Tuesday 21 February 2012

Market Day

Our historic market has been trading since 1219 and despite the arrival of the huge 24 hour Asda (Walmart) superstore to the town a few years ago it's still the cheapest place to buy fresh fruit and veg.

Once a week we walk a mile into town and stock up on whatever's going cheap.

Every bowl on this stall costs £1.

This is one of the town's prized art installations, the Spirit of Tranquillity, but better known to us locals as the "Hair in the Square". She was originally a water feature but our spoil-sport council turned off the water supply after the kids kept pouring washing-up liquid into the water supply engulfing the town in bubbles.

This statue is a tribute to Sister Dora, our answer to Florence Nightingale.

There's over a hundred stalls selling everything from game, seafood, locally made pork pies and scratchings, to TopShop seconds, underwear, make-up, haberdashery and antiques.

You can get your palm read.

You can even stock up on spring bedding plants and the first of the daffodils.

Check out the guy in the wolf fleece, the height of fashion in our town. You can get dog or horse versions as well, a snip at £5.99.

1960s velvet trimmed swing jacket (£3, charity shop), Suede go-go boots (£1, car boot sale), dress made by me from a 1950s curtain (20p, jumble sale), wool beret (20p, jumble sale)

Check out those boarded up shops behind me, set to be demolished to make way for Primark. Can you see the yellow scaffolding to the top right of the picture? That's the remains of The Overstrand, where The Charlatans played their first ever gig in 1988. (Well guessed, Lucy & Just Another Wardrobe Experience).

Here's this week's shopping. Pak Choi, capsicums, red cabbage, swede, chillies, red & white onions, garlic and ginger, apples, lemons, cucumber, lettuce, spuds, mushrooms, carrots and bananas.

After lugging that lot home I needed tea.

Looks like we're having spicy veg Masala for dinner, how about you?


  1. I do love markets. I go to the local monthly one for a wander! Enjoy your dinner!! xx

  2. Love your outfit as always.

    I have seen the wolf fleeces around myself, usually for sale when we go to Skegness for the day, they are the height of fashion there too!.

    Doesn't the fresh fruit and veg look fab, I'm going to check out my local market on Saturday and do a comparison with the local supermarket, it's probably cheaper on the market. :) x

  3. It's so funny seeing places you know so well on the Internet. Even though I know you live there it still seems odd somehow. Primark! Oh my word. It will mean I don't have to fight through the hoards in the City Centre for a Primarni rummage. You look great but I'm disappointed to not see a wolf fleece! xxx

  4. I do love an old fashioned market and all that veg on your table looks delicious, I always love it when the fridge is packed with fresh veg, which it often is til I do a big cook up!

    Well I was wanting Black Eye Beans and Greens tonight but I suspect my OH will be wanting pancakes we'll see!

  5. Gorgeous outfit vix!!

    We don't really have markets down here; only farmers ones which are quite dear...

    And I LOVE the charlatans - the only one I know is my fave song from them - who woulda thought?!?!


  6. I'm very jealous of the whole market experience. It appears to include SO much more than "shopping".

    You look serene there with your tea after market day...

    I went to "market", too this morning.
    Came home with ingredients for a good, vegetarian omelet. Will toast "English" muffins to accompany the omelets.

  7. Oh I am loving this Vix! I can't believe you can buy fruit in those baskets for a buck each, that is unheard of in the states whether it's a big grocery store or the local farmers market. I also can't believe the outdoor market goes on in winter! You sure live in a very livable place! I love seeing you about town and what a trip that Jon played his first Charlatan gig right there.

    I love your healthy haul Vix no wonder you are in such fabulous shape. You look incredible in this sweet dress you made with your very own hands. I adore my little Vintage Vixen! Thanks for taking us to the market with you!


  8. Your market buys look really fresh and healthy. I love markets that sell fruit and plants but hate those nasty cheap clothes stalls some have. The one in my town has one and I cringe looking at it.

  9. You can't beat a good market! I do think you might have got your palm read so you could give us the lowdown on what's in store!
    Wonderful array of fruit and veg, tea sounds delicious.
    And you look delicious too, thoroughly chilled after your shop, in your curtain couture with a cup of tea - a good, productive day! xxxx

  10. I love a proper historical market. Actually, His Nibs has just informed me that his maternal grandfather hailed from Walsall (well, his great grandparents were Hungarian Jews and they settled there after fleeing persecution in Hungary). Loved The Charlatans poster too, that brought back some hazy memories of the early nineties! xx

  11. reat post!, I love markets! x

    I'm already following, maybe follow me back?? x


    Rose xxx

  12. YUM! That table of lovely veg looks yum.
    We are having chicken and mushroom in black bean sauce and brown rice for tea...followed by a mountain of pancakes. :)
    Love the tour around your town. Such a shame about the boarded shops - boo to Primark.

