When I decided to have a stand at the Mid Somerset Country Fair aka the Shepton Mallet Fair, not only was I going in blind never having done a country fair before but I made the mistake of allowing my expectations to be raised, and in anticipation of the crowds beating a path to my stand door, I gathered every spare book I could find to ensure a plentiful supply. Not only that, but in anticipation of a ‘sell out’, I also printed 10’s of compliment slips apologising for having no books left but offering to take their details for the next print run.
So here is my poem all about my first experience of a country fair:
A very early start, I wanted to commit my mind and body to the day ahead, Just what did lie ahead? Everything ready by the front door, the night’s darkness still lingered outside, My family still in bed. Everything loaded, I’m ready to go, five minutes later than planned, My tired eyes bloodshot red. I make good time but arrive to join a queue to enter the muddy grounds, My heart soon fills with dread. But all is fine and unloading soon achieved, I park elsewhere, I’m watching where I tread. Unpack, arrange, organise the display; much to do and time is ticking by, I position Pirate Ted. I’m ready, willing and able and prepare to serve the crowds, My empty tummy fed. And then I wait and wait and wait but only dribs and drabs appear, I must be off my head. A customer, a customer, someone wants to buy, I make the day’s first sale, ‘More please’ to myself I said. I wait and wait and wait; wonder ‘when will the rush begin? My heart as heavy as lead. The day wears on; I sit, I stand, I read, I write; try to look the part, The heat is like the Med. The old-hands smile a sympathetic smile at the novice, Their stand is not dead. “Learning curve” and “don’t let it put you off” are proffered, Is it time for bed? I serve my time, but then I have no choice, I cannot leave, Where could I be instead? It’s all but finished by 5 o’clock, the crowds have petered out, Had I known what lay ahead, Might I stayed tucked up in bed? My eyes would not be quite so red My heart would skip not fill with dread. But would I do it all again? Of course I would, just not the same!
It was a long day with the ever valuable (vertical) learning curve, but now I know what to do next time…….