Saturday, 5 May 2012

Ramblings: This Little Piggy Went to Market

I had a brilliant night’s sleep last night. I went over to see Paul and we saw the Matthew Bourne ballet “The Nutcracker”. It was amazingly camp and cheeky. Lots of subversion of the plot, ravishing scenery, rampant homoeroticism and the men were gorgeous (plus Paul was by my side). What more could I ask for? I do love Matthew Bourne’s stuff.

We got back and played a game of Yahtzee, I had a mug of Horlicks and we retired by eleven. Life is exciting when you don’t drink. I slept like a log as I often do when I’m not alone. Paul greeted me this morning with an offer of boiled eggs. My love of eggs and my need for lattes is one of the only reasons I’ve not gone vegan yet. Pretty fundamental reasons, I suppose as eggs and milk would be the things I’d forsake.

Paul coerced me into going to the local Saturday market and auctions and I was oddly tempted by this offer. I was foolish. Paul’s intention was to photograph things for his art work. This got him some unwanted attention. Fact: dodgy market traders are wary of people photographing the stolen goods they are flogging or of their faces being on camera.

The first part of the market is a massive store of army surplus supplies. I never trust people who wear army gear in civilian life. Show me a man in a camouflage jacket and I’ll show you a psychopath with a secret arsenal of weapons and a homemade pipe bomb. There’s something very dodgy about these enthusiasts. It was a vast but sinister and dismal collection of tat. There were night vision goggles, gaffer tape rolls, gun holsters and disused military wear. It sent a shudder down my spine. Unless these things are for fetishist sex then they have no reason to be sold, surely? I feared for my life and I suspect that the man who may well be about to commit the next atrocity was perusing that store. I looked suspiciously at the other customers. I’ve memorised all their faces and will do identikits later on.

The next section was an area where people appeared to have emptied skips onto the road and be selling the contents. It was dire. Rusted old tinned food, discoloured rugs, broken toys and battered electrical goods. The list of useless crap on offer was endless. A butcher was selling cheap meat over a loudspeaker, a selection of out of date food was on offer and the place had an air of dire desperation.

The auction houses were more salubrious, apart from one. There was one selling small items (ornaments and tat), one selling old furniture (some of which was quite decent) and another selling new furniture (most of which was quite hideous). The wide boy auctioneers fascinated me as did the punters. There were a few young middle class couples nosing round for an old Belfast sink or a dresser and a lot of dodgy looking old men and world weary women. The interesting auction house was the one selling miscellaneous items. I’d love a go at being the auctioneer in there. It would go something this:

Here we have a Sat Nav which is probably knocked off and almost certainly won’t work. Do I have £10? £10 to the lady with the skin like orange leather. Do I have £12? £12 to the man with the badly designed facial tattoos. £14 to the man who looks a bit paedy. £16 to the man who you’d run away from very fast if you saw him on a dark night. Do I have £18? £18 to the woman with the miniature yellow teeth who smells of chip fat and damp dogs.  Do I have £20? £20 to the young man in the white shellsuit who has a look that screams “Borstal!” Do I have £22? No? All done at £22? You have been.

Thankfully we then went to cleanse our souls at an exhibition of modern art, followed by a nice lunch. I do enjoy a day out with Paul and oddly, he seems to enjoy my company too which is just perfect.


louise rhymes said...

Brilliant as always Chris.If ever you write a book i will be the first to buy :)Still giggling now

C said...

Aah, thanks Louise, glad you enjoyed it x