The ups and downs of Bitcoin (by )

The value of bitcoin periodically starts to rise very rapidly, then after a while, crashes and re-stabilises. Whenever a crash happens, I see a spate of anti-Bitcoin blog posts and opinion pieces, such as this by Charles Stross. Now, I think there's plenty of things wrong with Bitcoin, and plenty of worries about what its effects in the uncertain future might be; but these anti-Bitcoin pieces tend to contain a lot of misconceptions and fallacies, so I feel compelled to try and refute some of them I've been seeing.

Bitcoin's price is volatile, so it will never be useful as a currency.

It sure is volatile! There are periodic surges and crashes, superimposed on top of a generally exponential growth in value. Take a look at its price history, on a logarithmic scale, with the MtGox exchange volume in dollars.

But this volatility is all due to rapid adoption, and that won't last forever.

The current rapid deflation is not the inherent deflation of BTC (it's in its inflationary phase, anyway, with lots of new BTC being mined every day), but the rapid adoption of the new currency causing more money to flow into it. The fact that this flow is driven of public awareness of BTC is why it's so closely linked to news, with wild swings following any significant news story about Bitcoin. And the small scale of existing BTC usage compared to the size of the new influxes (and the corresponding panics!) is why the swings are so large. Once BTC has achieved the market penetration it will have in the long run, then we'll see a lot more stability.

At the moment, the growth in interest in Bitcoin is causing the value of bitcoin to rise faster than the production of new bitcoin is pushing the value back down. At some point, Bitcoin will achieve it's "saturation point", with the proportion of the world money supply in Bitcoin settling to its final level. As the rate of money flooding into Bitcoin drops, so will its rise in value drop, until eventually the inflation caused by new Bitcoins being mined will dominate and the value might even start to sink a little; unless a third factor - the rise in value of Bitcoins due to the growth of the economy it represents a stable fraction of - outweighs that (which is hard to predict). Eventually, the generation of new bitcoins will have effectively ceased, at which point the value of bitcoin will grow at about the rate of growth of the economy - a few percent each year.

Easier liquidity with existing currencies will improve the stability, presumably, as part of the volatility comes from the difficulty in exchanging Bitcoin with other currencies, making it easy for a large transaction to deplete or glut the market for Bitcoin on any given exchange. Although volatility is often cited as a reason to firewall BTC from the conventional economy, allowing it to integrate with the conventional economy will be a big step towards removing that volatility...

If Bitcoin is used like a currency (rather than a speculative investment vehicle), it will start to behave like one.

A deflationary currency is terrible as people will never want to invest in anything; it'll be more profitable to just keep savings

Ah, but as I argue above, unless I'm mistaken, in the long run, the price appreciation of Bitcoin will just be a few percent a year; the growth of the underlying economy. So it'll be about the same as an "index-linked" investment, and won't be a "market beating" investment at all. This will mean that poorly-performing investments, which grow at below the market rate, aren't very attractive; but they currently aren't, anyway.

However, will I stop putting my money into banks because it'll grow just fine when stored in my own Bitcoin wallet? So will banks have no money to lend, and be unable to offer loans to students, and startup companies, and mortgages to house buyers?

Well, even assuming that we stick with our current debt-driven economic model (and there's plenty of voices arguing for a new model to be invented, after the banking crises of the past years), a bank offering 0.1% interest will still be an attractive place for me to put my bitcoins, compared to getting 0% interest keeping them in my own wallet; the fact that my bitcoin will also be increasing in value due to deflation, regardless of where I keep it, does not influence that. Banks will have to compete with Bitcoin's ability to be transferred cheaply and easily, versus their annoying and expensive mechanisms to transfer money around, but perhaps they'll just drop SEPA and SWIFT and Faster Payments and Direct Debit and friends in favour of just offering Bitcoin transfers to and from their Bitcoin-demoninated accounts.

Sure, I wouldn't take out a mortgage denominated in bitcoins right now, with the value of a bitcoin soaring exponentially; I might buy a house for a hundred bitcoins, then after a decade, be paying a hundred-bitcoin mortgage for a house that's now worth one tenth of a bitcoin. That would be stupid. But I'd love to take out a mortgage denominated in pounds Sterling that I get to pay in bitcoins at the rate of exchange in effect at each payment; and if Bitcoin adoption levels off before bitcoin mining levels off so it has an actually inflationary phase, I'd very gladly take out a mortgage denominated in it then! But even in the very long run, when the value of a bitcoin is stably and predictably appreciating with the growth of the economy that each bitcoin represents a fraction of at a few percent a year, I'd be happy to take out a mortgage in it; I'd just expect the interest rate I paid to be adjusted to take the rate of appreciation into effect, so that the bank still makes the same effective profit out of me (and I pay the same effective premium for the service of borrowing the money), once deflation is taken into account. Long term loans and investments are calculated in terms of underlying value, and the change in the predicted mapping from that value to a number of currency units is already adjusted to take inflation into account. Basing that calculation on deflation instead won't be the end of the world.

