10 August 2012

The Buying Habits of Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs

After last week’s mega sales, this week turned out to be pretty ordinary.  It was not helped at all by the Saturday Market Day coinciding with a bike and car show organized just outside of town by the Black Uhlans, a local bikie group.  Outlaw motorcycle gangs tend not to be our demographic, it has to be said.  But what do these boys buy?  Obviously they favour black clothes (so chic if a little grubby).  There wasn’t a cheery red motorcycle helmet among the lot – so yep it was all black again, and clearly no shiny helmets were allowed - had to be mean matt black helmets.  Very worn jeans that were probably blue to begin with and had many designer holes and frays were de rigueur.  You can buy pre-grunged jeans just like that from Diesel, so even beginner bikies can have instant bikie chic if they want. 

Caleb asleep despite the best efforts of the Black Uhlans
But it’s clear they don’t spend any money on mufflers.  So the day was spent with really REALLY loud motorbikes madly driving up and down the main street – Look at me, Mum! Look at me, Mum! – which everyone found totally annoying.  Even Caleb, who can sleep the sleep of the dead once we find his Off Button, was waking up and getting all grumpy at the noise.  We all were. 

Things the Black Uhlans
Don't Like Part I - French
UFO Lamp

There were plenty of Police about, a number wearing their body armour, and every single car coming into Eumundi from the north (our direction) was stopped for a breath test.  A few cars were also selected by the Police to be thoroughly searched, I suppose in search of guns or drugs, but conservative little us were waved through the Police lines so we got to work more-or-less on time.  So anyway, that’s over for another year and hopefully next week we can go back to a more civilized approach to Market Day.

Things the Black Uhlans
Don't Like Part II -
English Art Deco Jug

And now we can tick off another group that is not part of our sales demographic:

Grey Nomads who have downsized and want to sell you hideous things they say they’ve never liked and their family certainly doesn’t want – No

Old Ladies who had what you’ve got but better and fancy how much it’s now worth but they threw theirs out years ago – No

Westies who haven’t got the faintest idea what they’re looking at but want to loudly tell you how they could buy cheaper at K-Mart - No

Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs – No

Things the Black Uhlans Don't Like
Part III - Harry the Dog Door Stop
How fortunate that most people don’t fit into these demographics.  Hurrah for normal people!

My trusty stylists were back in action yesterday, so this week we’ve gone Pretty in Pink in the window.  We have plenty of French Art Deco glass in various shades from peach to pink, not to mention some English cranberry glass and a couple of Italian end-of-day glass fishes in ox-blood, and we’ve teamed that with a bit of white kitchenalia (scales and pestle & mortar) the last of my giant chinoiserie tea tins, which has a lot of red in it, and some brass-faced Salters hanging scales.  Plus we’ve thrown some white hydrangeas into an old French watering can (similar to the one Caleb can be seen in later in this bulletin) and some purpley-blue hydrangeas in the last of the French grapes buckets, and the overall effect is completely different to last week and really quite pretty.  And this is not the window any passing Black Uhlan would have seen, by-the-way, so it’s not like Pink is to Uhlan as Cross is to Vampire that put them off.

Part of this week's Pink Window
Planning for the September buying trip is now well advanced, with the accommodation in Bangkok each way booked (don’t you love it when 5 Star hotels have half price sales?  Yay!), the van booked, the train to France booked, the itinerary for the UK and France now finalized and accommodation being investigated.  There’s a fair bit of planning that goes into each buying trip, but a detailed itinerary allows you to be very productive when you have to be, and also allows time for play days.  We’ve got to have play days, because there is a limit to how much Retail Therapy you can take at one go.  No, really, it’s true.

Caleb has well and truly settled into the household, and he is fast friends with Calypso in particular.  They sleep cuddled up every night – and not on the bed, which is even better – and play endlessly.  He is one Ninja Kamikaze Kitten, and often times I will look up from my cup-of-tea-in-bed in the mornings to see him flying towards me like a squirrel glider, all four legs akimbo and claws fully flexed.  He doesn’t care where he lands, and I’ve almost worn my cup-of-tea-in-bed several times. 
Calypso & Caleb at work together

We brought both Caleb and Calypso into the shop on Sunday, which was fun for the couple of hours we open on Sundays but I wouldn’t do it for any longer at this point.  Eventually they stopped playing and settled down on the tray on my desk, but there wasn’t room for them to both recline comfortably so as soon as I had to deal with a customer they both seized my chair and I didn’t have the heart to evict them.  But standing for the entire shift isn’t going to work for me, so we’ll have to reconsider our approach if we’re going to bring more than one moggie at a time into the shop.



Caleb is into absolutely everything, so you really have to watch where he is at any time.  He totally failed his first test with a toilet roll – what is it about Bengals that they have to totally annihilate every single toilet roll or roll of kitchen paper left unguarded?  We’ve never had another cat that showed the slightest interest in turning paper into confetti, but Calypso and Caleb seem to be genetically programmed to hunt down and kill all toilet rolls.  Caleb is also discovering the joys of effective ambushing, and had tremendous fun hiding in a French watering can while making enough noise to lure passing moggies to investigate.  He’d then leap up and make a wild grab at his intended victim, and while he was extremely clumsy and entirely unsuccessful, he did have a lot of fun.  And the intended victims kept coming back for more, so clearly they were enjoying the game too. 

Laying in wait for the next victim
Even Klaatu, who Caleb is a bit wary off after Klaatu gave him some serious Evil Eye glares early in the piece, got into the spirit of letting himself be “surprised”.  Caleb never tries to jump on Klaatu, as he does constantly with the girls, and entirely behaves himself around his big brother, as he never does with the girls.  But having established the ground rules with the new boy, Klaatu is now relaxing and starting to play with him and give him a bit of face washing.  Only Artemis is prepared to wash Caleb in the unsavoury parts that you could normally only expect your mother to tackle, but Klaatu is happy to do a bit of face washing.  So the integration has gone very well, and we are entirely a happy household again, not withstanding that most of us are still getting unexpectedly leapt on by a Ninja Kamikaze Kitten most days.

Calypso fleeing the Mad Attacker

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