05 January 2012

The best laid Resolutions

Okay so last week my New Year’s Resolution was to have a life less busy and more funnerer.

But that’s so last week.  The best laid Resolutions of me were totally thwarted by being absolutely hammered in the shop.  Boy have we been busy!  Things have been flying off the shelves, and we’ve been hard pressed to keep up.  On Wednesday Doug had to quickly bring in three more boxes of things for me to unpack mid-morning so we could restock the by-then embarrassingly bare shelves.  It’s not sustainable for things to keep up at this pace, because we will run out of stock well before our next trip in March, let alone by the time the next consignment arrives in June.  I shan’t complain if that happens, but it will present a problem.

Meanwhile, we’re working on bringing out new things every day.  There will be a nice selection of French copper frying pans and saucepans on the wall by the weekend, and I will be working hard to get the giant Thai wooden bowls out by next week, as well as a nice brass-topped Egyptian Revival coffee table.

For the window this week we decided on a riot of colour, and I must say it looks quite striking.  I think my favourite piece is a Wedgwood Chinese Dragon jug.  It has a lovely mid-green glaze and amazing detail.  Thar be dragons at the bottom of our driveway at home (albeit water dragons) and they’re beautiful animals.  It’s interesting to see how the Chinese versions look so different from the English depictions.  But that’s just one of a number of lovely things in the window this week.  There is also a number of vividly coloured French enamel kitchen storage containers, and it’s always good when we pick up these pieces on our travels because you just can’t get these enamel colours in Australia. 

On the pictures front, we’ve sold 29 images in 3 days.  That meant we had to dash home and do a whole lot more framing, but we sourced some lovely French magazine covers, illustrations and advertisements on our last trip, so we’re sitting well on the pictures front.

So all in all, we’re back to looking very Frenchified in the shop at the moment.  It won’t last, and after every trip we look less and less French as all the noice, interesting, unusual things are carted off, until we need to run off and get more.  But meanwhile, viva la France!  We’ve started preliminary planning for the March trip, because it will be here before we know it, and Doug is very keen on a side trip to Amsterdam this time, so I’m seeing if I can work that in.  And if we’re going there we might as well drop in on Brugges on the way down to France, and the old part of that city is very beautiful and has good shopping (not to mention fabo Belgian chocolate that is a Must Buy – in fact I don’t think you’re allowed to leave the country unless you can prove you have bought at least a kilo of chocolate.  That’s what I tell Doug, anyway).  It means no south of France for the March trip, which was what I was originally considering, but I have in mind it will be a nice birthday treat for me during the September trip, so I’m fine with north instead of south for the coming trip.

Meanwhile we’re dealing with the stock bought on the last trip.  Tomorrow I shall bring in a large French wine bottle carrier, a bit more French enamel, a good combination stool and step ladder  (although someone has already asked for first option on that), some bitching giant French butcher’s hooks, and the second last lot of jewellery.  I distinctly remember buying jewellery in England, but it appears I went insanely shopaholic in Paris because boy did I buy a whole lot there.  But clearly I shopped until I fell down dead because I have no memory of buying quite so much, and I’m not just saying that because Doug might be reading this.  But what the heck, we sell heaps of jewellery so too much is not enough I say.

Calypso continues to cause a stir whenever she appears in public, and Kim (her breeder) reported that she sold 3 kittens in the last week as a direct result of people seeing and playing with Calypso.  She is a lovely gel, but I swear I really am going to have that sign made to hang around her neck, just as soon as her little neck is big enough that a giant sign won't smother her.

So no, I haven’t been less busy and no, I haven’t started work on the website (although I will be contacting the graphic designer next week to talk about the branding I have in mind for Chequered Past, which will be the name of our eShop, the sister shop to real-life shop Continuum).  But I have contacted the builder and authorised getting the engineering specifications done for the rest of our house.  So hey, not even one week into 2012 and I have made progress on 1 out of 3 New Year’s Resolutions.  And really it’s 1.5 out of 3, technically, because I have at least found the graphic designer’s details and put her on my To Do List.

Next week I will have more funnerer things to report, I’m hope.  The shop is fun, and we must be among the slacker business owners in Eumundi, working 25 hours a week, holding a mini coffee club every week with visitors who linger for a chat, and sodding off to Europe twice a year.  But we do have set hours we are open, and that means getting up and going to work even on the days when I would prefer to go and have breakfast at the Noosa Surf Club, followed by a stroll along the beach.  And I feel like that most days, but do I go and eat Eggs Benedict and get some sand between my toes whenever I feel like it?  No I don’t.  That’s dedication, people.  It’s the next thing to being a Wage Slave, I swear.  Okay I’m lying about that, but anyway it’s work of a kind.

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