01 October 2011

Hot and Tired but Triumphant

We had a quiet day on Wednesday, with a little bit of shopping and a whole lot of packing.  The centre we often visit in the Midlands provided slim pickings this time.  Every trip is different, but this time there was a great deal of reproduction and the real things were often very over-priced.  We found some bits and bobs to buy, but not many.  I remember that last trip I overheard some dealers talking about their way to deal with tough financial times was to put their prices up a lot, so you didn’t make as many sales but when you did they were really good.  This seemed to be an extraordinary tactic to us, but indeed it appears to have been embraced by most sellers in the centre.  From 160 dealers we bought just 12 items.  Sorry expensive dealers, but I still want bargains.  Fortunately, the big Fairs are just a few days off and I should be well-satisfied then.

As we’ve been driving around the countryside we’ve again noticed the Brits’ proclivity to add apparently extraneous letters to the names of their towns.  I mean if you’re not going to pronounce all the letters, why include them?  So Wymondham is actually pronounced Windam, Towcester is Toaster, Worcester is Wooster, Mousehole is Mauzil, and so on.  This must make it hard for people learning English, let alone blow-ins from Australia who are supposed to already speak the language.  Or Convicts, as we’re often called. 

New Zealanders are Kiwis and we’re Convicts, apparently.  Or Colonials.  And yet I heard on the radio the other day that one in five English people are trying right now to migrate to Australia or actively thinking about it.  So even though they often still try to denigrate us with smartarse names, they still want to join us.  I remember some years ago when I was Vice Consul in the Australian Consulate in the UK I refused a visa to a man with a considerable criminal record.  He got very sneery with me and said But you used to take convicts.  Ah, if only you had applied 200 years ago, I said.  He didn’t appreciate my humour, but I enjoyed my own joke.

The weather continues to be glorious, with blue, blue skies and not a cloud in sight.  Temperatures are consistently 10 degrees above average for this time of year and as a result a lot of plants are again flowering, so there is the odd sight of spring flowers with autumn leaves.  Looks good, though I’m not sure how good it is for the plants.

I was watching the BBC this morning and learned that the castle that features as Camelot in the TV show Merlin is a real castle.  I thought it was computer-generated because it looks too fairy-tale, but it’s real and it’s called Chateau de Pierrefonds and is in Picardy in the north of France.  And we shall be in the north of France in about a week, so we might go looking for it.  Apparently visitors are allowed to wander about even when they’re filming the show so I could end up doing better than last trip, when I was filmed in the background of Bargain Hunt seven times, and this time I could end up being Witch Number 3 in the background in Merlin.

So now it’s Friday and today was the first of the big northern Fairs.  Ah, happy days.  It took seven hours to get around the Fair, and our feet are worn down to the knees.  It was dang hot, and now I’m sunburned as well as really tired.  If you ever want to get over an addiction to Retail Therapy, this is the job for you.  I was having fun, but was still ready to stop shopping.  As usual we paid extra for ‘trade entry’ at 7am, but you sure could tell when the punters were let in at 10am because suddenly there was hardly room to move.  I got lots of things I set out to find, so now we have some particularly lovely enamelware, good Art Deco glass, a couple of beautiful ceramic owls and pickle jars are well and truly back under control.  There’s no way I will run out of pickle jars this time.  Jewellery is off to a roaring start, yay!  And yet another Murano end-of-day fish, but this time much bigger than usual and mostly a lovely deep red.  I now have a particularly big school of fish coming back.  What’s the term for a particularly big school of fish?  I think it’s just a particularly big school of fish. 

Prices this time were mostly very reasonable, so there were plenty of bargains to be had and that means my own prices can reflect that, which is good news for everyone.  After the Fair we drove a few hours west to position ourselves for the next Fair, which is small in comparison with the mega Fairs but held in a lovely Stately Home in the west Midlands.  I’m not expecting as many bargain buys as today, but you never know.  Well I do know, really, and there won’t be as many bargains, but we’re going anyway.

When I'm not so tired I shall experiment with downloading some photos of stuff, but right now I'm only capable of sitting back and watching telly and eating Chinese takeaway.  What a glamorous life we lead!

No comments:

Post a Comment