So I was wondering lately… which social media channels do my readers use to keep up with this blog (or the YouTube channel), anyway? With the redesign peeking over my shoulder I’m trying to find out which options are the most used, mostly so that I know where to focus my energies.
I’m thinking about closing the Facebook page (mainly because I don’t really like Facebook anymore to begin with) but if it just so happens to be one of the main ways of communication with you lovely people out there I’d much rather use it more than abandon it!

So if you had a minute to fill out the poll down there ↓ I’d be delighted. Thank you in advance, and have a wonderful weekend!

Video: Amsterdam Souvenir Haul

This took ages to finally get here, mainly because it took ages to take a thumbnail picture that I really liked.  I hope I’ll have the time and spoons to write an actual post about my haul next time instead of only filming it but I’m really happy about how this video turned out!

Zorg voor jezelf, zorg voor anderen en blijf betoverd!

My Top Five Farmer’s Market Pet Peeves

Don’t get me wrong: I love my job at the farmer’s market. I love being out there in every kind of weather, I love handling vegetables, I love how I feel serving a purpose.

I don’t love all of our customers, though. Some of the people who buy our produce are lovely, no, the majority of the people is sweet and I’m always happy to see them. Sadly, we also get entitled, impolite, arrogant, impatient, demanding, condescending, the works, as well.
This is a list about those people.

Sunroot | Helianthus tuberosus | Five ways to make people at the farmers' market hate you | Hedgefairy Tales https://hedgefairy.wordpress.com

  1. People who can’t queue properly.
    We’ve got signs plastered all over the construction, “please queue at this end of the stall”, completely with a cute arrow made from carrots. I’ve had people stand right in front of one of these, spitting “I didn’t read that anywhere” at me just to storm off when I kindly pointed out that the hint is right there.
    We usually take our time to calmly explain that it’s about fairness, that it’s easier for us to see who’s next this way and that they will be served more quickly when they stand in line, actually, because we direct our attention there when looking for our next customer. The worst thing is that we, the staff, basically don’t even care, it’s the other customers who will get upset and start fighting, and it’s really uncomfortable to have to break up those squabbles. We even had an old man threatening another customer to punch him. People. Gotta love them.
    To be fair, some people just don’t know about the queue, don’t see the signs and assume that they should just stand wherever the things that they want are on display. Some people just accept what we tell them and then go and stand in line, and I for one always thank them for understanding.
    As for the people who insult us, tell us that they don’t care or simply throw the produce they were holding down at the table to storm off… Thank you, next.
  2. “Is this really organic?”
    No. We’ve got bio written all over the place for fun. Of course it is! Germany is strict when it comes to the declarations on organic merchandise, so yeah, it is, in fact, organic. And yes, you can use that citrus peel. No, the apples aren’t waxed, that’s just the variety, it produces a wax-like cover when stored. Also, no, we don’t import our apples. Would you kindly stop insulting me when I tell you that they aren’t from New Zealand? Thanks.
  3. People complaining about the weather,
    especially the cold, telling me that it’s really snug inside the stall and that we’ve got it sooo good compared to them. That might be the case if it’s well into the minuses outside and you just came it, but it gets zero-ish inside the tent, and I’m not only there for a couple of minutes to shop. I’m there all day. And let me tell you, eight hours in a somewhere-around-freezing point environment are harder on you than one hour of shopping in minus five. We only get heating once it hits zero, anyway, and if it rains the dampness will crawl inside everything you’re wearing. It’s not like we arrive to a fully pitched stall, either, we’ve gotta build that thing, no matter the weather. Just trust me on this one, and don’t tell me that it’s cold or wet outside. I know.
    Disclaimer: I actually like weather small talk because for us it’s not small talk at all. Just don’t pretend that my workplace is luxurious because the salad isn’t frozen.Shallots | Allium ascalonicum | Five ways to make people at the farmers' market hate you | Hedgefairy Tales https://hedgefairy.wordpress.com
  4. If you’re getting only one cent back think about just leaving it to the clerk who just finished packing your more-than-we-make-in-half-a-day organic grocery shopping. The time you wait for it is probably worth more than that. Just sayin’.
  5. “But it’s cheaper at [insert conventional, probably import-based place]!”
    That might well be, and you’re free to shop there! Nobody forces you to take your business to us. I’m not making the prices. And in fact our farm is already less expensive than some other organic places. There are reasons for the prices, however: Supply and demand. Effort (some plants need more care than others). Fair wages. Certified organic seeds. Scale of workable land. Scale of business. Growing organic food isn’t as easy as conventional. Sorry to break it to you, but the cheapest produce at the discount supermarket is probably neither organic nor locally grown.