Bitcoin isn't regulated

This is a complex point to refute, because people often don't know what they mean by it in the first place. I hear a lot of "Bitcoin isn't regulated, so you can buy child porn with it". This is confusing two unrelated concepts.

The idea is that existing currencies, such as the dollar, are "regulated". It's sort of implied that this means it's illegal to use it to buy criminal stuff, but that's due to regulations about criminal transactions, and nothing to do with regulations about the currency itself (it's just as illegal to buy drugs with bitcoins as with dollars, and we'll talk about that in the next point).

The regulation conventional currencies actually have is that there's a central bank that can control the supply, which allows them to control the rate of inflation or deflation (and, generally, they choose to inflate it). As they create the currency from scratch, they also get to choose how to introduce it into the economy - traditionally, they use it to buy government bonds, in effect giving it to the government to spend on stuff, but they could just as easily print it onto paper bills and coins and hand it out at random in the streets, although that might cause a riot.

And whether the ability of central banks to control the rate of inflation is a good thing or not is... still hotly debated. There's a grand tradition of economic thought centred around something called the Keynesian model, which is the theory behind the operation of this kind of inflationary economy, but it's not the only model, and there's no solid theoretical argument that it's the best model. Until now, the alternative models have been rather hard to test. If Bitcoin thrives as a deflationary currency, we'll get to test them. But if people tell you that Bitcoin is a disaster for the economy because it's not a good idea in a Keynesian model, that just means they don't believe a non-Keynesian model can be valid. See if you can find out why.

Another interesting point to consider is that, if the people who fear Bitcoin will destroy their Keynesian economies and replace them with anarchy and misery are true, then surely that means that there's something wrong with their Keynesian economies. If the introduction of something like Bitcoin - which will, presumably, inevitably be discovered at some point - destroys their economy, then it's inherently unstable, like a lump of explosive, just waiting for the correct stimulus to cause it to all come falling apart. That, alone, is an argument that this kind of economy is unsafe and we need to find a better one.

Bitcoin will allow money laundering and assasinations, will make tax evasion easier, and will cause the destruction of the welfare state

Well, BTC isn't all that anonymous; is an interesting case in point.

Also, any argument that BTC's pseudonymity will have drastic effects needs to explain why it's different from existing untracked means of transferring value, such as gold, in this perspective. Gold is easily bought and sold, and is less traceable than BTC; it's not even that "heavy and bulky" ($100,000 ~= 3kg of gold, about half a cupful; if your monthly income is "heavy and bulky" in gold, you're lucky). Bitcoin has the edge over gold in being able to be easily transferred online, but at the cost of those online transfers being public knowledge.

Bear in mind that if any legitimate business or person transacts with you in BTC, they're bound (in the UK, at least) by the same legal requirements with regards to declaring it for taxation purposes as if they'd transacted in USD or GBP (in traceable bank transfer, or anonymous cash, form) or gold. If I receive my income from my work in BTC instead of in pounds Sterling, my employer/customer and I are just as liable for correctly accounting for it for taxation purposes. People have tried evading tax by using alternative means of payment before ("payments in kind"), and there's already a framework in place to prevent it. Bitcoin is in no way "designed" for tax evasion; it's designed to allow pseudonymous transfers of Bitcoin amounts securely, while making that transfer entirely public as a side-effect. Whereas handing over gold or cash is anonymous. Is the fact that Bitcoin transfers can be done without moving physical objects really going to outweigh the traceability of Bitcoin in its usefulness for hiding income from tax authorities? So if Bitcoin won't help me avoid paying tax, it can't simply cause the death of the welfare state through fiscal starvation.

