A tale of woe

Syon Park … an absolutely stunning place – beautiful, historic buildings, wonderful grounds, welcoming and well-organised staff and a steady stream of coach-party visitors. Should have been the perfect venue for a craft fair showcasing local artisans.

But this is England, and despite the wonderful sunshine we’ve been having, the weather decided to do something about the predictions of a summer hotter than 1976 and drought by tipping with rain all day.

Still, we were there, we had our gazebo, and although we had to compress the layout a bit to keep all my lovely textiles out from the rain blowing in through the opening, we were set up and fairly snug … and optimistic that the rain would ease up later and we’d have a good afternoon. Even though the rain was driving most of the visitors straight into the house, enough people were stopping for a look and a chat to make us feel it was worth our while being there … and feel disappointed that a good half of the stallholders hadn’t turned up at all.

But then the rain got heavier, and the wind woke up … and all the gazebos started flapping around , punctuated by the occasional crash as one display after another got knocked over. Our cheerfulness turned to anxiety ….

and no-one was stopping now, and we were getting cold … out thermos was empty! oh noes!

And then the worst happened.

A huge gust of wind tore up the driveway, and ripped my gazebo (and a couple of others) off its moorings. Tent pegs bent, the base plate on two of the legs completely snapped off, one of the supporting struts sheared through, and a leg buckled. A few minutes of mad panic trying to get it righted, so that at least everything could be protected somehow, someway … but there was no redeeming it – our day was over.

Sadly, we packed up, and I was thanking my stars that apart from a bit of soggy bunting, nothing had been damaged or got wet.

And then home for drying out and intravenous tea … and dealing with the disappointment of it all. Not least of which is the wrecked gazebo … I don’t think it can be repaired, which means I’ll need to get a new one. sigh.

It’s difficult not to feel disheartened by the whole business, but, after all, it was just one bad day at the office … so I’m reflecting today on all the fun, sunshiny fairs we’ve done, trying to remind myself that it’s not all doom and gloom.

The next fair will be better!

4 responses to “A tale of woe

  1. I was meant to be there but looked at the forecast and cancelled with Glynis on Friday – I had no gazebo at all and the bottom priced ones at Argos have no sides and looked like they would have flown away if you blew at them. Posted about it too. The weather was awful. Well done for being so brave. Hopefully the sun will shine for the next one….have you seen the discussion on ukhandmade for an indoor market on Sunday the 17th July near brick lane? There are still some stalls available:) I think the name was FIFI’s markets?

    • Shame! It would have been lovely to meet you …. my next one is Alton on July 9th so I’m hoping that this spell of bad weather will be over by then. (please!) It should be a good one, especially as it’s combined with the Alton food festival …. yummmmmmmmm.

      I saw the ukhandmade discussion, and I’d have loved to go, but I’m away that weekend – taking my mum to the Ways with Words festival at Dartington in Devon.

      Hopefully our paths will cross at some point in time 🙂

  2. Poor you, what a day! Your stand looks lovely, such a shame that the weather was so bad.

    • Thanks! It was a shame – such a beautiful place, too – it could have been perfect! sigh … ah well, on to the next one 🙂

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