If the idea of picking up and moving across the world sounds daunting, consider the process of setting up a home from scratch. Still no internet at our new apartment and without a central heater, we have been very cold at night. We can feel the springs under our bellies when sleeping on the bed that came with the place. Add a new mattress cover to the “to buy” list as well as bowls, trash can, bedroom dresser… the list goes on. Rather than stay around Hobart and deal with all this, we decided to get out of town.
Bill and Lyn Lark invited us up to the Tasmanian Craft Fair in Deloraine to help support the Lark booth at the festival. This seemed like the perfect situation to make some money to support our home furnishing and check out a different part of the state. With little background about what the Tasmanian Craft Fair entailed but many years experience at the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival and countless Whole Foods Market vendor markets, we agreed to go.
It was a stormy morning when we left on Thursday to drive the three and a half hours north to Deloraine. By the time we joined the cows at the barn house, the sky was clear. Our housing was communal and that included the birds that lived in the walls. No alarm clock needed for my morning runs.
Deloraine is a small town the screams craftiness even if there wasn’t 25,000 extra people flooding it for arts and crafts once a year. Downtown houses a deli, a church, a “50’s Diner,” and a handful of antique shops. Hosting hundreds of independent vendors means that the fair overtakes the entire town– and then some. The nine crafting arenas occupy a church, a theater, tents set on grassy cow fields, a League of Honor club and our particular venue: the Bowls Club. At first it seemed this spot couldn’t get any more kitchy– Lawn Bowling is almost exclusively an elderly activity. Plaques line the walls with awards from the ’50s and ’60s and the winners are still around serving up tea and biscuits to craft fair patrons. Bill and Lyn remarked that these ladies were old when Lark started coming to the craft fair seventeen years ago. Somehow after four days Winnie (78) had more energy than me. I suspect the bottle of liqueur that made its way into her tea helped maintain the spring in her step.
Our booth neighbor was a country coverband singer in his seventies named Manfred Mann. We listened to renditions of “You are My Sunshine,” and “Ring of Fire,” for three days. He was a real gentleman, that Manfred. I don’t think he sold more than three copies of his CD over the weekend but I have one now to take home, signed by Manfred himself and I will cherish it because, “Memories are Made of This.”