I love markets. All sorts of markets. I love food markets, I love trash 'n' treasure markets, I love the fish markets, I loved the regular markets of The Netherlands, I just love markets. I hope to be pushing for a growers' market in Cronulla, oh yeah baby.

So today, when the Rotary Club held their monthly market at Caringbah, I was there. Finally having the chance to, after two years. I had been to the one at nearby Bangor, and it was nice, a little bit of bric-à-brac, a little bit of new 'innovative' products, a little bit of local crafts, a little bit of food, oh yeah, and a guy playing a guitar flogging his CD. I bought one.

So, today I was a little disappointed when more than 90% of the stalls were secondhand crap. OK, there was a kitcheny stall, and there I bought my first mortar and pestle - which would be a more positive focus for this write up, but since I haven't actually grinded anything in it - it would be a very short write up.

But I went through each stall looking for a 'double helix corkscrew'. By far the most efficient and effective design, and yet you can't find them anywhere anymore. People sell expensive, foolproof corkscrews that look like you need a Masters degree to operate, and even then, they certainly look fool-prone.

We had nearly left, when we went up a side alley which was easily overlooked completely. As we passed through, a woman walked past me and threw away this line:
"We're going to sell everything on that table for a dollar."

I love a bargain. That's probably the attraction for markets. So I 'walked calmly' over to the table, my heart beating so loudly in my own head. A whole table worth.

Now now, Proq, stay calm. You only have a small apartment, don't fill it with crap - even bargain crap.

I looked over the table. I felt sorry for the woman. When she organised having a stall, I am sure she didn't imagine she'd be offering her whole table for a buck. What had gone so wrong? How much had she paid to have the stall at all?

I looked over the table worth of stuff. There were a couple of items that would have been nice as a 'throw in' for a dollar, but seriously, there was absolutely nothing there that I could just take off her hands. Nothing on her table worth paying a buck for.

I looked down at the ground and we walked away from the side alley. I was wondering if I should have just donated a dollar to her, and not taken anything. I wonder if she would have been pissed off with the gesture. Her stuff, all of it combined, wasn't even worth a buck.

And the moral to the story: Buy yourself a mortar and pestle.