Once in a time that was and was not a time of transition there was a town that was not too big and not too small with a river running through it and a steep, steep high street with a castle on the top.
Times they were a-changing; the people had known that for quite some time. Prices they were a rising and energy needed to be saved and children told their parents to turn out the lights.
And up and down the high street the people watched their shops disappear, one by one, and they felt sad, but that is not all they felt.
In that time the people in the town that was not too big and not too small had a dream, it was a dream they had had for many a long while, from the time the historic WoolWorths had vanished they had been dreaming…
‘twas a transition dream – of a place where folk could come and go and sit and talk and dream a little, a place where they could be creative, see creativity, bring creativity and perhaps … take some away with them too. ‘Twas a place too where they could eat and drink well and know that what they imbibed was delicious in look, in taste, and in goodness too. A place where the food was fresh, local, seasonal, freshly prepared and cooked, a place where some of the drinks were local and all of them ethically sourced, ‘twas a place where a body could relax, take stock of their day, and have fun with their friends and loved ones, both old and young.
‘Twas such a dream the townsfolk had that it kept popping up, first here, then there, in conversations all over the town, in cafes, in bars, in halls and at dances, in meetings, and in dreamings, and in chats between friends in the market place on Fridays, and in Transition Gatherings everywhere.
Not such a surprise then to behold when finally the dream spread its wings and in the good care of Tim the Bright Young Entrepreneur came to land in the town that was not too big and not small. But as in all good things a body must wait for the preparations to be made, and so it was that all through the Springtime Tim the Bright Young Entrepreneur and Laura his Lady hatched their plans and talked to this person and that all across the town till pretty soon a whole batch of local makers had joined their enterprise, to fill the space with all things creative, to be seen, and to inspire, and perhaps to take away.
“Why do you do what you do?” asked he
And said this one
“I do what I do for I have no choice; creativity it does flow from out of my very veins, overflowing, with longing to share the wonders my eye doth see”
“Really I just do it to be creative, and that’s it really, just to be creative, I need an outlet for my creativity and I can’t keep all this stuff so I have to sell it, or at least try to.”
said She Who’ll Float Your Boat with Clothes, with Jewellery and with Toys
“Opportunities for creativity present themselves to me all the time and it is my joy and my pleasure to realize them”
said the Magical Artist, Illustrator and Poet.
“Hmm” said he and
“Ah, because I love it! That’s got to be the answer. I go walking, I walk round the countryside. I look at things, I take a camera with me and sometimes things catch my eye I try and catch them and sometimes people like what I catch.”
“Inspiring!” said he to The Westcountry Wanderer, And
“I do what I do because I love working with natural materials and I love the natural colours and I just like doing things with my hands and being creative.”
“Ahh, yes, creative” smiled Tim the Bright Young Entrepreneur, and took he the wares of Wild in the Willow too, to fill his space with baskets and weaving. And from many others too did he take bundles of creativity to fill the dream with all that is good.
Now where, asked he and his good lady Laura, and they looked all about them in the town that was not too big and not too small and saw with an edge of sadness the dying street, where once there had been clothes fairly traded and brought all the way from that land of exotic spices and spiritual wonder, and too where there had been shops full of Fab clothes for the men and Fab clothes for the womenfolk too, where now stood only one, and of the long empty shop at the bottom of the hill where over the festive times makers had clubbed together for just a wee while to pay the rent to fill that place with creative offerings of all manner and type.
“A pop up! shop and cafe collaboration with a difference!” said he. That’s it! This the start of a dream come true.
Spoke he with They of the Kitchen Table and those two crafty capable cooks did smile broad smiles and said Yes! This is a dream worthy of our skill and vision and we shall gladly a-collaborate with you.
Hunted they up top and down bottom, plenty of empty sad shops did gaze back; longingly. Tim the Bright Young Entrepreneur and Laura his Lady partner thought a while, and then knew that the right shop, the perfect shop, the one just made to fit their dream, would in time show itself. But for now, their Pop up! Shop needed a home that was quick and easy to transform, and we’ll start where many a good project has had its start, said they. And to the Hall behind the Church did they head, to gaze at the scene of many a bring and buy, that many a jumble and bric a brac had seen, and many a transition visioning gathering too.
