11 May 2012

Sunshine on Australia's Sunshine Coast

How nice is it when the sun is shining, the sky is cornflower blue, the breezes are cool and light, and the beach is almost empty except for you?  Even the water is a pleasant temperature right now, and walking along the beach in lovely weather at 9.00am on a week day is good for your soul.  I don’t mind it when it’s cold and windy and raining either, but it’s so pleasant to have a morning stroll and get a bit of sand between your toes.  And then in the evenings it’s turning cold and we’ve lit fires every night for the last week, so the house is snug and cosy.  Autumn and winter are the best times of year on the Sunshine Coast, I reckon.

And then into the shop, where we’ve been amazingly busy since we’ve been back.  We’ve sold masses of jewellery, French pictures, French copper, Deco glass, antiquities, most of the wooden textile spools are now gone, heaps of the Ming pottery shards have been snapped up, books and cutlery.  I’ve taken the opportunity of turning some of the Roman carnelian beads into a few necklaces, and the benefit of valuing adding like this means that customers can wear them straight away, without having to source the materials to make them into necklaces and then go to the effort themselves.  So far in two weeks I’ve sold a bit over half of the carnelian beads I managed to source, so now we’ll see how turning them into necklaces goes.

All the big French keys are now buffed and in the shop, plus two of the French tailors’ scissors.  We’ve started to frame the latest batch of French advertisements and boy they look good.  You’ve got to wonder why companies don’t advertise using such stylish images these days, because people liking them enough to hang on their walls is surely great advertising. 

All the moggies have settled back in to their Shop Manager roles, and their various fan clubs have been calling by to say hello.  There is usually a strong reaction to Calypso with first-time visitors, but a few people in the last week have said Is that a cat? when they’ve seen her.  I didn’t know how to reply at first – what the hell did they think she is? – but now I say No, it’s a special sort of fish.  Let the dumb-arses think about that.  Calypso has decided she doesn’t like small children bodging her in the face – and why should she? – so she’s taken to hissing at them if they go beyond their welcome and bodge for too long.  Why do parents just stand their and watch their children be rough with animals?  The other moggies turn their backs or walk off if they tire of people, but Calypso seems to feel that the ones who move away should be the ones annoying her, not her.  She’s such a cuddly, schmoozy girl in all other situations, but I must say her hiss is very effective even on whole groups, with everyone taking a step back when she decides enough is enough.  Go girl!  She never bites or scratches, never ever, but she does give fair warning that she’s capable of doing it if you’re too rough and don’t back off.

On the home front we’re still working our way through the myriad television shows that our house sitters taped for us.  Up-to-date now with StarTrek Next Generation, and just have Voyager to go (yes, I’m a StarTrek geek and my insidious influence is finally getting Doug interested as well), I’m up-to-the-minute with Revenge, and now I’m working through Stargate Universe.  Not so many shows to look at, but when you’re away for five weeks it’s amazing how often they seem to be on.  At least I haven’t missed the second series of Downton Abbey – it was on in England while we were there last October but I didn’t watch it because I knew I couldn’t see the whole series – and it appears it will be shown in Australia soon.  Having toured Highclere Castle during our October trip it will be fun to watch the show again, to see if we recognize the different rooms.

I’ve also finished the latest Joe Abercrombie book – he’s turning into one of my favourite authors, plus the first book by Daniel Abraham, who I think I will be following as long as he’s writing.  I’m waiting for the final Wheel of Time book, which I think will be published next January, and goodness knows when the next George R.R. Martin book will be out.  In theory I would like to be a professional writer, but I have no imagination I’m afraid, so I’m consigned to waiting impatiently for others to get their acts together and produce books I want to read.

This weekend in Eumundi is the Body Art Festival, which will be interesting but won’t do anything for our sales.  We’ve been through three Body Art Festivals during our time in the shop, so we can say with some surety that mostly naked gels covered in paint and middle-aged men with cameras aren’t our demographic.  Some of the body art is very splendid, and there are some talented artists out there.  But this Festival just doesn’t draw people interested in doing much beyond gawking at mostly naked gels covered in paint so I expect sales will be down for the fourth year in a row this weekend.  Oh well, lucky last week was seriously good.  Roll on Woofstock (the Dog Festival later in the year), which draws crowds from a wide cross-section of the community and is great for our sales.

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