Why? What's happened?
Well, since I have been painting planters and toy boxes and selling them at the market, I have met many people in differing situations with different reasons for having a stall. Many of the older school market traders have been doing it for years and stay for the social side of trading and many of the newer, middle aged traders are there because they have been made redundant, fallen ill so can only work the hours they can manage or need a top up income.
Since my son started Senior School my concern has grown that every ounce of enthusiasm, enjoyment and passion for learning, experimentation and initiative seems to be being knocked out of these kids, just so they reach their educational curriculum targets. In my despair I spend a lot of time trying to encourage my son to find out what he thinks his skills are, what he likes doing, what he is good at, think about what he would LIKE to do as a career and what he COULD do if he can't do what he 'likes' and am regularly pointing out his even smallest achievements, his skills at being a 'leader', at being a 'team player', his 'organisational skills' etc to the point that he even teases me that I give him 'life lessons' every day!
So anyway, in my despair about the future of our youngsters, just imagine how delighted I was when I met Tony.....the new boy (sorry Tony! MAN) on the block!
So, I see this young man and his new stall and go up to him (to show what a friendly and inclusive bunch we are at the market). 'Do you have stalls at any other markets?' I ask. 'No', he replies, 'this is my first market'. 'What? Your first EVER market day?'. 'Yes', he says, with a big shy grin. Then we chat and he tells me his story and I feel humbled and in awe of this mans determination.
This young man, a 25 year old fully qualified gardener, knew that he didn't have enough work to make a living over the winter and so, rather than sit at home watching Jeremy Kyle and other waste of space programmes showcasing societies drop-outs and feeling sorry for himself, he went on You Tube and learnt a new skill ... in his case, crochet. Unusual for a young man except that he had already learnt to knit with his mum and had tried the odd bit of crochet before, knew he had some of the skills and so developed them.
GOOD FOR YOU!
Three weeks later he has crochet scarves and a blanket and a gorgeous teddy bear on his stall as well as other recycled items. We (the other market stallholders) will all support him in his new venture, applaud him for his enterprise and hope that other young people, out of work, see that he has made a success of himself, will follow suit and fill our markets again with a wonderful array of natural soulfully created products!