When I was young, Carmarthen was the once-a-month shopping town of choice, and no visit would be complete without going to the market. I remember it with awe - it seemed to have everything, from china dogs to legs of lamb and bulky corsets, and the smells and the noises and the people all shouting and chatting made it a very special and memorable place.
Now, it's a new, rebuilt market, and just like returning to your old primary school when you're 40, things have changed, and everything seems just a little better ordered and definitely smaller. I always go, mind, just in case the sounds and the smells and the memories are still there. And they are - in some places. The antiques man who sold my dad his two bronzes and his prized sword is still there (though now white-haired), and the butcher selling the ultimate - and little-known - delicacy of Carmarthen ham is still selling the ham though at exorbitant prices these days. The wonderful and welcoming Siop y Pentan is still the main attraction, and Mam can still buy her huge pants and support tights at the stall that sells ladies' things.
I will always look in, and always love this place. Polished off with a large and exceptionally tasty faggots and peas before traipsing back to the car and my parents' home, a little bit of me still re-lives my 10 year-old self in this wonderful place.
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