Every week for fourteen years

by catbrier,

Every week I shop at Preston Market. I have one of those double-decker trolleys with two wire baskets, and every week I fill it to overflowing with fresh food.

When my daughters were babies, my mum would steer the huge pram and I used the trolley. We were a bit of a spectacle. Looking back, I can't quite believe that I made this happen, week after week, while living with baby twins. Life was very overwhelming, but I still did the weekly shopping at the market.

Now that my daughters are at school, it's just me and the trolley. They eat a lot more, so I buy more. I have a regular round of stalls, and the stallholders know me. We chat about the weather and the enormous glorious cauliflowers.

Sometimes I chat with other shoppers. The other day, over the asparagus display, another shopper and I talked about thick and thin asparagus stalks. She was selecting just the thin ones and I prefer the really huge thick ones. We each agreed to try the type that the other liked, just to see.

I still visit a supermarket most weeks, but my trolley usually contains cleaning products, cans of tomatoes and baked beans, cat food, and the like. I don't need to buy fresh food there, and that's how I like it.

The market is very practical. I don't go there with one tiny basket to buy a bunch of herbs and 200g of fresh pasta. It's a serious business for me; feeding a family of four takes a lot of veg, fruit, meat, and milk!

I wonder how long the Preston market will still be there. It feels like such an important part of the community, but market pressures (so to speak) are gathering. Will it be reduced to a boutique Experience, like the Prahran market?

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