The second Sustainable Fair in Mui Wo was a low-key affair, as was last week’s gathering. It took place in the wRkshop (sic) on the ground floor of 52 Rural Committee Road. There was a stall outside with various locally handmade soaps and lip balms which attracted quite a lot of attention from passers-by, and there might well be a workshop in the near future in which the process of using coconut oil for various uses, including cooking, making soap, lip balm and candles, will be demonstrated. I’ll keep you informed of that.
Inside, a few of us had clothes and books and jewellery for sale at low prices, and there were some very attractive greeting cards printed with photos taken by a local photographer. Last week there were a few organic vegetables for sale, but none this week.
I find these gatherings good fun for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s good practice for my two daughters communicating with people about the stuff they want to sell, and it gives them a bit of practice at using money. It also enables you to meet some new people in the neighbourhood and to see some local artistic talent. But I particularly enjoy being able to recirculate books and clothes which I know will be of use to others, but which are no longer of use to me or my kids. This is further enhanced if you do it cheaply, or simply swap for free as we do at our Swap Parties. I enjoy casting off the obsession with money, and the urge to make as much profit as you can in every situation. Knowing that someone else will be reading and enjoying one of my Haruki Murakami novels, instead of having it sitting idle on my shelf, is a very satisfying feeling. I’ve tried in the past to set up a Transition Book Swap in which we swap books with others, but in the expectation that they’ll come back to us when they’re read. This would enable me to pass on the many organic gardening, permaculture, peak oil, global warming and transition books I’ve got that I think everybody should read, but which I don’t want to lose possession of. However, this has never really taken off as no more than one or two people have ever shown any interest. I’m also a bit wary now as I’ve lost a few DVDs and books by lending them to people who never returned them.
The wRkshop, which only opened in the summer, is also used for arts and dance classes for children and adults. It seems to have a lot of potential, and they’ve certainly made it a pleasant place to be by putting in a wooden floor, a mirrored wall, and an attractive bamboo structure in the entrance patio. It’s a small room, but it feels good. It does, of course, need the support of local people, and I hope it will get that as it becomes better known. Let’s try to give our support for future events.