Wednesday, September 26, 2012

island adventure 9 - shop till you drop

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 ( 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)
Carol Haigh
Bly Kaye
Heather Kocsis
Jade Boyd
Jerry Davidson
Gail Sibley
Pieter Molenaar
Dennice StambuckDavid Goatley
Kathryn Amisson
Florence Roberge,
Curtis Golomb
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.

Violet Nesdoly / poems
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Linda at teacherdance said...

This is another wonderful look at your vacation, Violet. What fun to see all those beautiful things that day. Thanks again for sharing.

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