08 December 2011

The End (of the wait) Is Nigh

What a good week.  Friends came by to help set up the shop’s Christmas Tree, which we decided to decorate with jewellery.  So we blinged-up the tree and had a laugh and a bit of fun doing it, and it looked pretty.  For the coming week the plan was to deck the tree with kitchen utensils (fa la la la lah, la la la la).  Nice, French, enamel kitchen utensils.  Trust me, it would look good.  Undoubtedly odd, and not your usual Christmas Tree attire, but it would look good.  However, Douglas came up with the fabulous idea of decorating the tree with lots of our hand-blown glass Japanese fishing floats.  They’re about 100 years old and beautiful.  Each one is unique because it’s hand-made, and they should glint nicely in the light.  So this idea wins, and that is the decorating plan for the window today.

We’ve decided to not have a Christmas Tree at home this year, because it is certain that I would soon be reporting on The Great Christmas Tree Disaster, with Calypso seeking to be the furry angel on top of the tree and it all ending in tears.  She is sufficiently ratbagish and knows no fear, plus she’s a baby for whom a real tree with gently waving branches and lots of twinkly baubles would be too much temptation.  She went absolutely nuts when she noticed a giant stick insect outside our kitchen window this morning, and tried to shimmy up the window frame to get to it.  She crashed and burned (and spilt water and cat food everywhere) but the point is that she didn’t hesitate to try to climb when something interesting caught her attention. 

The very first thing she did when she came into the shop after the Christmas Tree in the window was erected was try to pull it down.  Every time she goes near it she starts batting at it and chewing the pine needles and testing the strength of the branches, and that’s under my supervision, let alone by herself in the middle of the night in our lounge room.  So there’s no point ignoring trouble when it’s so clearly staring you in the face, and this year we shall go Tree-less and see how things shape up next year.

Meanwhile, yay!, the good ship Bunga Raya Dua has finally docked in the Port of Brisbane with our new shipment aboard.  So far so nothing from Customs and Quarantine, but we live in hope that they will live up to their claim of clearing goods within 3-4 days of it being offloaded from the ship.  So far it’s never been less than a fortnight to get clearance from them, but a girl’s got to have something to hope for and dream about, right?

I have taken the quiet time prior to the arrival of our new shipment to catch up on some reading.  Am I the last person on the planet to have finally read Stieg Larsson’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?  And the other two books in the series, naturally.  It took a while for me to get my eye around all the Swedish names, but what good books they are.  Got me intrigued early on, and then I had to devote almost every waking moment to them until they were finished.  One of the benefits of being self-employed is that you can elect to not be particularly employed whenever you want, and I elected to lay around reading books this week so that was that.  We shall run about like idiots once we take delivery of the new shipment, so resting and building up my reserves was entirely justified.  That’s what I say.

Of course that means that I am now horribly behind in getting the description and price tags ready for the things that will be put straight into the shop once we take delivery.  So I have a few days of solid work ahead of me, but I’ll get there.  We are sufficiently well organised that I know exactly what is in each box (okay it’s more-or-less rather than exactly, but mostly I know what is where).  And that means I can predetermine what stock will come out on Unpack Night.  Unpack Night happens the night on which we have taken delivery of the new shipment.  We hire a truck and dash down to Brisbane to collect it, then bolt back home, throw the boxes into various storage facilities, then bring the boxes of stock for which I have prepared the description and price tags straight into the shop and unpack them that night.

Unpack Night is getting bigger every year, as various people decide to get a jump on everyone else, and see the first of the stuff immediately as it’s being unpacked.  Many things don’t actually make it into the shop because they are snapped up as soon they are lifted from the boxes, but hey it’s the quick and the dead around here.  So anyway, Unpack Night tends to be a long night for us, but it’s fun and it signals the start a busy and interesting period in the shop.   Plus it’s the date upon which I can officially start planning the next trip.  It’s The Rule – I can’t start planning the next trip until the stock from the previous trip has arrived.  Don’t know why – it’s just The Rule.

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