Monday 25 October 2021

Coronavirus streets to lively markets - XLVIII

Local markets alive

It is interesting to be distracted by observation to notice things that are quite serendipitous especially after review. My trip to London was mainly to see friends who reside in boroughs as far apart as you could imagine for someone from out of town, for I was in Richmond on Saturday and then Haringey on Sunday.

On my return from Twickenham, I met a lady with lots of leftover bread at the station who manned the Celtic Bakers store at the Twickenham Farmers' Market and then on Sunday, after being taken for a circulatory ride by a black cab, we were out to the City & Country Farmers’ Market at the Alexandra Palace Campsbourne School.

Just smile for a while

The wide array of foods and goods locally sourced and fresh without the dead hand of over-processing by the food industrial complex makes one think it might be prudent to seek out a farmers’ market in my locality.

The store holders had different temperaments, one could not be bothered to notice us, another was an effervescent conversationalist, please to see us, willing to oblige and present to advice and tips. You can imagine how much time we spent with him before having to visit another stall just because he had run out of something we wanted.

Noticed fame and noted infamy

There, just above the stall was a blue plaque honouring Emma Clarke, reputed to be the first black female footballer who played in the first public national match for women on Nightingale Lane in 1895. Then to think that for most of the first part of the 20th Century the Football Association took a conservative stance against women’s football.

Blue plaque to Emma Clarke - pioneering black British female footballer.

Round to the other side of the market venue on the school premises, we stocked up on vegetables and me, a bottle of ginger and banana kombucha made by a man who seemed to have more than a passing interest in me, I guess we just notice each other by some invisible radar.

Not that Yoruba

Moving on, there was a stall with language books, I picked the one for Yoruba off the shelf which was interesting in that they there teaching Yoruba pronunciations by using English phonics which I thought strange because the sounds would at best be approximations and when spoken would sound quite foreign too.

However, one critical element was missing, the diacritical marks necessary to show that Yoruba is a tonal language such that words that look like homonyms without the diacritical marks are not homophones because of the intonations and are essentially heteronyms.

Oiled his wallet nicely

We withstood a whole exegesis on walnut and cobnut (hazelnut) cold-pressed oils, if we could remember anything of what we were supposed to learn, the pitch was persuasive enough and he made a really good sale. The walnut oil will suit my steam cooking as it best used on food that does not take direct heat.

I was last at this market probably 3 years ago, and it was a wonderfully pleasant sunny day for fourth week of October.

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