Monday, 6 September 2010

Dark Mills 2010

What an amazing weekend! Where do I start? We travelled up to London on Friday so we would be ready for an early start Saturday morning, having picked a hotel literally a stones throw from Merton Abbey Mills. We even bumped into the events creator on the tube on the way there! After an evening catching up with old friends I didn't sleep much as had too many 'did I pack that?' going around my head!

A big breakfast then I dragged a body bag sized case to the venue and started setting up at 8 am. Although the event didn't start till later, I got plenty of interest from locals out walking dogs and grabbing coffees. I had a few manic flurries, but the day was fairly quiet - well almost! I didn't realise quite how close to the stage I was, and from midday I started having to do a lot of shouting! After about 6pm I could feel a sore throat coming on, not to mention the sore feet! It was a really hot day but being close to the hotel I did manage to dive back to change while Ellie, my OH, took charge of the stall (including getting the first sale of the day!)

I got to talk to lots of people, so many were really complimentary about my glass, it was so nice for people to be able to see the colours and depths to them. Some people said I'd given them too much choice! Although I'd planned to stay open till 10, by 8 we were dead on our feet so threw everything in the case shut for the night. We'd originally planned to go to the 10pm bar/club, but after a quick bite to eat we were ready for bed! So much for my rock-'n-roll lifestyle!

Sunday was a much more relaxed day, but turned out to be more amazing still! We were able to set up later, so got a bit of a lie in, before forgoing the rather disappointing hotel grub for breakfast in the Waterwheel cafe, a smart move as it was soooo tasty! We were due to have a stall next to us on Saturday selling wigs, but sadly her car broke down. When Ghoulia Peculiars managed to make it on Sunday everyone was suitable overwhelmed by the amazing handmade creations she bought with her. Wigs don't even come close to describing them, even a full head masks to transform the wearer into a wolf! Her Ophelia wig was so long she said it still trailed the floor when a 6ft model was wearing it (with heals!) There was quite a bit of trying on, even the compare Dave Disaster ran away wearing a rather fetching floral one onto the stage! One of the things that made the event so enjoyable was that all the organisers and co-ordinators were so friendly and helpful, and very, very well organised!

I managed to get more breaks during the day, and after 8pm we slowly started packing away just as a troupe of fire performers started to heat things up! Ellie got some fantastic shots of them (I'll upload more on my facebook page from the weekend.) About then an Alien wandered into the venue as they started an open air screening of the film. Someone must have called for help, as an exact copy of the 'Ghostbusters' car turned up to deal with the Alien menace! It was a slightly surreal but very fun end to an weekend full of amazing sights and sounds - I just had to get a shot of me by the car!

I've not counted the pennies exactly, after the extra expense of the hotel room and travel I may not have done more than break even, but it was such a great weekend it was so worth doing. It was great to meet so many people, thank you to everyone who came up to see my glass and chat, I certainly hope I'll be able to do it again next year!

The stall set out ready! I need more coffee!

Pondering customer - too much choice!

Wow! Wigs and masks from Ghoulia's Peculiars

Julia from Ghoulua's Peculiars fits an amazing blue wig

It's not a full moon is it?

Stall organiser Steph tries out the Medusa wig!
And Compare Dave Disaster tries something in pink!

The gathering crowds and the very smartly dressed singer from Ghostfire

Look - You forgot to polish those boots!


Alien Vs Ingela from
Ooops! Alien decides this is a good time to leave!

Can I get one of these?


  1. "Very, very organised", indeed! Thank you for being so kind!

    Great to know you enjoyed yourself so much - your stall was a great addition to the market and I personally loved your pieces. As a Chihuly fan (courtesy of my sister who makes stained glass pieces) I really thought they were fantastic. Am only sorry you didn't sell more, but another year in the recession just seems to be biting people's pockets that much harder, however much talk there is of recovery.

    One final, awesome note - no reproduction, he! That was indeed the ORIGINAL Ecto-1 car from Ghostbusters.

    Kind Regards,

  2. Cool! I didn't realise it was the real thing!

    It was such a great festival, and everyone was so friendly! I certainly would love to be there again next year! I was quite happy with what I sold in the end, especially in such grim times! Can I book my 2011 now!?