7th December, 2014
A cold and early Sunday morning after a night of insomnia. A long drive. A hotel ballroom with swirly brown and biege carpet, a worn wooden dance-floor, a scattering of trestle tables.
There are chandeliers and the strip-lighting above is reminiscent of interrogation rooms. Music plays. Christmas music stuck on continuous loop and then Bing Crosby sings about dreaming of a white Christmas. Over and over.
The lights on the Christmas tree in the corner blink neurotically. People carrying boxes and pulling trolleys enter looking for their tables and each time they do someone shouts, 'you're late for your post' and laughs as if this is a very funny thing to say.
The bar areas are shuttered. This is a pity. Everyone looks as if they need a drink. Your table is by the kitchen. You can hear the clank and clatter of dishes and all throughout the day smell the sickening aroma of everyone elses lunch. You have brought your own food. The kind your mom would have packed into your lunchbox for school: skinny sandwiches, potato chips, an apple and a box of candy. The candy (not cheap) is supposed to be for the customers but since there are few to none and since you do not care, you eat half the box before lunchtime.
The bathrooms are nice. The sinks are big and white and square and with no music playing in there, you visit often. So often that it begins to feel like home and you find yourself wiping down the sink and taps, tidying up the stalls. It's important to keep busy.
By 1 pm the other exhibitors are bleary-eyed. The woman at the next table seems to be falling asleep into her Christmas cakes. The person with the 'other' jewellery glares each time someone stops at your table. The music is now old-time Christmas music and it is depressing because it makes you think of war-time. You feel as if you are in a David Lynch film. Someone walks by your table muttering 'arts and crafts'. By 2 pm you have eaten everything and worry that you may kill someone.
You make sales. Mostly the cheapest stuff you have. You have made a sign explaining how long everything takes to make and how sloppy you are even with reading glasses and a magnifying glass. One person reads it and says very softly, 'that's funny'.
Friends surprise you with a visit. You now know what it feels like to be stranded on a desert island for many years and finally, the rescue boat sails into sight. You realise how much you love your friends. They are the most wonderful friends. You can see the pity in their faces as they realise that this show was so badly promoted, you will be lucky to make back the booth fee. They buy things from you. It makes you want to cry.
Someone tells you there is another fair next Sunday in a better place with a better organiser. You have made so much stuff in the past year and you really need a new pair of runners, so you agree to do it.
This one is in the Clonmel Park Hotel on 14th December from 10:30 am to 5-something pm. The hotel is nice and near a pet store, a food store, a Woodies-Woodies-Woodies (there's no better buy in DIY), a phone store, a chemist and a home-furnishing store in the event there is nothing at the show you want. There is also a KFC which I do not endorse as I don't eat meat (do like their fries on occasion). I don't mention the children's toy store because I do not like children's toy stores. Too many children.
I will not have candy this time though (I can't really afford another dentist bill). I will not be offering a 10% discount with the mention of this post, giving out freebies or boxes for purchases from the 'bargain basket'.
I will, however, have some very lovely, time-consuming to make yet reasonably-priced jewellery for those last-minute gift ideas.
Telling stories and making jewellery since the days of big hair and eyeliner.