Artisans in the Park

Artisans in the Park01The first part of my Sunday out walking, reading and generally mooching, was spent happily in the Old Police Station in Lark Lane, flicking through LPs and having wonderfully intense musical discussions with the traders at the Lark Lane Record Fair. I’ll show you what I came away with later.

Next I went into the park to meet a friend. I knew he was running a stall at an event there, so I thought I’d call in and see how he’s doing. Though we’re often in contact tweeting about social injustice and horticultural history, I don’t recall us actually meeting since my birthday back in January.

So I decided to call in on him here.

So I decided to call in on him here.

Yes indeed, you can believe your eyes. It’s an event in Sefton Park, involving food, arts and crafts, that’s free to get into. Unlike the iniquitous Liverpool Food and Drink Festival a couple of weeks back that I won’t stop being angry about until we stop it happening on public land.

So anyway, this being a free to enter festival I’m strolling by to see my friend Andrew and whoever else might be here. Because although there’ll be loads of stuff on sale, it’s as much a social gathering as a market place. And a social gathering open to all, non-exclusive and welcoming. In a place we all own anyway, our beautiful Sefton Park Palm House.

There are visiting traders, in interesting VWs.

There are visiting traders, in interesting VWs.

And locals, like Lark Lane's Moon and Pea.

And locals, like Lark Lane’s Moon and Pea.

I’m not hungry yet so fail to get one of their wonderful egg custards while I’ve got the chance.

The inside of the Palm House id where much of the more delicate arts and crafts are.

The inside of the Palm House is where much of the more delicate arts and crafts are.

A rich, green gathering place.

A rich, green gathering place.

And a great place to display your work.

And a great place to display your work. Not everywhere’s got one of these.

I like that it’s October now, so that in here it’s light and airy, rather than the tropically hot that it gets, as it’s supposed to being a Palm House, all summer.

In fact, in passing, can I just say I’m glad the summer’s gone. It was quite a good one this year, something we can in no way expect any more. But I’m glad now to be putting on an extra layer most days.To feel the crispness in the morning and the evening air. To feel autumn, and the year moving on. I love living in a place with four clear seasons and enjoying the passage of time between all of them.

I look round.

I look round.

At the art and the jewels and the tea.

At the art and the jewels and the tea.

Before going back outside.

Before going back outside.

And I'll tell you why.

And I’ll tell you why.

I’m not the customer for anyone in there. It’s no reflection on any of their work and wares, it’s just that I’m simply not a shopper for anything at all beyond music , food and occasionally books.

The same people running this Artisans event here today, also run it at Croxteth Hall and The Wildflower Centre. And Sarah came back from Croxteth Hall the other week bubbling about the quality of the crafts and excitedly showing me the jewellery and cards and I can’t remember what else that she’d bought. That’s because she’s a shopper, who will enter a hall full of sparkly stuff and move immediately into the intense-shopping mode that has simply been omitted from my genetic make up.

I walk on round the outside.

I walk on round the outside.

Some crafts and cards have made it out here too.

And inevitably Christmas is now being prepared for.

And inevitably Christmas is now being prepared for.

Again, something missed out of my DNA.

This is more like it.

This is more like it. Family Cheesemakers since 1930.

Bet they didn't have knives that said 'Cheese' in 1930!

Bet they didn’t have knives that said ‘Cheese’ in 1930!

There's live music out in the garden here.

There’s live music out in the garden here.

And I'm now officially hungry.

And I’m now officially hungry.

There’s lots to choose from and a generous provision of seats and tables to go and eat at, not restricted to any one supplier. My eventual choice is an easy one though.

First met up on the Flyover Festival early in the summer.

First met up on the Flyover Festival early in the summer.

Ready in a couple of minutes in their portable wood-fired oven.

Ready in a couple of minutes in their portable wood-fired oven.

As I’ve been mooching around I’ve met several friends and acquaintances , known since several phases of my life. All glad to be here, all enjoying the easy conviviality. And every one of them having, it turns out, refused to go to the Liverpool Food and Drink Festival on principle. Quality sorts.

Lunch eaten it's time to find the friend I came to see.

Lunch eaten it’s time to find the friend I came to see.

And here he is.

And here he is.

From hives all over Liverpool. A brilliant idea and as local as you like.

From hives all over Liverpool. A brilliant idea and as local as you like.

Yes, and some of it’s made in a prison grounds. There are bees everywhere.

A constant queue of people tasting Andrew's honey.

A constant queue of people tasting Andrew’s honey.

Noticing how the different postcodes have different colours and taste different, depending on the flowers growing where the bees have been.

I buy some honey from close to home.

I buy some honey from close to home.

And here in the Palm House Garden?

And here in the Palm House Garden?

Could be one of Andrew's honey bees, hard at work.

Could be one of Andrew’s honey bees, hard at work?

We’re pretty close to Princes Park after all. And Sarah here, who knows a bit about bees, tells me they’ll fly up to 4 kilometres if they have to.

Late in the afternoon it's time to go.

Late in the afternoon it’s time to go.

I enjoyed that.

I enjoyed that.

Well run, interesting, friendly, welcoming and open to all. Imagine that.

Back home, the swag from the day.

Back home, the swag from the day.

Lancashire Cheese, L28 Stockbridge and L8 Princes Park Honeys. Plus 4 LPs. Lester Young, Steve Gadd, Maria Muldaur and as you can see, Hank Williams. Just off for a listen to ‘My son calls another man Daddy’!

Artisan Markets run regularly in Sefton Park, Croxteth Hall and the National Wildflower Centre. Just had this from organisers Mandy & Larry Garcia “We are delighted to say there will be a 2 day event 15th & 16th November. We hope you will both pop by again ( especially Sarah with her love of shopping!)”

Postcode Honey is available at Artisan events and various other places around the city including Baltic Bakehouse and Homebaked

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