  13. Wish we had a market like that nearby - I could feed my teenage fruitbats for much less (yes I know odd teens who actually eat fruit).

    Love the hair on the square - I can see why the kids were tempted to add bubbles!

    As for the wolf fleeces - sadly they are popular round here too - just wonder why????

  14. I love this! Looks like so much fun. And you look rad, as usual. :-)

  15. a very well deserved cup of tea. At university I always use to go to the market to get my fruit and vegs. Use to get a huge huge bag full for say three pounds. They always seemed to last much longer then the store brought goods too. But you definitely get more for your money.

  16. Thanks for taking us shopping with you!! You are definately better dressed than the other shoppers!!
    I love that you walk the mile into town.

  17. Looks like an amazing market We have a market in my town but it isn't nearly as good as that. we having biriyani for dinner!

  18. The market looks lovely. I almost would like to get those horrible wolves fleece for myself (that's how sick I am) - only saw them for sale round £20.
    I'm having proper carnivore dinner - steak casserole.

  19. Very fond of a local market and a baked spud. Loving the go-go boots!

  20. Wish I was as healthy as you lol x

  21. Your Walsall market seems to be really wonderful. Sadly, our market has all but died in the past couple of years - no idea why as we don't even have one of the 'big four' supermarkets in our small town.

    I often spy those 'delightful' (ahem!!) wolf fleeces being worn around our way too - lovely!!

  22. Who needs a super-store when you've got a market like that???!!! Now I must endeavor to dress more smartly when going to the green grocers...

  23. Another great post teeming with style!

    Its been nice having a nosey round your town too. The market looks amazing. We do have a market at a local designer village but its a farmer's market and not that cheap to be honest! I cant believe the bowls of fruit for £1! wow we get through so much fruit in our house (as well as cake you know a balanced diet and all ;0) )

    The wolf fleece has been spotted on the school run round these parts too! It gets about.

    MBB x

  24. I love a market in a town. We have the farmers market here every Thursday and its a lovely place to get fresh veg, cheese, cider, bread etc Your veg stand is a great price a £ a bowl. Your fruit and veg looks lovely what a great amount of fresh colour. I made a vegetarian cottage pie for our evening meal i use green lentils and a few vegetables and tomotoes served with garlic bread its a yummy meal. dee x

  25. The hair in the square full of bubbles!!LOL brilliant. Loving your revamped curtain dress, lovely colours. Looks like you have a feast in the making after that well deserved cuppa. I love the photos of the bow top wagons too. Enjoy your meal xx

  26. I'm going to have to get into market shopping, apparently that's the cheapest place to buy food in brussels. The edinburgh farmers market is lovely but all very expensive and upmarket!

  27. Ace shopping outfit Vix, you look great in your new jacket. Loved the pics of Walsall and laughed at your remarks re wolf fleeces (my auntie has one!) Shame you didn't cross the Romany Gypsy's palm with silver, I would have liked to hear her predictions. My local market has fruit and veg stalls(Aldi is still cheaper tho') but no fortune teller's. Btw that fruit trader looks rather menacing.

  28. Wow that market looks excellent! The last time I ventured to our Sunday one, the fruit was not so hot... Loving your green dress :)

  29. What an unreal market, such history and big thumbs up. Markets are so much more fun than shops. We had fountains in our city centre which is known as garden place. Every year kids put detergent in them or something that turned the water blue. It was part of growing up. But alas we no longer have them, bloody city councils!! I am loving that you made a dress out of curtains. I made a long skirt out of one of my grandmothers table clothes about 100 years ago. Those table clothes are worth a fortune now!!

  30. The 'hair in the square' looks like it should belong on the cover of a 70s progressive rock album!

    P.S. I'm having vegetable biriyani tonight

  31. I loved going to the market with you. You must certainly turn heads - your dress made from a curtain is fabulous! Hair in the Square's expression looks like, "Sheesh, will someone get this huge lump of bronze off my head?" I'm a new follower.

