Glebe Markets with Mum

June 1st, 2024

Going to the markets with my mum has become somewhat of a ritual I’ve carried on from all the days my mum would go shopping for second hand clothes with her own mum.

Before vintage became cool, they had to shop second hand out of necessity. They may not have had the most expensive clothes, but what they did have was taste — which is something you earn, not buy. When you have to work with what little you have it forces you to get creative.

Most weekends my mum goes off on her own to visit one of Sydney’s second hand markets. At the end of each and every market run, she’s bought me and my brother something.

Whether that’s a shirt, a book or something else she thought we’d like. She’s always thinking about other people and that’s one of the traits not only I but all the people that know her love about her.

I try to tag along when I’m free because I appreciate these small moments spending time with my mum.

Today we visited Glebe markets early this morning and as she went off into the labyrinth of gazebos and pop up tables.

I wondered off to a store selling used books. I’m not sure what’s so magnetic about used books but they draw me in as if they’re a portal to another world.

Sometimes the thought of imagining the thousands of people who’ve sat down, collected their thoughts and wrote word after word until they had something they were proud of, blows my mind.

I’ve been to bookstores all around the world and It’s something I love doing every time I visit a new place.

One of my favourite places in the world I’ve bought used books from is a small district in Tokyo called Kanda Jimbocho — which is known as the “book capital” of Japan, where every store in the town is literally a bookstore.

I vividly remember my time walking up and down the dozens of aisles, crouching, squinting and skimming through hundreds of old books and magazines — absorbing the inspiration and magic that seemed to lay beneath my eyes.

Every time I’m in a bookstore I feel so inspired to learn and create my own things. There’s always so many books I want to read at once.

Which was why I ended up purchasing four books from Glebe markets I thought might be interesting to read which included:

  1. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
  2. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris
  3. Quiet by Susan Cain
  4. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig

Although I most likely won’t read all of them, I hope there’s at least one book out of the four that I find interesting.

For the rest of the morning at Glebe my mum tried to buy me every second shirt she thought I’d look nice in. Which I politely declined because I already have a closet full of shirts I hardly already wear.

She’s always giving so much to my brother and I, expecting nothing in return. In my eyes she’s the definition of selfless and she inspires me every day to be kind to the people around me. She didn’t even want me to pay for the books because it was “her treat”.

This goes well beyond just material possessions. She will give anyone the time of day and listen to their story. She makes everyone feel comfortable in her presence as her loving aura radiates from her heart.

She’s always helping me in whatever way she can and I’m so proud I get to have her as my mother.

I Love You Mum.