We love the Salt Water Market in Swansea and, this Sunday, there was all the more reason to go along, as Peppa Pig was the guest of honour. After months of only wanting to watch In the Night Garden, Icklegen is now addicted to Peppa Pig. She will happily watch several episodes in a row, and I secretly quite enjoy them too. And at 5 minutes a pop, I’m not so worried about excessive toddler TV viewing either.
I was intrigued to see how meeting Peppa in real life would go. Would Icklegen recognise her favourite pig, point at her and giggle excitedly, like she does when the TV is on at home? Or would she run in the other direction? And would our experience of the market be different with a star guest trotting around for the day?
Last time we visited the market, we had a gentle meander around the stalls – well, gentle is perhaps the wrong word as Icklegen darted off at every available opportunity. It was such a relief to find beautiful, original items for sale, when so many markets these days have a tendency to be clogged up with cheap plastic junk. I’m not a huge fan of all that stuff. However, I do dig gorgeous little cotton sundresses, fabric bunting and toys, hand-painted sneakers, and suchlike. And I am always partial to a spinach and feta Gozleme at lunchtime, as is Icklegen. Yum.
This time, we arrived as the temperatures soared to the high-twenties. Peppa Pig was being mobbed by a bustling crowd of parents and children, and Lake Macquarie FM was pumping out tunes from yesteryear. So, there followed a gentle meander around the stalls, with Icklegen firmly ensconced in her stroller, hat on and hood down for extra protection from the rays. We opted for a breakfast Gozleme for a change – delicious, btw – and retreated to the blankets and cushions of the market’s chill-out zone in the welcome shade of the trees.
Peppa Pig was also, very sensibly, avoiding the heat of the midday sun. The earlier crowd had dissipated, so Icklegen and I headed over to say “hello”. But, as our favourite TV piggy approached – a giant in real life – a look of alarm came over my little girl’s face and she bolted into my arms, only to reach out to Peppa a few minutes later. So we took a few steps towards the pink giant, little baby steps, until we were standing right next to her. And I can only describe the look on Icklegen’s face as a mix of fear and intrigue. I’ve no idea if she realised it was actually Peppa Pig we were meeting, but she did well to come back for more after her initial reaction. I wonder how she will respond to Santa later in the year?
The Salt Water Market is held in the grounds of Swansea Public School from 9 am to 2 pm on the first Sunday of the month. It was set up less than two years ago by “the mermaids” who wanted to do something for their local community and school. Keep up the great work, ladies! We’ll be back for more soon.
Do you have a favourite local market that’s worth a visit?