To Salisbury with Love - Enchanted England Craft Fair
Rising early to drive to a craft fair I found it had rained during the night. When I woke and went into the garden, it was sparkling from the recent shower. The garden was refreshed, ready to meet another glorious sun filled day.
An hour later, I drove into Salisbury. At a curve in a road, the Cathedral spire rises above the horizon and seems to float on the landscape. Its graceful grey stones seemingly defy gravity as it reaches up into the skies. The streets were also shining, bunting had been hung across every pavement. It was a bright, joyful and pretty scene. Only a large police presence gave away the stress the city has been under in recent weeks. The city has fallen under a curse. A poisonous presence stalks its land. At least Sleeping Beauty's castle knew what to avoid, I thought to myself as I unloaded my car. At least there was a chance to destroy every spindle in the land.
Within an hour Enchanted England had been installed in the magnificent Guildhall - the very heart of the marketplace. No one will come, my friends had told me when I had told them of my Salisbury fair. No one - have you seen the news? Well, they were wrong. Salisbury's citizens and tourists are made of far sterner stuff and there were over 1000 visitors on the day. Each supporting this beautiful town. Each carrying their own story and reacting to their surrounding in their own way.
A woman paused at my stand and then suddenly became tearful when she spotted my blackbird cards (honestly - they are not that bad). Taking her hand, I listened while she told me her mother had died that morning and the blackbird had been her favourite garden visitor. 'Still,' she said, 'life goes on doesn't it.' She gave a weak smile, refused the water I offered her and made her way out of the door. I think about what she said and wish we didn't cover up grief when it strikes us. Sometimes life does stop and its just outrageous. This life has stopped - other life continues. Death had struck at Sergei and Yulia Skripal and missed. It had come in error to tragic, alcoholic and drug addicted Dawn Sturgess who died after picking up a phial of poison. 'Druggies', said a tall patrician looking man to me later. 'what does it matter?'
He gave a pious smile. 'I'm here to support the traders.' In that case, I suggested through clenched teeth, he may like to buy a card. He opened his wallet for a £2 coin and some moths flew out.
I love that! A man pointed at my Maypole Dancers that had been newly framed and on its first day out at a fair.
Bright colours burst out of this picture, it's like a wide smile, someone had once commented. I looked at the speaker and his companion. They too were dressed in vivid hues - perfect for such a bright summer's day. The woman carried the most beautiful patent yellow handbag. Vibrant and glowing they discussed the picture and then happily brought it. Through a window, I watched them carry the dancers across the market square, threading through a bustling collection of stalls, artisanal feasts and inviting shops. On they walked through the centuries' ancient buildings, they walked through time and through this day and on into the next.
For some people today and yesterday Time ceased. This is outrageous and it matters. Dawn matters. She will always matter. Yesterday, today and tomorrow, in every beating and stopped clock she will matter.
Civic Romanus Sum.
Salisbury remains one of the safest places to visit for the general public- Enchanted England recommends that you take advantage of this sun filled summer to see this medieval gem of a city at its sparkling best. There are some links at the end of this article on what to see and do. Stonehenge - don't forget - is just a stone's throw from here.
Where to buy Enchanted England's Maypole Dancers and Blackbirds