On a last wander through this market, we meet a woman giving out small bouquets. This was not our last visit to this market or an encounter with a woman who was not all she made out to be.
What a wonderfully kind gesture to do, we thought. When there are so many other people creating havoc around London, as she handed me the bouquet, I accepted it with a smile and a thank you, then turned to carry on searching for that special something.
I was surprised by how her voice changed from a sophisticated one to a banshee from hell.
“Whoa, Lady, where’s me money?”, of course, I replied in a startled voice. “Sorry, you gave me the bouquet, I did not want to buy it”, then she spoke of the Gypsy curse, “Your future and present children will curse you forever, and bad luck will plague you”. My reply to that absurdity was; “Well, I don’t have kids, and I am certainly over the hill to have them, and I don’t believe in luck so that you can have your flowers back and please don’t use that on some other poor soul, who may be superstitious, you horrid woman”.
Now there were two annoyed women, and, one, Squire with an amused look on his face.
Well, that made her flounce off in a huff. What she did not know is that I would have happily passed over her palm a few coins if she had asked politely and less aggressive. The moral of that story is careful of the person bearing gifts; it may not be what it seems. Especially one dressed as a gypsy with a basket of posies!
Now it is with great pleasure to regale a far more pleasant meeting with another woman at our next visit to the most significant antique market in London.
The meeting took place at the Portobello Market, in London, in October 2016.
“Good grief, surely that can’t be the Queen?” We looked at each other. Of course, it isn’t her. Though the woman with the turquoise jacket was here, we believe in celebrating the 150 years history of this market. A bit of a good sport to help out even though she is a year late.
She was a woman of few words and a contagious laugh, with a sense of humour that we got a hint of through that twinkle in her eye when she laughed.