So let's look at how Bitcoin might be used to buy drugs, assassinations, child porn, and other illegal products and services. Whether you use a widely-known site like the Silk Road used to be (before it was shut down, having already been quietly infiltrated by the FBI some time ago) or a more discreet arrangement with a "dealer" contacted through word of mouth, you're going to be transferring some of your bitcoin to an address they provide. Perhaps you'll try and launder it through a mixing service first, but unless you're dealing in small amounts, those aren't very safe (even if the laundering service is "honest" and doesn't keep a log). So now you've sent your money to a criminal, and made a public record of it. If they, or another criminal they then send the money on to, are then caught using it as part of the proceeds of crime, it's linked to you. (Even more so if you used it to pay somebody to post drugs to your home address...)

If you'd handed them some cash (or gold), the link back to you is far more tenuous.

And if you're a criminal receiving Bitcoins for murders, child porn, or whatever, it's only a matter of time before one of those Bitcoin transactions is linked to a crime (either yours, or of a criminal customer of yours). So if you ever spend those Bitcoins on anything that gets delivered to your house, or convert it into other currencies at an exchange, that is now linked to your personal identity, and the police will come visiting you, as former Silk Road drug dealers are believed to be finding out at the time of writing.

I hold some bitcoins, which I've bought on exchanges. Not only are all those purchases available for examination by law enforcement - and each linked to my bank account details and, later, scans of my ID documents - but they all go to the same Bitcoin wallet, which means that they're linked to each other (and any illicit secret income from other sources) when I spend money, too. If I keep my illicit and legitimate bitcoins strictly separated (like I keep my public donation vanity addresses separate from my bought bitcoins, in order to preserve my privacy), then I can't spend my illicit earnings on shiny toys delivered to my house, and have to remain living like a pauper despite having vast theoretical wealth in ill-gotten gains. No fun!

Oh, and by the way, if your local intelligence agency decides to log Bitcoin traffic, they'll be able to see whose Internet connection you're emitting transactions on, too. Perhaps you can use Tor to avoid that, if you're careful to avoid timing attacks...

They're causing people to waste electricity on proofs of work

Despite the alarming figures in the article above, Bitcoin mining is a small fraction of the energy used by computers worldwide, and is likely to remain so. The carbon footprint of conventional banking and payments, with its extensive use of bits of paper, is also not to be sneezed at; and Bitcoin could replace that. Also, as the cost of power dominates the cost of a mining operation, a likely future trend is for bitcoin mining to occur in places where power is very cheap (such as near hydroelectric dams) or where heat is a desirable by-product which would have to be obtained via some means anyway (heating industrial processes or homes) - trends which cloud computing datacentres, which still dwarf bitcoin mining in power consumption, have already started to show.

People will steal computer power to generate Bitcoins

Botnets are losing their appeal for bitcoin mining, as it moves over to specialised hardware (the returns on mining with CPUs and GPUs decrease, a tendency that has arisen in the years since the paper linked to was written), and makes it increasingly hard for criminal botnet operators to dominate the Bitcoin supply, or take over the mining network in order to control the rules of the Bitcoin economy. Bitcoin gives botnet operators a new way to make money, which is a shame - but there's already plenty of reasons to run a botnet; eliminating them through better software security architectures and user education needs to remain a goal for us all...

The proportion of the wealth held by the top one percent of Bitcoin holders is significant

This is probably true (although it's hard to tell with the early-mined Bitcoins, which have generally never moved so can't be traced to an owner until they're spent), but this is largely due to the injustice of the larger world in which Bitcoin exists; since that wealth inequality holds for the people interested in buying Bitcoin, it ends up holding within Bitcoin, too. People converting their dollar fortunes into Bitcoin fortunes does nothing (directly) to change the wealth distribution of the world. What is more interesting is the effect of Bitcoin's value changes compared to the value of existing currencies; assuming Bitcoin continues to rise in value and become a fungible and liquid currency, there will be a generation of early-adopting crypto geeks (generally not very rich people) who will get rich off of it from early mining experiments or buying them as a curiosity when they were valued at a dollar or so, and a later generation of already-rich investors who bought them once they showed their tendency for exponentially rising value and got even richer. The latter group will have ridden the growth of Bitcoin to increase the wealth inequality, while the former group will presumably have used it to narrow the wealth gap, by going from not rich to rich.

But both will be a "one-off" event; once the Bitcoin price stabilises, the meteoritic growth will stop, and nobody can get rich from it again. Bitcoin is just following the same pattern as the value of shares in a successful tech company, although perhaps on a larger scale; it is an endemic problem of our economic system that such growth events make a few lucky early adopters rich from nothing, and a middle generation of quick investors even richer than they already were.

