There is a slight chill to the air as we bundle into the car early on Saturday mornings, making our weekly visit to the markets to stock up on our fruit and vegetables while Paul is out bike riding. It has become a ritual and one the three of us look forward to once the weekend arrives. At this time of morning, the roads are beautifully quiet and the journey we make with a Play School CD to sing along to or an Enid Blyton talking book to listen to is an unusually peaceful one.
We park the car, feed the meter and hold hands as we cross the street and begin to wander. Clutching my shopping list, the girls follow a few steps behind me. We stick to the same few sellers and over time, have come to know who offers the sweetest strawberries, the longest lasting lettuce and the perfect-ripeness bananas. We do a loop, collecting what we need, occasionally stopping at The Herb+Tea+Spice Shop, flower stand or secondhand wares seller Refound. Our final port of call is to buy four of our favourite mini-cupcakes. Sophie is always after the pink lolly-topped version, while Grace chooses what she thinks looks prettiest on the day.
I love the feel of the markets at this time of day... no busy crowds and only a sprinkling of tourists... mainly locals doing their grocery shop as the stall holders begin their day. It is a relaxed atmosphere with friendly faces and our hour browsing (in between making sure the girls aren't getting under people's feet) is for the most part relaxing.
On our journey home, we point out all the landmarks we've come to recognise... the Fremantle Prison, the 'church house', monument hill with its colourful flower beds, the netball courts, the golf course and so on. It's become a bit of a game as we see who can remember what's coming up next. Occasionally we'll stop at a garage sale, call into an op shop or run an errand. However usually, the girls are itching to get home and have fun with their Daddy.
By the time we pull into our driveway, Paul has long since returned from his ride. I flick on the kettle and as it boils, begin to unload our bags and prepare morning tea. It's a standard joke now that every single week, Grace tries to trick Paul, pretending we've forgotten to buy him a cupcake. She thinks it's hilarious.
And then, with my tea poured, we all enjoy our delicious icing topped treats and get ready to continue on with our Saturday...
We are hoping to purchase a bunch to bring home when the display comes down and the flowers become available for sale.
There are at least ten of the frames above currently suspended in the market courtyard... the effect is breathtaking.