the course of the evening, but I’m afraid by the end of the meeting we were all a bit overcome by laughter. Hence, probably, our theme for the next market – Mad March.
Posters will be going up on noticeboards soon – to replace the last ones, which mentioned the spring market, but gave the wrong year. Oh dear. My (not very convincing) excuse is that it was still 2013 when I did them. And it was still the festive season …
It seems hardly any time at all since my last post, but here we are at the beginning of another year, only slightly soggy in Piddington. If you’re reading this in a part of the country that has suffered more serious flooding, or if you’re battling ice storms or searing temperatures (yes, amazingly we do have followers in the USA and Australia!), I hope things get better for you soon.
After the excitement of the Christmas Market and our first anniversary, we’ve all had a well-earned rest here at Pantry HQ, but it’s time to come out of hibernation and start getting things ready for the Spring Market. This will happen on 15 March, between 10am and 2pm.
Spring officially begins on 20 March – so hang the spring cleaning and come and have some Mad March fun at The Pantry.
We can always use more help, so if you’d like to be involved, we’d love to have you as part of the team.
To volunteer, contact Maggie Pearce (tel. 01844 237688; email email@example.com).
If you’d like to run your own stall, or share a stall with someone else, contact Ken Howard on 01869 320950 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
More details to follow as things begin to come together. Stay warm – it’ll soon be spring!