"Bitcoiners are techno-libertarian anarcho-syndicalists"

I've often heard it complained that Bitcoin adopters are crackpots with a fringe economic theory they're trying to force upon the world, either blind to its obvious flaws, or greedy to move to a system that will reward people in their situation, with no regard for the costs to humanity as a whole.

I'm sure some of them are. And I'm sure that some of its opponents are also crackpots with fringe economic theories of their own, which Bitcoin is a threat to.

But most Bitcoin enthusiasts are either people looking to make money through investing in it, or people who want a better way to pay for things online. I fall into the latter category; I was attracted to Bitcoin because I want to be able to pay my monthly outgoings from a cronjob, rather than setting up standing orders that get delayed if they happen to fall on a weekend or bank holiday, and because I want to be able to create Web applications that can accept payments without paying huge surchages, risks of chargebacks, and other such obstacles. I bought some bitoins back when they cost £2.20 each, in order to experiment with them and in order to try and promote a Bitcoin economy by spending them; I've managed to spend a few, but the range of available options was disappointingly small until quite recently. The immense growth in the value of my little hoard has been a pleasant surprise, to be honest, but I've never had the spare cash to be a proper investor!


Bitcoin has already changed the world, if subtly; and I think it's showing no signs of stopping. And I can't honestly tell if it's going to be a force for good or a force for bad, in the long run; we know so little about how economies actually work that we can't even predict the behaviour of the one we already have, yet alone theoretical new ones. But what I do know is that ours has lots of flaws, both in terms of the theoretical underpinnings of a debt-based economy, and the practical implementation of banks, markets, and taxation as we have them. The flaws in the current system are hard to address, even if we knew how to fix them, because it has a tremendous inertia; so, although I think Bitcoin has some definite advantages, and some definite disadvantages, and many unknowns, I think it's about time we took a risk and shook things up a little...

Glass Ceilings (by )

Or why I can no longer work from home now Al is in an office.

Alaric has gone out of his way to help with my course taking Thursdays off work and working through his lunch brake on Fridays so I can attend lectures and has helped with the writing and craft stuff giving up weekend days to take me to events etc... but this morning he subjected me to the glass ceiling and wasn't even really aware he had done it. It happens quiet a lot and normally it doesn't matter that much as I am only trying to get a few of my own blog posts done or making stuff but today was the day I had set aside for my college coursework and business admin - just like Friday was.

It didn't happen on Friday as he ended up going into London so Mary couldn't go to nursery. I can write fiction and draw/knit a bit with the baby about but for anything I need to immerse myself in, it just doesn't work - she needs me too much - so that is course work or articles out of the question. On top of that I have been struggling not to feel like I need to sort the house out before I start work on the Mondays etc... I went back to college and that is a strain on both of us so house work (which we both do) has fallen behind.

His suggestion was to move up to the attic to work so after he left this morning I spent a while sorting things out so I could work upstairs. I've been finding I can work when I am in Bristol as I am away from the home and everything that needs doing - this wasn't an issue when Al was working from home as we were both there and me, him and Jeany would all be sitting there working together and taking breaks etc... Now it's just me.

I sat down and did half an hour of work - after a frantic morning of getting up early (after a night of no sleep due to Al having insomnia and keeping me awake), to get Mary to nursery before the school run instead of after it and taking the kitten for her shots after the school run. I was feeling really positive and happy about it all as I'd spent a while this morning answering Jeany's questions on mammal evolution which included the extinction of the dinosaurs and plate techtonics.

So when I heard Al bring the kitten home from the vets I rushed down stairs to give him a hug, and then I heard... Mary. He'd gotten stuck in traffic so was grumpy his getting up early had been in vein, He'd suggested yesterday that Mary stay at the house until lunch time so he didn't have to get up early and I'd explained I have deadlines and I needed the morning to work - I made sure Jean had clean uniform (which as the washing machine has been broken for the past two weeks involved me handwashing the stuff in the bath). I was sympathetic and assumed he'd be taking her in just a bit late. But no he was leaving her at home. The glass ceiling whacked me in the face, I threw over the bin and threw open a door with enough force to put the door handle through the plaster board. I cried and cried and wouldn't let him come near me.

