10 November 2011

Generalized Rabbiting On

Hey I now have a second-most favourite bit of television dialogue.  I’m afraid nothing can beat Get a jog on, you sour-faced slag, ‘fore I slap you silly, as my most favourite piece of television dialogue ever, and I await with anxious anticipation my chance to use this line in the shop.  But everyone for ages has been very nice, so I shall have to bide my time.

However, my new second-most favourite piece of television dialogue is Butt-clenchingly awesome! Now that’s awesome.  I heard it on an advertisement for some fishing show, and not being a fisherperson myself I can’t say I get their excitement, but I did like the line a lot and shall now endeavour to have a butt-clenchingly awesome experience myself.  The only thing I can think of right now is to fling myself off a bridge in Queenstown (NZ).  Doug says he refuses to bungy jump with me, citing some nonsense about an oedema in the back of his eyeball.  So I have to find a suitable experience that he is prepared to do.  I shall ponder this for a bit.

Meanwhile, although life appears to be a bit on hold while we wait impatiently for the next consignment of stock to arrive – and hopefully it’s somewhere around Singapore as I type – in fact the shop has been quite busy since we’ve been back from our buying trip.  Last week was our best week in three months, and things have been going really well since we’ve been back even with rapidly diminishing stock, so that bodes well for a spike in sales when the new stuff arrives.  We finally got around to framing the first of the French prints and they started selling immediately, so that was good news, although it means a bit more framing coming up in the next few days. 

The jewellery has been going like hot cakes, but fortunately I buy a lot, lot, lot of jewellery.  We usually start to run out of jewellery just before a buying trip is due, but I was hoping this time I had bought sufficient that there would be plenty even while we’re off buying more next March.  It doesn’t normally work out that we have much left over so close to the next buying trip, and jewellery is selling so fast at the moment I’m already having concerns about how long the current stockpile will last, but we’ll see.  I’d be crazy to complain about making a lot of sales, but it’s difficult when I can’t replace items until the next buying trip.

Doug is already coming up with good suggestions for Play Days for the next trip, and if I can factor them in early in the piece then I can also organise a bit of buying in the vicinity of wherever it is we’ve decided to play.  That way we can combine business and pleasure and it’s all good.  We’ve got a real hankering to head right down south in France next trip – we haven’t been to the Cote d’Azur for quite a while because it’s a very long drive from Paris and you’ve got to commit to quite a while in France.  But what the heck, why not?  The last time we drove along the main boulevard on the Monaco seafront we were in a daggy old red former postal van, which we used to transport all the antiques we bought, so it was an essential vehicle for us but we did kind of stand out massively among all the Ferraris and Maseratis and the crowds of Beautiful People. 

But not to be daunted, we took our daggy old red former postal van to St Tropez beach, where we discovered that, Dahling, the only way to arrive there is by helicopter.  Of course.  Anything else is so passé.  I’ll see your Ferarri and raise you a Guimbal G-2 Cabri.

To our eyes St Tropez was an unimpressive pebble beach, with the only distinguishing features being the many, many late middle-aged men with giant bellies, but nut brown rather than the bright red which is the hallmark of so many English potbellies in summer.  And at least the French lotharios didn’t wear knotted hankies on their heads, as their British brethren are want to do.  There were also an unnaturally large number of very pretty bikini girls, and there appears to be no choice in the St Tropez swimming costume shops but to buy g-strings, so what is a girl to do but give in to fashion?  And at least every single one of these gels had the perkiest buttocks you can imagine.  Butt-clenchingly awesome buttocks, you could say.

Anyway, even though we would make our long-awaited return to the south of France in yet another van, albeit a Europcar van rather than a daggy old red former postal van, we are inclined to revisit past haunts and see if the buying has improved at all.  The south of France prices for everything tend to be aimed at Excessively Rich People and American tourists.  In more recent times free-spending American tourists might be few and far between, which leaves only the Excessively Rich people to buy the expensive stuff, so maybe the expensive stuff has started to revert to more-reasonably-priced stuff.  Only one way to find out.

Mind you, even in its hey-day of being a mecca for Excessively Rich People and American tourists, we did some pretty good buying at Isle de la Sorgue.  We once bought two lovely tapestries that had hung in a local museum for a couple of hundred years and had faded to sepia and other earthy shades over that time.  The dealer we bought them from had acquired them from the museum only the day before, and in my broken French I tried to chat with him and tell him how in Australia museums don’t tend to leave fabrics in direct sun for a few hundred years, thus destroying their original colours.  Ah, he said, it’s no problem – there’s plenty more where these came from.  And in Europe I guess that is exactly right, there is no shortage of beautiful old things, although as a general rule I think things as fragile as textiles are better cared for.  Still, the museum’s loss was our gain and now I’m reminded of these tapestries I must dig them out of our container and present them for sale.  Getting into the bowels of our container will be a major archaeological dig in itself, but I know they’re there somewhere.

Mischka is Shop Manager today, and she is in disgrace for chasing an insect in the front window and in doing so pulling a small stained glass window on herself and breaking it.  Miss Boof Head is perfectly fine, but the window is cactus.  And then this afternoon we have had an on-going battle because she spotted the gecko that lives in the shop and runs along the wall near the ceiling, and she’s gone nuts trying to climb the walls to get it.  Attempting to climb walls full of antique French prints is something I frown upon.  A bit further along the wall is a series of large old French copper saucepans which are hung off butcher’s hooks, which she could impale herself on, so really climbing any part of the wall is frowned upon.  Finally, only some sharp words and a smacked bum convinced her to listen to me and behave herself.  Now she’s pretending to snooze on the desk next to me, but has cunningly positioned herself so she can keep a weather eye on the bit of wall where the gecko was last spotted.  But I’m awake to moggy tactics of pretending to be good when in fact the exact opposite is planned, so we shall see who wins.

This week I really need to get stuck into the task of preparing descriptor and price tags for a lot of the stock arriving in December.  It’s a real problem, though, when you buy over 1000 things and see each of those items for a very brief period before moving on to the next purchase.  Looking through my catalogue, I can see a whole lot of things that sound pretty good in theory, but I have no memory of what I’m talking about.  So I’ll be able to prepare a proportion of the descriptor and price tags in advance, but the rest will have to wait until the unpacking begins and I can again see what I bought.  Unpacking and reinspecting what you bought is always a bit of fun.

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