Recently I received an email from a woman who is coming from out of town to shop at Stash reHash on Sunday. She is concerned that her husband, children and dog will do the old "Are you done yet? Are you done yet?" and cramp her fabric shopping style. Not being familiar with St Albans, she asked for some ideas of where to send them so she can shop in peace.
Good move. I'm going to make a gross generalisation here, but in my experience (most) blokes, dogs and small children don't really get fabric markets. If you are in the same position as this shopper then here are my top tips for where to send them.
Abberley Park. This beautiful garden park is just a few minutes walk away (down Edgeware Road, cross Springfield Road and you'll see the entrance in Abberley Crescent). It has Secret Gardens, often has swarms of butterflies, enough room to kick a ball around, two playgrounds suitable for young children and bridges for playing Pooh Sticks.
St Albans Park. This is a bit further away between Madras St and Barbadoes St down the Warrington St end. Loads of different play equipment arranged in a circuit around the perimeter of sports fields plus a skateboard park, basketball hoop, flying fox.
If the weather is foul then you are spoilt for choice in Christchurch with The Christchurch Art Gallery, Canterbury Museum and Science Alive (not much chop for dogs though) just a few minutes drive away from the market.
But if you really want them out of your hair for a good long time, and your Shortfolk are taller than 1.3m tall (oh, not the dog!), then tell them to drive out to Spencerville and go to one of my all-time favourite places near Christchurch: Adrenaline Forest. This is just the coolest place. My lucky Shortfolk went there yesterday.
And my apologies to all the men who do get fabric markets. Go you!
Pictured above is the rose-covered fabric of a frock which sat in my stash for years. Before that it had sat in my friend's stash for many years before she gave it to me. It has finally been altered and now has pride of place in my wardrobe. The same friend took my children to Adrenaline Forest yesterday, had them for a sleep-over last night (thankyou, thankyou, thankyou) and is hopefully still sane.