Thursday, 31 August 2017

Market Day and Empty Shops

I usually miss most of the market, though I usually manage to get to Alex Gooch's bread stall before they sell out, on my lunch hour. Today, though, I have a day off work, so I was able to browse the stalls at leisure.
And what a variety there is - there are several vegetable and fruit stalls, the cheese stall, the fish van, and then there's haberdashery, and vintage/junk, and the Women's Institute jams and cakes - for once I was able to get one of Lucretia's wonderful cakes (I chose the apple cake), and pastries, and fruit teas, and fancy tea towels, and prints of bird photos, and vintage clothes, and the falafel man, and a lady making up bunches of flowers for people, and someone else selling garden benches.... It really is a wonderful variety, and that's without the Greek olive man (I'm reliably informed that his Turkish Delight is wonderful, too), and the CD man.
We're really very lucky to have such a thriving market every week.

Meanwhile, I'm watching with interest some of the empty shops around town. By the Clock Tower, The Edinburgh Woollen Mill/Spirit of the Andes is having a major refit - glass shelves for clothes are not the most suitable choice for books, and the Poetry Bookshop will be moving across there soon. A lady I met in the Red Cross Shop has been giving serious thought to moving into one of the shops by the Buttermarket - the owners have divided the big Chattels shop into two halves.
I met two young men yesterday, who thought it would be a great idea to buy the newly empty shop at the top of Castle Street (the one with bags and hats outside, and rugby shirts and jewellery and Welsh souvenirs - they were also the point of contact for a cobbler who came weekly). They were thinking of living there and selling books, and maybe tea and coffee, but I think they need to do a bit more market research before they come to a firm decision. One of them was asking about getting a job in one of the existing bookshops, to get some experience of the book trade.

And down at the Three Tuns, someone might be interested in buying the pub - people have been seen being shown round, at any rate. I've also been told that several of the kitchen staff from the Three Tuns have already moved on to jobs in other kitchens in the area, so the sudden closure of the Three Tuns hasn't affected them too badly in the long run.

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