One of the unusual joys of our week in the west country was being able to visit a ‘pannier market’. Held in a huge market hall built centuries ago and called Corn Exchange, the function is similar. Clothes, beautiful country and outdoor jackets and gillets with sheepskin lining. Heavy duty wellington boots and all manner of winter based accessories were available. On another stall a woman was working on the last stages of a small bedside rug, which she was making from bits of fabric – known in my grandmother’s day as ‘rag rugging’. Yet another stallholder was mending broken watches and no endof local painters and arty folk were happily demonstrating their skills.
The atmosphere was very jolly and together with the sweet smell of coffee and hot chocolate, this place became our favourite venue. It didn’t compete with my habit of browsing online for any gifts – that carried on just the same when I got back!