Friday, 29 August 2014

So, who is Holt and who is Heath?

On Monday this week, Julian and I braved the British bank-holiday weather to attend the National Forest Wood Fair and took some of our wares along, to display and show other people and with the vague hope of selling one or two pieces.

We got there a little later than we'd planned, my eldest daughter Chloe came along to help, and we set up a rather tiny gazebo and tables in the pouring rain, resolved to the facts that we were going to get very wet, probably very few if any members of the public would be fool-hardy enough to get out of bed for such an event on such a day, and that we would most likely not manage to sell a single item.

Nonetheless, and with our moral undaunted, once set up, we stood and smiled and chatted with the slow trickle of people who had no doubt pre-purchased their tickets for the event and thought that, since they had already spent the money, they may as well see if it was any good.

Though I was glad to have had some shelter with us, the rain dripped through, filling the bowls on the top shelf and, if you look carefully, you can see the river that ran constantly across the middle of the table with the bowls on.
Bad weather aside, and at about 2 o'clock it actually stopped raining for about fifteen minutes, we had a most enjoyable time. We sold some spoons, some bowls, spatulas, spreaders and coat hooks - thanks to all those who offered advice on pricing our products. But the most enjoyable thing about the whole day, the best thing by far, was the great, friendly, helpful, encouraging, complimentary, appreciative people that we met.

So, thank you to all those who bought something from us - it is the most flattering thing ever.

Thank you to those who offered advice, especially those who have been doing this a long time and were very free with their wisdom.

Thank you to those who sought us out, having communicated via the net for some time - it was good to finally put a face to a name (James, don't forget to be in touch about how we can be involved in you grand scheme).

All in all, a worthwhile activity and well worth getting soaked for.

Sorry for all the pictures of spoons - I was kind of trying to catalogue the different styles I had carved before they went flying off the shelves - and I don't mean because of the wind gusting across Beacon Hill!

And not that it matters, but in way of clarification, Julian and I are both called Heath - there is no Mr Holt. I took the name 'Holt and Heath' from a line in the general prologue of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales:

'When April with his showers sweet with fruit
The drought of March has pierced unto the root
And bathed each vein with liquor that has power
To generate therein and sire the flower;
When Zephyr also has, with his sweet breath,
Quickened again, in every holt and heath,
The tender shoots and buds, and the young sun
Into the Ram one half his course has run,
And many little birds make melody
That sleep through all the night with open eye
(So Nature pricks them on to ramp and rage)-
Then do folk long to go on pilgrimage...'
It means woodland and field and with Heath being our surname, and me liking Chaucer, I thought it sounded sufficiently arty-farty. Sorry for the confusion (and disappointment for all those hopping to meet the elusive Mr Holt).

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