Monday, 8 June 2009


The very short, the short and the long

I'm sure everyone has been waiting with bated breath for tales of my fair. Well, lucky readers, I'm offering not one, not two, but three roundups: The very short, the short, and the long. Like if 'Choose your own adventure' did tragi-comedy.

The Very Short: A picture tells a thousand words.

The Short: A Twitter conversation limited my debrief to 140 characters.

The Long: Another outdoor fair courtesy of Apocalypse Events.

Anyone been to a craft fair in a tornado? It's pretty challenging. Although the rain was light and intermittent, the wind was relentless. I knew I was in for some drama when I put my table up and it blew over. And then put my first stack of t shirts onto the table and they promptly blew off on to the ground. I was forced to put the side walls on my tent to try to deflect the wind around my table, but the wind actually ripped my sidewalls. It split the sidewall zipper from top to bottom. While trying to repair the damage, roughly 50% of my t-shirts blew across the field. As I chased my t-shirts, my hanging rail blew over, scattering dresses far and wide. The wind was putting so much pressure on my tent supports that they buckled and broke. And cut the top of my head.

What's a girl to do? Cry behind a tree of course. Kindly stallholders helped me out, offering more stakes and ropes and cable ties. And advice: 'Customers don't buy from people who are freaking out'. Which is true. I did sell a lot more when I wasn't crying.

At the end of the day we had to bin my tent (only the second time I've used it) and head over to B&Q to buy another one. This one had rigid poles instead of multi-jointed ones and it fared much better on day two of the Apocalypse. It helped that I staked it down every six inches and tied it to two trees. And used almost 100 cable ties securing everything that might move to anything that shouldn't.

By the end of the weekend, I probably burnt enough calories chasing and collecting my clothes that the consoling pieces of carrot cake didn't count. My money belt was adequate but not overflowing. It helps that the pitch was incredibly reasonable. But I'm in a quandary now. I haven't paid for Treefest yet, it's very expensive and outdoors. And based on the weather I've had for my outdoor fairs so far this summer, perhaps too much of a gamble.


  1. Oh my God. I can't believe you went back for day 2.

  2. big big big hugs.

    I also went to a craft fiar yesterday, indoors.

    except it turned out to be a boot fair, masquerading as a craft fair. two jewellers, me, and one other knitter. ALL her work, without exception, was from Jean Greenhowe patterns, and was priced at around one tenth (yes, really - her most expensive 18" toys were £2.50) of the prices of my own original designs.

    I'm relieved to say I covered my fee.

  3. Well done for sticking it out. We had the same expereince two years running at out local festival. I've never seen a gazebo sail through the wind before! Now have a heavy pop-up one with levered roof!

  4. oh no that sounds bloody awful :( i hope you made enough to make it worthwhile? i don't think i'd be brave enough to do another BUT you bought a new tent and everything . . .

  5. Oh no... I was wandering around the grassmarket yesterday thinking you had a lovely day for it!!

  6. I saw you yesterday - looking very I whizzed past with crying, teething, needing nappy changed nephew!

    Don't let the wind put you off doing treefest - you now have a super strong tent and cable ties which will hopefully serve you better in the unrelenting Edinburgh wind!

  7. What a nightmare! Well done for not giving up. I haven't dared do an outdoor fair, it would guarantee a monsoon.

  8. Bravo you for sticking with it. I'd have been back home with a cup of tea before even bothering to set up.

    But then I'm a big wuss:)

  9. Remind me never to book a table at the same fair as you!

    ...wouldn't it be easier to move somewhere with slightly more moderate weather?

  10. Oh no. I thought your clothes would be flying off the table but for different reasons!! Such a shame about the weather. You'll laugh about it one day (maybe!).

  11. Well done for braving the second day! I had a similiar experience a couple of years ago. I was just thankful that my jewellery wasn't breakable - unlike the fused and stained glassware on the stall next to mine.....

  12. OMG! I wondered how it had gone. Have you read about the monsoon in Coventry on my blog. I am still cold and oooh so tired.