That's me most weeks...
I'm obsessed with the weather. Which seems to be true with most people around here..its an enduring part of Britishness..but if you work in an outdoor market the obsession goes to another level. AND if you sell chocolates in an outdoor market then you lose sleep over it.
I pretty much start the obsession a week in advance. As soon as I get home after market and counting my sales...I log on and check the weather for the next weekend. Of course I know its wrong...
Its always wrong. The forecast changes by the hour...right..up..to the day in question. But still..that's the point of obsession. I know its going to change but I check anyway. And I check multiple sources just to add to the confusion. So, I'll have the bbc, uk.weather, acuweather, etc. all telling we something different. Sometimes drastically different.
Truthfully, this obsession is born out of the crazy idea of trying to sell a highly environmentally sensitive product in what must be top 5 for the world's most erratic weather. The weather here changes...all..the..time. 3..sometimes 4 seasons in a day...even in the span of a market. I've been selling at Growing Communities Stoke-Newington Farmers' Market since 2010 and as weather goes I've experienced it all. Rain..lots of rain. Wind..gale force winds (once had my solid metal frame stall flip completely over), Sun...sudden, intense sunbeams burning a whole through my income, snow...giant snow flakes slowly drifting down..to...the top of a nice, beautifully tempered dark chocolate---oh NO!
Now, of course chocolate melts if it gets too warm...but it doesn't have to be THAT warm to be too warm. I've often been standing in a hat and jacket over multiple layers only to look over and have a beam of sun shine through a gap in the top of my stall directly onto an unsuspecting chocolate. And then right before my eyes...the chocolate begins to melt...yes, melt in.....March. Yes, MARCH.
Then again, this is the British Isles...and sun is NOT the biggest threat to my chocolates. Its the monster combination of rain and wind. Chocolates do not like to be wet. All it takes in the lightest mist blowing onto our chocolates to start a sugar bloom. What is sugar bloom..its when chocolate comes in contact with moisture and the sugar pools on the surface of the chocolate (you might be familiar with this if you keep chocolate in the fridge. When you take your chocolate out to eat it, it will likely collect condensation on the surface and feel sticky as a result). This leaves a sticky film on the surface of the chocolate.
But you know, at the end of the day..I actually enjoy the challenge that mother nature brings, the camaraderie that I share with the other market vendors and the dedicated individuals working for Growing Communities that are right there with me in the battle.