The Market

It was still raining this morning what a surprise!  I had arranged to meet a friend for coffee and afterwards I decided to check out the Saturday market in the area. I have seen the notices for the market many times, as it is held in the school grounds in the same street as the Mary Potter Hospice.

The market was full of stalls selling fresh produce, mostly vegetables and some fruit, but one had freshly baked bread and bakery items, another was selling gourmet salamis – but the choice of vegetables was outstanding.

I was told that the vegetables had mostly been picked yesterday and many were organically grown.  What really surprised me was how much fresher they looked and how much cheaper they were than those vegetables currently on offer at the supermarket.

The market was busy in spite of the puddles and the continuing rain; it obviously has a host of loyal followers.  The comments among the customers and stall holders suggested that they were on friendly terms which could only be because of their familiarity with each other.

Of course, I bought far more than I should have, but as it’s coming up to soup weather the vegetables will be put to good use.

And then this reminded me of street markets in England when I was growing up.  I wrote a blog on this in July last year – if you are interested in my meanderings down memory lane please click here.

Road sign

I know that as I get older these memories return and I often wonder are these places, sights and people improved with the passing of time?

I do know that we had no choice on Saturday about whether to accompany Mother to the market.  And only as we became older and in her considered opinion, more able to be responsible for ourselves, were we able to make a decision as to whether or not to accompany her.  But this was a time of sharing for Mother and her three daughters.  It took about 30 minutes for us to walk from the market to our house. Walking along, each carrying at least one shopping bag, we discussed all things that mothers and young daughters discussed.

I particularly remember as I reached the ripe old age of 15 and had a boyfriend, Mother and my sisters ribbing me about him.  Innocent family fun.  Saturday afternoons and Ridley Road market are imprinted in my memory so many, many years later.

Mother and girls

Mother has now been dead for some 16 years and I cannot discuss these days with her anymore.  But I can discuss them with my sisters and I wonder if their memories of these days are as clear as mine.

“Can it be that it was all so simple then
Or has time rewritten every line?
If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me would we? Could we?
Memories, may be beautiful and yet
What’s too painful to remember
We simply choose to forget
So it’s the laughter we will remember
Whenever we remember
The way we were.”














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15 responses to “The Market

  1. I love this post. We lived on a farm so we grew and picked our own vegetables and they were very fresh! But working in the garden with my mom was together time too. How I hated shelling peas and snapping beans but it was precious time together. I live in the city now and I only buy my fruits and vegetables at the local market.


    • Thanks Darlene. This is only the first time I have ventured to the market but of course, shall go again. As I said, bought far too much for one..oh dear.


      • Oh I do that to because it all looks so good. But I use the produce up in soups too and tonight I had a great stir fry using up the rest from last weekend. Yummy!


  2. Oh, I visit our local market nearly every week – the flower vendor has roses – Cheap! I take my dog, the vendors love her and some will have a doggie treat for her. Everyone wants to pet her and she enjoys the attention. I always buy too much, but my husband loves my homemeade soups, so nothing really goes to waste.


  3. You’ve brought back more memories of my own mother and walking to the A&P grocery store; when there was only one car in the family and Dad used it to go to work. And the talks and the laughter….. Thank you Judith.


  4. The vegetables look wonderful! So colorful. Enjoyed the memories of your walks to the market.


  5. Love your story about the market, Judith. We have a local one during the summer in town. I look forward to it every year.
    I remember the massive Eastern Market in Detroit, when I was younger, where farmers would back their trucks up to the vendor booths and there were so many choices of ethnic foods and luscious vegetables and fruits.
    Your market sounds wonderful and looks lovely. Great memories! Thanks!


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  7. I suspect that we mold our memories to suit our “view of the world.”

    If we want to remember the good times . . . we do. If we want to hang on to stale grudges and grievances, we do.

    There are memories I would like to review with my “elders” . . . but they are either gone . . . or their memories have fled the premises.


    • As my children tell anybody who will listen – Pollyanna is alive and well and living in Brooklyn. I tend to dwell on the good memories as there is no point on only reliving the bad moments in our lives. And yes, I do wish I had shared memories with my parents before they died.


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