He'd lowered the glass ceiling, not because he is a sexist pig because he isn't - but because he works in an office and I am working at home. If I had been in Bristol sitting in the library working then he wouldn't have been able to do that - it would not have been a solution to his problem ie he was now running late for work. He'd asked me what else he could of done - he'd tried his best which in truth he had - I know his finding things very stressful at the moment. But if I'd not been at home then bringing the baby back to me would not have been doable - he would have a) not made the vet appointment for one of the two busy weekday mornings in the first place (he had tried to get me to walk the kitten to the vet in the pushchair but I'd pointed out that this was my day for doing college work - I was AT WORK, I get two days - no make that mornings a week to get stuff done), and/or b) he would have taken Mary to nursery anyway and been late.

Al left hurt and angry as I really could not communicate what he had done, I was too hurt and angry myself. And of course I hurt my hand in the door slamming as it rebounded on me :/ This was exactly the sort of issue I hoped to avoid this time - I'm extra peeved as I am paying for nursery time that is now not being used so Mary is loosing out too 🙁 Of course Alaric gave me part of the money being used for that in the first place.

So basically I can't work from home is my conclusion, Friday I will hopefully be going into college to work instead. I say hopefully because of course the thing is that Al getting to work is very important, he earns the money that pays the mortgage and most of the bills, anything I earn is the extra and so sick children who can't go to school or nursery end up at home with me. And do you know the really sad tragic thing about all of this?

Al would love to be at home looking after the kids and tinkering with his projects.

Insomnia (by )

There's something about the combination of having spent many weeks in a row without more than the odd half-hour here and there to myself (time when I get to do whatever I like, rather than merely choosing which of the list of things I need to get done urgently I will do next, or just having no choice at all), and knowing I need to get up even earlier the next morning than usual (to dive straight into a long day of scheduled activities), that makes it very, very, hard for me to sleep.

So, although I got to bed in good time for somebody who has to wake up at six o'clock, I have given up laying there staring at the ceiling, and come down to eat some more food (I get the munchies past midnight), read my book without disturbing Sarah with my bedside light, and potter on my laptop. I need to be up in five hours, so hopefully emptying my brain of whirling thoughts will enable me to sleep.

There's lots of things I want to do. Even though it's something I need to get done by a deadline, I'm actually enthusiastic about continuing the project I was working on today; making an enclosure for our chickens. This is necessary for us to be able to go away from the house for more than one night, which is something we want to do over Christmas; thus the deadline.

Three of the edges of the enclosure will be built onto existing walls or woodwork, but one of them needs to cut across some ground, so I've dug a trench across said bit of ground, laid an old concrete lintel and some concrete blocks in the trench after levelling the base with ballast, and then mixed and rammed concrete around them. When I next get to work on it, I'll mix up a large batch of concrete and use it to level the surface neatly (and then ram any left-overs into remaining gaps) to just below the level of the soil, then lay a row of engineering bricks (frog down) on a mortar bed on top of that in order to make a foundation that I can screw a wooden batten to. With that done, and some battens screwed into the tops of existing walls that don't already have woodwork on, I'll be able to build the frame of the enclosure (including a door), then attach fox-proof mesh to it, and our chickens will have a new home they can run around in safely.

Thinking about how I'm going to lay the next batch of concrete in a nice level run, working around the fact that I only have a short spirit level by placing a long piece of wood in there and levelling it with wedges and then using it as a reference to level the concrete to, has been one of the things running around in my head this evening.

Another has been the next steps from last Friday, when I had a fascinating meeting with a bunch of interesting people in the information security world. You see, I've always been interested in the foundation technologies upon which we build software, such as storage management, distributed computing, parallel computing, programming languages, operating systems, standard libraries, fault tolerance, and security. I was lucky enough to find a way into the world of database development a few years ago, which (with a move to a company that produces software to run SQL queries across a cluster) has broadened to cover storage management, distribution, parallelism, AND programming languages. So imagine my delight when said company starts to develop the security features in the product, and I can get involved in that; and even more when (through old contacts) I'm invited to the inaugural meeting of a prestigious group of peopled interested in security. That landed me an invite to the second meeting (chaired by an actual Lord, and held in the House of Lords!), the highlight of which was of course getting to talk to the participants after the presentations. I found out about the Global Identity Foundation, who are working pn standardising the kind of pseudonymous identity framework I have previous pined for; I'm going to see if I can find a way to get more involved in that. But I need to do a lot of reading-up on the organisations and people involved in this stuff, and figuring out how I can contribute to it with my time and money restrictions.