  32. What a great combination of "Greens", both on you, and on your table! What a lovely market--I can't believe you can get a whole bowl of fruit for a pound, much cheaper than here. I would have to stop for a palm reading and some flowers.

  33. Nothing like an English market day, ahhhhhhhhhhhhh.
    You look so gorgeous and right for it.

  34. Your town is just lovely! I do most of my shopping at the Annapolis Farmer's Market; fresher and less expensive than the chains, but not nearly as interesting as your historic market.

    Another stunning outfit; I really love the green dress made from a curtain!

    I am making a Pasta Jambalaya today; a New Orleans dish in honor of Mardi Gras. Enjoy your beautiful vegs!

    xo, Anita

  35. That statue of the hair in the square is so amazing! You live in such a beautiful town) And I love your style!


  36. That sounds a tad like Coventry market, which is also fab for veggies at only £1 a bowl. I'd love it if you would share a veg curry recipe. I'm a total carnivore, but sometimes its nice to have something different and my veg curries never turn out nice. Xx

  37. Looks like a blummin' good market there! All that lovely fruit and veg, who needs a supermarket!
    Chesterfield does those crazy £1 fruit/veg bowls, we love them! x

  38. I like markets too! I love seeing your town! (and nice shades of green!!!!!)

  39. What a lovely market. I wish I had the time to go to my nearest market which is 10 miles away.

  40. Vixcita,,
    I love old fashion markets!
    Ooooo did you get your palm read?
    Everytime i go into those places,palm readers never seem to be around.
    Loving lady Dora;)
    Your too glam for that town amor.
    Amar you in that little green gorgeous number.
    Luv ya

  41. OOOOOOO,just LOOK at that colourful array of veges!!! makes my mouth water!
    Markets are the best way to buy vege for sure,or I go out to local growers,not too far up the road from us.Love having lots of veges around!
    I love a wee peek at your surroundings,that former water feature is fab,bugger about the litte bastards putting washing up liquid in it all the time!
    Wish I could join you for some tea RIGHT NOW! I could do with a cuppa!
    Love you more than veges!
    Love Helga xxxXXXxxx

  42. i love your downtown vix. we have a year-round farmers market here in redlands also. and mostly i love that you dress for it. most people around here go in their grubby sweats. such a waste!

  43. it's so funny that you share with us a piece of your 'real life', and I love that you look so fabulous doing groceries as usual!, lovely green dress, so pretty color and it suits you so nicely!

  44. It's good to see the market still going and people using them. We grow a lot of our own, if not we buy at a local veggie shop that pretty much grows all their own too. Our farmers market got a bit to exclusive and expensive, so I keep it as local as I can now! :D

  45. There's a surprise for you on my blog today...

  46. The Hair in the Square - fantastic! :D xx

  47. It's so nice to see you out and in town I think getting to see other people's towns is so much fun. I love the dress I think it looks awesome with those boots. Veggie Masala sounds so yummy. We have a market here from summer to late fall and it really is the best way to go. Everything is TONS cheaper and it always tastes fresh. I love the nectarines we get there :)

  48. Market day looks like so much fun! Love the outfit - green really becomes you!

  49. I love this post and getting a better sense of where you live. We have a similar market, although it only runs on weekends...I'm eying those mongo carrots.

  50. You look absolutely magnificent in your market.
    The coat, dress, hat, boots and tights all go together amazingly.
    *Gosh I can't imagine how many bowls of fruit my Dad would buy from your market* *lol*
    I seriously had a mental image of him buying them up like they were going out of style.

    I love the hair in the square and the story about the dish soap. *ahahah* That sounds like it would be magical!


  51. Great pics! I LOVE your green skirt with those boots!

  52. I love it when you do these sorts of posts Vix :) Thems some scary lookin' Pakis (?) at that veg stall!!!

  53. Great post Vix, it is lovely to see a local town. Its funny as I drop hubby to work and collect him most days so tend to have a wander in Walsall quite often whilst I wait for him. I shall have to check out the market stalls.

    X x

  54. wow....am now both hungry and envious of your fabulous legs ......back to the soup!!x

  55. What a fun place to go shopping! Reminds me of Pike Place Market in Seattle, WA. I sure miss that place.

  56. I'm still giggling at the thought of kids putting washing up liquid into the water - yeah, I know, I'm very childish! x

  57. Looks like a great market - we must have some in Bristol, but no idea where. People quite often put washing up liquid in the water feature in the city centre here, but the council keep the faith and keep it going (after it's been cleaned).