We’ve got a surprising range of more-or-less locally grown organic produce at our supermarket, by the way. I don’t buy everything at work because even with my employee’s discount I can’t afford it all the time. I get that sometimes you don’t want to stand in a long line, but it’s still better than standing in the middle of the stall and not getting served at all, isn’t it?

Red & Yellow Beets | Beta vulgaris | Five ways to make people at the farmers' market hate you | Hedgefairy Tales https://hedgefairy.wordpress.comFarmer’s markets, especially ones that limit their vendors to locally grown produce or merchandise, and especially stalls that sell organic produce, have an air of elitism around them (but that might be a topic for another day), and sometimes they seem downright romantic, in a salt-of-the-earth kind of way. I know. I work there. But don’t let out the people who work there. Queue. If you can, round up, or at least don’t wait for one. Stupid. Cent. Be nice to people in retail. They are on their feet all day to make your life easier. Every smile, every heartfelt “thank you”, every bit of honest interest is worth so much to us. Make the world a better place, it’s really not that hard sometimes.

And if this post was too negative for you, don’t worry. I’ve got a list with things I love about my job queued up, so come back next week!

Isola d’Elba, Ages Ago

Elba from Afar | Hedgefairy Tales https://hedgefairy.wordpress.comWhen I sorted through my external hard drive in search for something-or-other I stumbled over a folder I hadn’t seen in years and almost forgotten, titled “Toscana”, full of pictures 18-year old me took on a school trip to Italy before this blog even existed.

Elba Marina | Hedgefairy Tales https://hedgefairy.wordpress.comOne day we’d taken the ferry over to Elba, exile of Napoléon Bonaparte, home to tons of tiny lizards scurrying along sun-warmed stone walls, an island full of steep streets and overly bright sunshine reflected by beautiful rows of old, picturesque houses.

Elba Town | Hedgefairy Tales https://hedgefairy.wordpress.comIf I could go back – and maybe I will someday – I would take my water colours to capture some of those beautiful pastels, the lush green, the stunning turquoise of the waters.

Elba Figtrees | Hedgefairy Tales https://hedgefairy.wordpress.comAnd if I were to go back I’d make sure to stay on the island for more than a day, to explore the narrow streets and back alleys, to soak in the sea air and just listen, because even though Portoferraio is a tourist attraction of sorts with the old Medici villa Napoléon took hold of I remember it to be strangely quiet as if the searing Sun bleached not only the colours, but the sounds as well.

Elba Town | Hedgefairy Tales https://hedgefairy.wordpress.comAnd I would go swimming, bringing back more sand and stones and pressed flowers, and even more pictures.
Elba Coast | Hedgefairy Tales https://hedgefairy.wordpress.comThese boulders down by the beach were especially stunning, the different minerals being washed out by the endless tides, leaving only a tangled spiderweb of harder stone.

Elba Coast | Hedgefairy Tales https://hedgefairy.wordpress.comEven though we were an art school and we were visiting Tuscany we didn’t get to see even one museum from the inside. I had to make do with the paint on the walls, then, but the colours captivated me nevertheless.

Elba Museum | Hedgefairy Tales https://hedgefairy.wordpress.comNowadays I would go and visit the museums by myself, the Roman site at the harbour, the archaeological collection, Napoléon’s house, so many places to see.

Rainbow Stones on Elba | Hedgefairy Tales https://hedgefairy.wordpress.comPortoferraio used to be called Feraia before Cosimo I de’ Medici named it after himself for a while, always pointing to the iron in the rock, colouring the island red, beautiful, rusty, oxblood red, and golden shiny yellow.

Layers of Elba | Hedgefairy Tales https://hedgefairy.wordpress.comWhere others scratched their names into cactus leaves I left a Shakespeare quote on a broad leaf somewhere around the Villa Mulini because I was that kid. I wonder how long it stayed before nature’s course took that leaf and the Sigh No More.

