Though it turned out to be a bit of a nightmare in the end, there is one thing that saved me spiralling into despair at the Spring Fair Trade show in Birmingham and that was the good cheer, kindness and general bubbliness of my immediate neighbours.
The stand next to me was All the Fun of the Fair - with its bright yellow and white awning, a great match for my circus things - a treasure of beautiful braids, ribbons, knitted sweets and teacosies - quirky, whacky and with a great emphasis on the handmade. That is where I spent my pennies - buying up bobbly braid for me and Japanese ribbons for Isobel.
The stand was run by Buzz Stokes - and is an outpost of her knitting, haby and handmade shop All the Fun of the Fair in Soho - 2nd Floor, 8 Kingly Ct London W1B 5PW - a shop which is going to be first on my list of must sees when I am next in London. There is also a Big Cartel shop
As though spending a week at a Trade Show wasn't enough, Buzz was also long distance managing a bit of a shop revamp and it reopened on Saturday - with the striped awning, and lots of new handmade bits and bobs. Buzz sent me some photos from her phone.
and it looks fabulous - alongside her eccentric handmade things she sells all kinds of sewing things I remember from childhood - card needleholders like baskets of flowers, tomato shaped pincushions . .
And because Buzz is Buzz, she kindly took back with her all my sample stock (and that of several other standholders - in enormous bags, on a train - this woman is my hero) - which makes her my newest London stockist.
While I was checking the details of the shop I came across this site with lots more photos - just showing what a tempting place it must be.
So thank you Buzz - meeting you made my week.