Have you noticed I haven't done much shopping on this holiday? I'm actually not terribly fond of shopping. But you can't visit Ganges and entirely skip the shopping—it just wouldn't be a total Salt Spring Island experience.
I tackle the market Saturday morning very intentionally. I have gifts to buy, and money burning a hole in my pocket.
One of the first things I find are Kool Bandanas. These are rectangles of cloth filled with water-absorbent crystals to be used as bandanas or headbands. Water plumps them up and makes them a coolant when worn around the forehead or neck. I think of all kinds of folks who could use these and pick up several.
At another stall I buy soap (with wonderful names like Vesuvius Bay, Salt Spring Fling, and Weston Lake Wheat Germ 'n Honey). The proprietors are all so friendly and talkative. The soap lady (Dermalove.com) shows off her iphone gadget, which is a credit card reader that lets me use my card instead of cash. (I still haven't given the soaps away; they smell so fabulous, I'm tempted to keep them!)
At another kiosk, I buy artisan vinegar (Apple-rhubarb and Blackberry) in tall, elegant bottles.
I ask, at the Artisan bread stall, if they have any of the fruit ginger bread we bought at their shop a few days ago. They say they're all sold out of that. So we buy a hearty raisin bread instead. A minute after leaving their kiosk, I feel a tap on my shoulder. It's the lady from the bread place. "We found another loaf," she tells me, handing me a loaf of fruit ginger. I start fumbling for my wallet, but she waves that off. "Take it," she says, "You can have it." (And I will forever have a soft spot in my heart for Salt Spring Island Bread Co.!)
By now my backpack is bulging. But I can't bypass the soft little dolly without any buttons or chokables for my baby Mimi that I find at yet another table. So I squeeze that into my pack as a last purchase (and discover later, that the doll-maker is the mother-in-law of the lady who has been in charge of our motel's cleaning crew all week).
On our last full day on Salt Spring, I tell hubby that I want to explore the Ganges shops. (He is quite happy to stay in the room and do whatever). What a fun afternoon that turns out to be!
I poke around in this shop and that, and find all kinds of goodies. How about these bins and bins of colourful felt booties.
At a toy store called West Moon, they have every kind of toy known to kids and I have a hard time deciding what would be just right for my grandboys. But I do eventually decide on something that will help us in our spider watching.
In the second-hand store I find musical instruments for my sister, chickens for my sister-in-law, and racks and racks of pop-up cards for myself (but only taken home in my camera *sigh*).
There are wonderful galleries too. My favourites are Steffich Fine Art and Gallery 8, where I view all manner of incredible (and pricey) photographs and paintings. I don't take pictures of these because they are under copyright, but I do note the names of the artists' work I see, so I can look them up online later. Some of the names in my notebook from these galleries are:
Steven Friedman (photographer)
Dennice StambuckDavid Goatley
and Carol Evans
I fall in love with Carol Evans' West Coast watercolors! The scenes are exactly what we've been feasting our eyes on for the last week. And so when I find, in a corner of Gallery 8, a softcover book of her paintings, I know I have to own it. The Shores We Call Home now sits in a place of honour on our coffee table, a beautiful keepsake of this fairy tale holiday.