Napoleon's Garden | Hedgefairy Tales https://hedgefairy.wordpress.comOne day I’ll return there, walk through the cobbled streets. I don’t know how the age of smartphones and selfies has changed the island but I’m sure it’s still beautiful, and still as sunny and strangely silent as it was when I first set foot on it.

Elba Coast | Hedgefairy Tales https://hedgefairy.wordpress.com

 

Year of the Sun Resolutions

Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it
– L. M. Montgomery

New Year’s Resolutions are a bit like the holidays – they are full of hope for some people but mostly (at least where I come from) they are met with contempt, a remnant of stupider times, a relic that nobody really wants, handed down by well-meaning but square and archaic ancestors) by which I mean grandparents and meddling aunts and the like).
I, however, like New Year’s Resolutions. I like fresh starts in general, and while I agree with Lucy Maud Montgomery’s quote above that every day can be a new start I always felt extremely comfortable with the concept and symbolism of a new year.

As cliché as “new year, new me” might be I like making resolutions and even if I don’t always stick to them here are mine for 2019:

Skip fewer Historical Dancing classes

I’m one of those people who enjoy sports and movement but has to drag herself to actually do it. Having regular classes helps a bunch, though, and with friends they even double as social time (two birds, one stone). Historical Dancing also has the merit of being not only fun but also useful for LARP purposes (provided I can make my crew dance at some point) and other projects. It also helps to have people who kind of hold me accountable, or who just expect to see me there because I’m a regular, which I’m trying to become.

UFOs

Work off those UFO kilos

While I did a decent job losing some of my own weight last year my project piles were not so successful. No matter if by completion or by throwing them out I want to reduce my UnFinished Objects to at most half the workbench storage (as I’m typing this the whole thing is stuffed to the brim with precariously balanced piles on top). I not only want to craft more again, I want to use what I’ve got and I want to FINISH things.

Do more Yoga & swim more

In the same vein as my dancing resolution I want to do more yoga – the mindfulness is good for me and it’s a great way o get the blood flowing in the morning – and to get back into swimming. The next indoor pool is only a couple of minutes from my place so I’ve got no decent excuse not to go swimming at least every other week. Maybe I’ll invest in a waterproof mp3, too, so I can soak up info (hello, vast world of podcasts and audio books!) and splash around at the same time.

Explore

Explore

I’ve been living in Hanover for over two years now and I feel like I’ve seen nothing yet. I want to get to know this place more, learn its secrets, its hidden gems, its past.
And I want to go out into the world as well. Leave my comfort zone. Discover new places, see more cities and castles and cursed towers. I want to travel, not even necessarily outside the country because there are so many spots to find here yet – and on the way find out more about myself, too.

Make the Content I’d like to see

I think this might be a two-part resolution because it includes the question what it is that I want to see in the first place. I see a bit of a journey ahead of me in that regard but I’m looking forward to it.There are so many things I want to make – mostly videos but I want to revive this blog – or rather, revitalise because it’s not dead, I only need a good healer, not a necromancer – with its original thoughts and a good dose of faerie glamour.

wild

Be fae and feral

I think these will be my defining words for 2019. I like them. I’m fae. And I was feral once, wild and untamed. It’s not that I don’t value civilisation – I’m writing this on my tablet and you’re reading it over the internet and I spend uncanny amounts of time on YouTube and Netflix, and thrifting is hard without civilisation, you know – it’s more that I feel like I’m missing something about myself. And this thing I hereby, in passing, vow to find again.
I think this one actually ties in well with all my other resolutions, especially the exploring and crafting ones. And I can’t wait to see where it’ll take me.

Of course and as always there are the tiny ones – watch what I eat, read more, spend more time outside, the works – but these are the big ones. Do you have any resolutions, big or small, for this year? I’d love a comment about them (I’m always curious).

This post is part of #28DaysOfBlogging, a challenge to post every day in February.
Today’s posts on other (predominantly German) participating blogs:

Increase Creativity | Mondkunst | Haus und Beet | Digitallotsen | Mami Rocks | Applethree | Vorunruhestand | Gut Essen in München