I’m loving gathering information for our weekly ‘Trading Tales’ feature – we’ll publish a new one every Friday at 12 midday, as long as I’m given stories to share. You won’t be surprised to hear the inaugural post by fun-loving Heidi and The Pirate Boat was rather popular!
With the season now in full swing, last weekend saw our first Roving Canal Traders Association Floating Market of 2016 at Fazeley.
A magnificent fourteen trade boats lined the towpath to showcase their goods on sale. From plants to pens, coffee and cake to candles, antiques to angora cardigans (actually I’m not certain of that last one’s accuracy, but there were definitely knitted baby clothes!), and heaps more. A vast array of delights for inquisitive visitors to pontificate on.
As the last boat to arrive, on Friday evening, we snuggled cosily into the end of the line behind The Doggie Boat. We chose an alternative viewpoint, and saw us at the beginning, as it depends on how you look at it and which end of the towpath you start!
Changing your perception of liveaboards
For many people, their instant image of a live aboard narrow boater is a retired couple, or possibly someone a bit down-on-their-luck who can’t afford to live on land.
We’re here to dramatically alter those perceptions as much as possible …
On Saturday night a spontaneous boaters towpath party was instigated by two young men called Aiden and Henry. Not your usual traders, these confident and happy boys will feature along with their mum and dad Kailey-Jane and Joshua in a Trading Tale in the near future.
Learning from my blind spots
I hadn’t anticipated doing any facepainting at Fazeley, in my mind I’d decided there wouldn’t be any room to do so.
On Saturday I took the chance to have a hair cut (for an important Monday date), and spent most of the day holed up in the boat catching up on writing after the big lock days from Birmingham (38 in two days).
I took a stroll in the afternoon to chat to our colleagues, and was asked if I was setting up at all. My immediate response was that there wasn’t anywhere to do so – as I said it, I looked at two large grass perfect pitch verges for my gazebo.
On Sunday I was out there jollying up those folk fun-loving enough to be painted.
Everyone had a great weekend, selling, sharing stories, shopping and even a spot of sunbathing in between!
On the other side of the lens
We were contacted a few weeks ago by the Canal and River Trust Humans of the Waterways team, to ask if we’d be happy to feature in a national magazine article.
We’re self-employed, marketing is one of the fundamentals of our businesses – we’d be foolish to turn down any such opportunity and so grasped it excitedly.
We’ve had the telephone interview, and on Monday we’d arranged to meet their official photographer for a professional photo shoot. So Barry found himself on the other side of the lens for a change.
Patrick was a star – he was fascinated by our lifestyle, as many people are. A short cruise along the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal took us into the vibrant spring green of the trees, for some picturesque shots.
In anticipation of our soon-to-be-famous-ness, I even splashed out and bought a current copy of ‘Yours’ magazine, the publication we’ll be in.
We’ll let you know when, when we know when!
No rest for the wicked …
So now we’re heading west returning to Mercia Marina for another Floating Market this weekend – apparently if all goes well it’s intended to make it an annual event.
We’re visualising the weather gods gifting us with another dry weekend – the more people who do the more influence we’ll have!