A fabulous first day at Alvecote Floating Market

I’m not ashamed to say that yesterday was my first eight-hour day of work since early March 2013. It was also, if I calculate it, the worst hourly rate I think I’ve ever ‘worked’ for (and I do use that term loosely in comparison to my normal definition of the word). But it doesn’t feel like ‘work’ in the usual sense, and that’s the point.

I’ve not been un-employed, seeking benefit, or looking for any form of ‘paid-employment’. It’s what’s called being ‘joyfully jobless’ – and I love it! I’m reading a fascinating book at the moment called ‘Making a living without a job‘, by Barbara Winter. I wish I’d read it years ago. It supports our vision of having multiple income streams, doing things we love, whilst making the money we need to not only ‘survive’ but to thrive and experience life without being stuck in the confines of a 40-hour work-week.

It’s early days yet, but it really feels as though our plans are beginning to come together …


A serene sight at around 0730hrs – the calm before the traders emerge and visitors arrive

The day began at 1000, and lots of people came to check out the floating market. Michael Wooding, who runs the Roving Canal Traders Association, organised the event. We’ve chatted on Facebook a few times, so it was good to put a name to a face – not that I remembered to take a photo, maybe today …


Early in the day and already lots of lovely visitors to this colourful event

Our ‘pitch’ was originally by the car park, but there’s two historic boats moored there that couldn’t be moved. So we got the end slot of the walkway. The only challenge with that was that there’s water either side, so face painting didn’t feel like a safe option there.

I negotiated a move with Michael and ended up on the grass next to The Samuel Barlow pub, which is run by Alvecote Marina – and Sandra on her Golden Boyz Doggie Crafts boat. I had to wait a wee while for the grass to be cut, so had a little wander to take a few shots of the other boats trading.


Sandra sets up her side in readiness – and boy did she get tons of interest from the incredible amount of dog owners who visited


Alison and her partner own Da Vinci Crafts and sell all manner of gorgeous wooden craft shapes and handmade gifts


Narrowboats and curious people everywhere – a festive atmosphere for a mostly sunny Good Friday


Lesley and her husband selling a range of hand-made hats, scarves and jewellery – she sold out of crocheted head-bands within the first couple of hours!


Paul and partner (have you guessed yet how dreadful I am with names?) selling fenders and ropes – very successfully


Here’s a name I remember! Barry’s The Home Brew Boat the customers haven’t quite reached him yet, but he was busy all day chatting amiably and sparking interest in ‘doing it yourself’


Michael and Krystina sell a wide range of crafts and books from two enchanting old working boats called Draco and Success


My perfect pitch as the little ones wander by – they can choose to be painted on the way up or have a think and do it on their return

I had a steady stream of delightful children visit my Funtastic Facepainting area who all left with happy smiles on their faces after they’d been transformed into a slightly different version of them selves. We had butterflies, tigers, a few spidermen, flowers, an easter bunny and a dragonfly.

Today I’ll be painting colourful flowers on the face of a lady who looks a similar age to me. She’s off to a party tonight – I can’t recall whether it’s a 60s party, or just flower-power, but she was most excited to find me and discover we’re here for the next few days.

A selfie after a full day of facepainitng - today I was a butterfly

A selfie after a full day of facepainitng – today I was a butterfly

There’s another six floating markets around the country in 2014 for some of the myriad of floating traders on ‘the cut’. Sadly we’re unlikely to be able to get to any of the others – but you never know.

If you’re in the West Midlands are looking for something to do over the Bank Holiday Weekend – come and see us and all the other terrific traders here at Alvecote Marina.

4 thoughts on “A fabulous first day at Alvecote Floating Market

  1. Hi Sandra, good to meet you both too at the weekend. Just a couple of minor corrections though, I don’t personally run the RCTA, there is a small committee, my Co-Chair Alison Tuck, Treasurer Louise Moore and Membership Secretary Paul Howland. The other one is yes Success is an original working boat, a butty, in fact one of the oldest currently still working on the system, built in 1893. Draco however, our home, is a modern (1998) BCN tug-style. xxxx

    • Thanks for the clarification Michael, it’s so helpful to us to have the support of such knowledgeable people. Wow! Success is an impressive age, that’s amazing.

      We’ll catch up again this year hopefully

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