‘Tis perfect, said they, and it won’t look a bit like it’s ever looked before… With sofas and colourful chairs and tables, with bright coloured cloths and surprising twists of the creative sort, what else, the hall behind the church shall we transform, said they, with glee, and the two crafty capable cooks grinned big grins as they cast their eyes at the big kitchen table.
Shall be an weekend of splendid fun, said the four, and when it is done why we shall do it some more, till we have transformed and cheered the town from top to bottom, all year long, and then, and then, the time shall come for the right shop, the perfect shop, which when it appears, we and all our creative makers shall settle there and see what we shall see.
Well, said the townsfolk, and there’s a fine old dream, make no mistake, so Lady Laura,
“Why do you do what you do?”
“I think mainly because I noticed there was this massive gap in our town about the fact there are so many talented people within this area with no outlet for the work that they create and I also really love this community and I want to do something to support it and yeah, that’s why Mosaic’s been set up.”
Mosaic! Mosaic! Well, what a fine name for a fine enterprise said the talented townsfolk of the town that is not too big and not too small. Bits and pieces of brightly coloured magpie treats, all stuck together to create a whole more splendid than one alone could ever shine.
So tell us please, how will it be?
“Mosaic presents a two-day shopping and cafe experience bringing you fantastic local produce; homeware, plants, homemade jewellery, books, up cycled clothes, arts, crafts and so much more! Relax in the cafe with fresh, delicious and seasonal food, real coffee and organic teas from The Kitchen Table. Think sofas, think creativity, entertainment and fun!
See you there!”
We’ll be there, we’ll be there! But tell us please Tim the Bright Young Entrepreneur,
“Why Do You Do What You Do?”
“We set up Mosaic as a tool to change our lives as well, to become more involved in our community and to feel more part of Totnes and to do something for Totnes. I think we felt that we had our own creativity that we wanted to express and this is the way that we’re doing it. And we really hope to achieve something that we’re really proud of but also something which we’d love to see in the town and we hope others enjoy it as well.”
Oh, we like you! That’s a good vision, said the townsfolk. ‘Tis quite a relief to hear an entrepreneur speak of creativity in such a fashion, we’re very glad you’re here.
What more, what more? Eager now, the townsfolk had been inspired!
Well, you know that Fair Haired Beauty? You know the one that keeps asking us to turn out the lights?
Oh, you mean that one that sang at the Olympics? Do you mean her? The one whose voice rings true in passion, in feeling, and with love? You mean the one who really cares? Her? Will she be there?
Indeed she will! Her, and other local musicians; come along at lunchtime and hear them sing!
What a treat! It just gets better and better! We shan’t be needing those shops that are part of chains anymore, we’ve always had more than our fair share of special shops, full of local produce made by local people, and now this, where we can dream together, be entertained by our talented minstrels, storytellers and poets, eat our fill and know it nourishes us inside and out, and take home too the things we need to cheer up a loved one, celebrate a special date, and to keep our homes bright and full of useful things. We are indeed a lucky folk, said they.
Did you go with them to see for yourself the Mosaic of bright shiny people and their creativity, and perhaps to dream your own dream into being?
Photo: Beccy Strong
Pop Up! took place at the Methodist Hall on the 12 & 13th April 2013.
Float Your Boat is Cheryl Tipple, local maker of clothes, jewellery, & toys.
The Magical artist, illustrator, & poet is Diane Melanie.
Nigel Rossiter , local photographer, is the Westcountry Wanderer.
Sandra Hammond is Wild in the Willow, bringing Basket making and peg loom weaving to Mosaic.
Tim Long & Laura Cameron are the entrepreneurs who are bringing Mosaic to Totnes.
Kitchen Table local catering are Sima Cutting and Han Jones.
The local musician is Rebecca Maze.