One of the wonderful things about attending fairs - both trade and retail - is the really interesting people you meet who are also manning stands. Of course there are some closeted, uncommunicative stand holders but on the whole people tend to be very chatty and helpful.
I think that this is particularly important if the fair is busy as you are pretty much stuck to your stand. Having people who will get coffee or mind the stall while you run to the loos makes the event so much cheerier.
This year at Country Living I was lucky to be surrounded by a really great bunch of people. Chief amongst whom was Ondine Smith who was opposite me and who it was a great thrill to meet as I am rather a fan.
Back in the mid 1990s, when I was living in Glasgow and writing a PhD on a designer of Edinburgh tea rooms, a friend bought me one of her cushions with its motif of off kilter teacups and tea pot. It was the first freehand machine embroidery I had seen and I was bowled over. I am sad to say that the cushion got lost in a house move but, as I always try to buy myself a treat each fair, I bought an embroidered picture from Ondine on a similar theme.
Over the past five years or so, many textile artists have incorporated Ondine-style motifs into their work - I wonder how many people know the originals. If you get a chance to see her work, do.