Last week was full of ordeals and adventures. We spent the best part of a week staying in and around The Channon (NSW).
We planned to set up our stall at the monthly craft market, held that Sunday. Earlier in the week we had spent our nights sitting out in the middle of the oval, sipping wine and marveling at the silvery light of the full moon. Each day closer to the market, the weather started to change. Thursday, Friday and Saturday the rain set in. We watched the grounds turn muddy and the night before the market we stayed on site. We felt like we were part of some big carnival show. It was a little bit exciting. In the dark pouring rain we watched other stall holders arrive, trucks and trailers set up. A big coffee van rig got bogged, and then we got bogged! I believed for sure the markets would be cancelled in the morning but Sam had hope. By dawn a deep fog had set in. When it finally lifted, we were greeted with perfect blue skies. There is always uncertainty with market life. Weather is outside of your control. We have had to learn to adapt and not stress (oh and regularly check the BOM).
The Channon Craft Markets are a make it, bake it, grow it market but there are still some imported goods around. This is set to change. The market committee has taken the bold move of completely banning imported products. These will be phased out over the next three months. It is a move to support local artisans and get back to the markets grass roots. The Channon Craft Market is held on the second Sunday of each month. It is what they call a destination market and we think it is well worth the trip. The people are colourful, hippie, earthy and fun. Having spent almost a week in the town I can honestly say the locals are some the friendliest people you will ever encounter. Instead of shooing us on from setting up camp on the grounds, we were given tips for burning pine cones, pointed in the direction of more fire wood and generally welcomed with open arms to the community.
As for the market, the first highlight for me was the Koala in the tree right behind our stall. Can you spot him in the picture below?
Seriously how cute is this little guy!?
He put on quite the show for us all. I named him Wilbur. At one point he climbed down from his tree, marched across a trestle table full of retro clothes and then climbed up a new tree and started eating.
Wilbur attracted quite a crowd. We used it as a draw card into our stall but turns out having a Koala next to your stall doesn't increase sales.
We have continued with our Message From A Stranger. We love it! Most of the time we never read the messages that get passed through our love heart box (ie the one being written above). I had to laugh when two young boys came up giggling and asked if they could write a message to a stranger. Of course I let them. Curious, I decided to read the message they had left. It said "Shower Regularly :)". I wonder who will end up reading this bit of advice?
We escaped the markets with only one downpour just after lunch. Our marquee dried but the grounds turned into a mud fest.
Once the market goers have left and the stall holders are packed up, a little after party is held down near the Chai Tent. A drumming circle turns out a rhythmical beat and people kick back and dance. This is a tradition we have encountered at almost every market we have done in the Northern Rivers. Often the drums can be heard late into the night. We stayed around for a little while. The mist started to creep in around 5pm.
Music can be made with the most surprising materials.
Oh how we will miss your free spirit Northern Rivers. This is truly a magical place.
During our time in your forests and beaches, we have slowed down, become more adaptable and opened up to people and opportunities. We are southward bound but have the best memories of our time in the forest.
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