Life on Market Day in Olney
Hero of the hour, GarethLRoberts, tweeted well before morning tea that he was back from the markets in London. A quick look at the blog of MuchAdo deli persuaded me that I was not going to eat noodles this week. I am going to eat a fresh green salad with tropical fruit and to accompany this extravaganza, I am going to grill mackerel (for the first time in my life). UPDATE: Catch MuchAdo on Facebook and see the ceiling mural by Lee Farmer unfold.
Thursday is market day in Olney. Market Place thronged with the regular array of butchers and greengrocers, haberdashers, cobblers, and gardeners. The Coffee Cavern joined Olney100 today bringing their range of exotic teas and coffee. The Happy Carrot, who are the most-glass-half-full people I know, were the ONLY stall to appear during our heavy snow. I wish they would blog. They have a philosophical turn of mind, a ready camera, and extensive knowledge of the whole Bucks area. This is when I regret using Ning. People can’t comment without logging in.
After the market, I headed for the eastern corner of Market Place and went to congratulate Taylor’s, the estate agent, for selling a house around the corner from me. Did you hear that folks? The market for housing in sought-after Olney ain’t dead. Poke it with a stick!
Coffee Shops and Youthful Enterprise
A lively young man reminded me of how much fun it is to work with Gen Y – on-the-ball, optimisitic and conecting-connecting-connecting. Next door at the coffee shop, Beans, young Charlie Ray (17) seized the opportunity to raise the profile of his business Mute . . . Anything but Quiet! – an online store for tie-and-dye shirts. Charlie and his team will teach us a thing or two about websites and social media with connections to Facebook and Myspace. He intends to go up to university in a few months to read broadcast journalism – mental note to myself – ask Euan Semple at Amplified09 if he knows any mentors around here.
Energy levels continued to throb in the next store. Well, it is a store within a store. Olney is an old lace-making town and shops are tucked away romantically down alleys and warrens. To reach Olney’s newest of five hair salons, we weave our way through a baby clothes store. Secluded, airy, fresh, At the Salon is run by engaging proprietor, Rebecca Green, who also teaches hairdressing in Milton Keynes.
My rounds ended with a visit to the Phonebox – an extraordinary institution. Ron, or Gandalf, got to the social media business model long before Google. Funded entirely by advertisements, Phonebox prints and distributes around 50 000 copies of the must thumbed and read periodical in the Bedford – Milton Leynes – Northampton triangle. Quick remarkable!