Markets

It seems to be market season here at the moment—both in the sense of there being more markets around than usual, and also that it’s a good time of year to go to the markets. I love finding one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts for my special people, especially if I can buy local and support a crafter. I’m not going to kid you though, it doesn’t matter how many gifts I say I’m going to buy, I always come home with a few things for myself too.

On Saturday I met Amanda, Emily and Devika at the Gorman House Markets. These markets are held in the buildings and courtyards of Gorman House, near the centre of Canberra. Gorman House was originally built as accommodation for public servants in the early days of Canberra (1924, we are a very young city) but these days hosts arts and community groups and a fantastic restaurant, as well as the markets on Saturdays.

image by lars1942 on flickr

I love these markets. They boast a good mix of art and craft, antiques, secondhand clothing, jewellery and food. There’s always a relaxed vibe and plenty of people sitting in the sun in the grassy courtyard, enjoying coffee and cake or a plate of Gozleme. There are usually buskers. Best of all, the prices are always reasonable.

This is a good example of the sort of lovely people the Gorman House markets attracts: Saturday was Amanda’s birthday and after we all found each other, we decided to start with coffee and some raspberry coconut cake. Unbeknownst to Amanda, we had organised to bring a candle and a lighter (knowing cake would be available) and so we stuck the candle in her cake, lit it and sang ‘happy birthday’ at our table in the middle of the courtyard. The whole time we were sitting there after that, people kept walking past and saying ‘Happy birthday!’ to her. Sweet, huh?

It was the perfect weather for markets and we had a great time advising each other on the suitability of secondhand dresses, discovering new crafts, meeting other friends and chatting with stallholders. We had lunch next to the chook stall, where one chook sat peacefully on the table the whole time. I bought some lovely gifts, and managed (predictably) to come home with a few things for me:

the top one is a tiny canvas covered with lovely horse-printed fabric, the bottom one is a delicate black papercut I’ve mounted against white paper. It’s so intricate, I’ll never know how they do the trees without it ripping.

I also picked up a kilo of the most beautiful cherries I’ve had in ages.

It was definitely a successful outing and I only wish I could show you more of the beautiful things I bought—but they’re gifts, and I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise :)

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