Change is Good

Words & Photography Leonie Wise

It starts with one little jar.

It might be a jam that, when you open it, seems to transport you right back to summer’s golden light, or a chutney that is the perfect combination of savoury and sweet.

Next thing you know we’re screeching to a halt around a blind corner hoping that this quiet country road stays quiet whilst we buy things we never knew we needed before this very moment. Next thing you know half those small jars, huddled together as if for protection, sitting on top of that rickety table, have ended up in the car.

It is the allure of the roadside stall: irresistible in their varied shapes & sizes and the promise of tasty contents.

Stop and you might find a beautifully crisp lettuce nestled between bags of bright red tomatoes or a small jar of jam that is the perfect embellishment for warm crumpets. Stop and you might find free range eggs from a brightly painted box, freshly picked broad beans, a handful of vibrant flowers.

Change is good. Change in our car means we can always pull over/turn back to get a look at what’s on offer.

Sometimes, in the most unlikely of places, we’ve found fresh produce; free range eggs, avocados, jars of jams and pickled onions. There’s been a lot of finding-a-safe-place-to-turn-around-and-go-back on little English country lanes and small American roads. We’ve followed hand-painted signs down dusty New Zealand roads for the promise of bush honey, organic lemons or some of the most delicious soft nougat we’ve ever tasted.

But my favourite roadside find so far? “Pay what makes you feel GOOD.”

Oh I will, flower stall lady, I most certainly will.

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