Friday, 9 July 2010
Shopping For The Crafty Nomad
As we move around I am getting used to finding my craft supplies in a variety of places, from gorgeous little independent shops and old fashioned and fusty little places, to haberdashery departments in well-known stores and monster-sized craft warehouses.
Ideally I love to go to the little, characterful shops first. Everyone knows that our high streets are at risk of becoming identically dull, lined with the same old chains. I can confirm this, having scoured many of the nation's high streets in two and a half years of the nomadic lifestyle. Many of them are functional at best, a boring waste of time and shoe leather at worst. So we need to frequent and support the independent and the individual when we find it.
On the other hand, I can get excited by the seemingly endless choice in a large store. I'm the same with bookshops. Sometimes I know exactly what I want and I know a small bookstore will do everything in their power to get it for me. On other occasions I have stumbled across something delightful and unexpected whilst moseying around a large temple to all things bookish.
But variety is key. We used to live in a town in the Lake District. There were about twenty shops selling walking gear and waterproofs but there was no haberdashers, and we had to drive forty miles to buy new underwear. And when we got there, we were in Carlisle, or The Pit Of Despair, as I tend to call it. One of our first stops on our Airstreaming odyssey was Bath. What a contrast. I thought I'd transcended this mortal plane and been reborn in a more heavenly realm.