    I must have one of those fleeces....not! Hope he doesn't track you down again after the last time!

  58. Nice fresh looking produce you got there. No wonder you've got such toned arms, carrying that lot home.

    I love the dress you made.

  59. Walsall looks a bit like High Wycombe, except our market isn't as good. Animal fleeces are the hieght of fashion here too

  60. Sigh. It looks just as I would hope your corner of the world would look. Bright and charming and filled with good things. The outfit is perfect for a day of shopping for all that good stuff.

  61. Nice to see your town Vix!
    We have a indoor market not too far, called Maisonneuve Market.
    I read that Krista is coming your way in Sept, that is great!
    Love your outfit and the cocktail dress in the previous post is so gorgeous! That color is amazing on you -
    About the fleece person, we have those here as well, plenty, too much for my taste!

    Lots of friendship!

    Ariane xxxx

  62. Such a great insight into your home town, the veg looks a real treat xxx

  63. I love a good market and this one is primo! Also primo is your market attire- comfortable and gorgeous. That green is going to be HUGE for Fall (I've been watching fashion show videos this week) but you wouldn't care about that- but you do look delish in that grass is greener frock! xo.

  64. The 'Hair in the Square' is brilliant - I could go for something like that in my garden. Love a market, are you not even a weeny bit tempted by the wolf fleece? You could accessorize with Native American jewellery and beaded thonged suede shoes...

    The lovely Jade dress really suits you xx

    ***Faith Hope and Charity Shopping first blogiversary giveaway open now***

  65. Oh my!! I want to see it all in person!! Everything looks so cool!
    I wonder what the fortune/gypsy telling booth/store looks like on the isnide??
    I agree with you about Walmart-I think it has ruined the world! lol But I shop at green markets every weekend!!Love it!
    Love your outfit and boots too!
    (I'm a boots kind of girl, in case you haven't noticed) lol

  66. i like this photos :) i'm following you, visit my blog if you want :)

  67. Hi Vix, lovely outfit. You just showed me that you can inject the floral trend on a look through an oversized bag.

    Enjoy the rest of the week. :)

  68. The market - and you! - look great. The markets down here in the South are so overprized, it's frustrating. xoxo

  69. Oh I love your outfit! You look so great :)

  70. I like your style.


  71. Wow Vix, the age of the market is amazing, the history and imagine the people who have walked where you are standing.
    I love supporting markets, the food is grown with love not just for money.
    Love your skirt.
    Love v

  72. I love going to markets for fresh fruit and veges, so much better than the supermarket and loads cheaper. Yours is a whole lot bigger than the one down the road from me and also a LOT older. You look really lovely in that shade of green:)

  73. France has got a thriving market culture too - but I love British ones the best. Your dress is amazing, especially with the turquoise jewellery! xxxxx

  74. Cheers! Love that last photo of you!
    Our market lurks in the shade next to Wasall-the 'powers-that-be' seem to do their damndest to ruin our market (and town!). My fave market is Leicester; the fruit and veg always looks beautifully presented. Makes me hungry just looking at it!
    Z xx

  75. You're from Walsall? Or am I reading that sign incorrectly?

    Rosemary www.foreveronthecatwalkoflife.com

  76. Ooh I love having a glimpse of your town... the markets look great for a wander - shame they are knocking bits down to build awful, generic, soulless stores. I love that frock - the colour is exuisite on you - and the boots and jacket are DIVINE! Passion 4 Fashion looks fab! (HA!)

    Love! Sarah xxx

  77. Another gorgeous litte outfit. LOve the photos I love seeing photos of wear people live xx

  78. Hi Vix,

    We'll be in London in just 4 days and I can't wait!

    I wish we had more time so we could ride the train up and meet you and Jon in Walsall. Your market looks fantastic.

    That's so cool Jon played in the band, I'm guessing guitar, right? My sweetie (soon to be husband) Martin also plays guitar. In fact he and his son spent the afternoon riffing in the living room.

    Does Jon still like to play?

    More importantly, your outfit is fabulous!

    Sister Dora sounds like the title of a novel.

    Happy Veggie times. Martin is vegan but I'm not. I tried it in 2011 but it didn't work. So now I'm low-carb and he's vegan. It's diverse around here!


  79. I am so behind in your posts.....love you sewn dress Vix! Very delightful post about your town too!


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Lots of love, Vix