I'd really like to have some quiet time to work on my secret fiction project, too. And I want to investigate Ugarit bugs. Some bugs in the Chicken Scheme system have been found and fixed lately, so I need to re-test all these bugs to see if any of the more mysterious ones were artefacts of that. I'm in a bit of a vicious circle with that; the longer it is since I've been tinkering with the Ugarit internals, the longer it'll take me to get back into it, and the more nervous I feel about doing so. I think I might need to pick off some lighter bit of work with good rewards (adding a new feature, say) and handle that first, to get back into the swing of things. Either way, I'll need a good solid day to dig into it all again; trying to assemble that from sporadic hours just won't cut it.

I'm still mulling over issues in the design of ARGON. Right now I'm reading a book on handling updates to logical databases - adding new facts to them, and handling the conflicts when the new facts contradict older ones, in order to produce a new state of the database where the new fact is now true, but no contradictions remain. I need to work this out to settle on a final semantics for CARBON, which will be required to implement distributed storage of knowledge within TUNGSTEN. I need a semantics that can converge towards a consensus on the final state of the system, despite interruptions in internal network connectivity within the cluster causing updates to arrive in different orders in different places; doing that efficiently is, well, easier said than done.

I really want to finish rebuilding my furnace, which I hoped to get done this Summer, but I'm still assembling the structural supports for it. I've made a mould to cast shaped refractory bricks for the lining of the furnace, but I've yet to mix up the heatproof insulating material the bricks need to be made out of and start casting the bricks, as I still need to work out how I'll form the tuyere.

I want to get Ethernet cabled to my workshop, because currently I don't have a proper place for working on my laptop; I have to do it on the sofa in the lounge to be within range of the wifi, which isn't very ergonomic, doesn't give me access to my external screens, and is prone to interruption by children. I find it very motivating to be in "my space", too; the computer desk in the workshop is all set up the way I like it. And just for fun, I'd like to rig the workshop with computer-controlled sensors and gizmos (that kind of thing is a childhood dream of mine...).

This past year, I've tried booking two weekend days a month for my projects, in our shared calendar. This worked well at the start of the year, with projects such as the workshop ladder and eaves proceeding well, but it started to falter around the Summer when we got really busy with festivals and the like. I started having to fit half-days in around other things, which meant spending too much time getting started and clearing up compared to actually getting things done, so my morale faltered; and with so much other stuff on, I've been increasingly inclined to spend my free time just relaxing rather than getting anything done. On a couple of occasions I've tried taking a week off work to pursue my projects, but I then feel guilty about it and start allocating days to spending more time with the children or tidying the house, and before I know it, five days off becomes one day of actual project work. I need to stop feeling guilty about taking time to do the things I enjoy, because if I don't, I'll be too tired and miserable to do a good job of the things I should be doing! And rather than booking my monthly project days around other stuff that's going on, next year I'm going to mark out my two days each month in advance, and then move them elsewhere in the month if Sarah needs me to do something on that particular day, to decrease the chance of ending up having to scrape together half-days around the month (or to skip project days entirely, as I ended up doing last month). I feel awful about saying I'm going to spend days doing what I feel like doing rather than the things the rest of my family need me to drive them to, but if I don't, I think I'm going to fall apart!

Now... off and on I've spent forty minutes writing this blog post. So with my whirling thoughts dumped out, I'm going to go back to bed and see if I can sleep this time around. Wish me luck!

Of Books and Candles (by )

Sunday was the village Christmas Craft Fayre in Cranham and I shared a stall with Jeany.

Jeany selling her candles

She's been making candles out of old candle ends - this is the second time she has sold the candles like this - the first time she used the profits to by colours and some more moulds (she was initially given a kit). She took £20, paid £6 for her part of the table, spent £5 on presents and the remaining she wants to by some smells to add. (I don't think the Daddy Minion who helped her is getting any money for his efforts but the candle he liked didn't sell...)

Jean's green candles made out of old candle ends

I on the other hand sold books.

Little Books of Poetry for Sale at the Cranham Craft Fair

I sold 6! And mainly to people I didn't actually know 🙂 I had both the hand made Little Books of Festive Poetry and the properly printed Little Books of Spoogy Poetry. I was surprised that people did actually seem to want both 🙂

A herd of felt horses giddy up lavandar sheep

There were lovely felt horses and sheep which you can buy here! And lovely chainsaw sculptures 🙂 Jean told me I wasn't allowed to buy one 🙁 We don't have enough money apparently.

Books of wood Wooden dragon chain saw sculpture Chain saw wooden wizard

The excitement of it all was too much for Alaric and Mary who snoozed gently in the corner behind the stall.

Alaric and Mary found the craft fair just too much!

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