Wednesday, 17 April 2013


A curious thing happened at the market this morning. 

Today's was the real thing, the sustaining event of the local week through the long, dark, winter months. The nitty gritty of the market way of life, there to provide the daily bread and the meeting point for the local community. 

We are just emerging from winter so the large, rambling marches I have been accustomed to on my many holiday visits to the area are still in hibernation. There were the mainstays, the veg stalls, the cheese van, the man with all kinds of saucisson; and in addition a few more seasonal entrepreneurs, the woman selling her home grown onions alongside walnuts presumably from her garden; the lady embossing your name onto a colourful leather wrist band; the old couple selling hats. 

And in amongst it all was my favourite clothes seller.

In the past, when I have been a tourist in these parts, I have fallen upon this particular stall with alacrity. I love the clothes, the style, the chic, the je ne sais quoi. I climb in and out of the back of the vendor's van to try on whole collections. Draped linen, sassy coloured prints, bohemian tops, dresses, trousers that all cry out 'wear me and the world will know you have chutzpah!' Last summer, I found a cream linen jacket that hangs in fullsome folds and swings with the breeze as I walk. I love it so much, I had another one made in blue.

So what was curious this morning was that I found myself fondling the new Spring collection but with no desire to buy, not even to try anything on.

Since arriving here a few weeks ago to start our life as CostArmoricains, I have felt a sense of true homecoming. I have unpacked the treasures we locked away four years ago. I am surrounded by objects that inspire contentment in me - ceramics my daughter made in primary school, paintings by my mother, all the notebooks I have filled over the years, the table my grandparents ate off, flowers from my garden. I have rediscovered my winter clothes, (mothballed for the duration of our stay in Sri Lanka), and the joy of wearing velvet. 

True, there is much to do on the house, and there are things I could acquire that would make daily life much easier. I look forward to the arrival of our shipment from Sri Lanka in the next few weeks. But the nagging sense that something is missing, and that this void can only be filled with more stuff is evaporating.

It is as if I have unwrapped the ultimate gift. I have enough. 

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