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‘The crystal shops’ is the ever-so-slightly contemptuous name given by the more traditionally-minded people living here in Glastonbury to those outlets which promote a more alternative style.  We have dozens of them, and I can only imagine that they must make their living on tourists and web commerce.  Nearly all the goods they sell, other than clothes (the sort I used to wear in the hippie seventies), are of the ‘gift’ variety.

The other day, I had to take my car to the garage early.  I could have walked home then back again two hours later, but instead, as it was a bright, crisp day, I took my camera and wandered around town taking photos of most of these shops, and of a few others.  On the outward journey, most of them were still firmly shut, many with windows obscured by condensation.  By the time I wandered back, and having had a coffee in Caffe Zero, most were open, and most windows were clearer.

I started in Benedict Street, walking up from Rapson’s garage (family firm, great personal service).  The first interesting shop I came to was The Magpies’ Nest.  They get apostrophes!  (My photos amalgamate outward and return strolls.)001.P1170450 003.P1170595We are fortunate in having a music shop, and extra fortunate that it has not lost its old shutters, which were open by the time I got back.004.P1170452 005.P1170591Next came – you can just make it out – Bedlam.006.P1170455Up in the Market Place is Man, Myth and Magik,007.P1170456 007.P1170587and next door is a toy shop, Little Imps.  I was passing a while ago when the owner came out, so I took the opportunity of asking her how much the fantasy castle, which is always in the window, would cost. She said she could get one made for, as I recall, £4000.008.P1170457 009.P1170585I have had to limit myself in sharing with you Elestial’s windows, packed with delicate shades of turquoise, mauve and purple.010.P1170458 013.P1170581 014a.P1170584Also in the Market Place is the Cat and Cauldron. Because it was a bright day, you can see more reflections than window contents in the second picture.015.P1170459 016.P1170573 017.P1170576I couldn’t tell you whether Hemp in Avalon (only in Glastonbury!) actually sells cannabis, (one has to presume not, but…). I’ve just visited their website, and they certainly advocate its use!  I’ve never seen the shop without it’s grill.018.P1170460Further along, in Northload Street, The Crystal Man was shut on both occasions that I passed it.  Its lovely window is not obscured when the shop is open.020.P1170461Back to the Market Place, and starting up the High Street, past the Glastonbury Experience, 021.P1170462you come to Courtyard Books,022.P1170463 023.P1170569and, on the other side of the Street, another bookshop, The Speaking Tree.024.P1170465 025.P1170564 026.P1170565 027.P1170566 Dicketts is a small stationer’s, bookshop and seller of art supplies. Its wares reflect the town it is in.028.P1170468 copie 029.P1170467Parts 2 and 3 will complete our tour.