08 November 2012

Life's a Beach

Noosa Main Beach on a Thursday morning
Opposite end of the beach, with a storm approaching
Isn’t it nice to start the day with a walk along the beach?  Doug calls our walks Strategic Planning Conferences, because we do a lot of walking and a lot of talking about everything in general but often the business in particular.  Today the weather was incredibly variable, but we only got a bit wet.  My hair is still quite straight from the industrial strength straightening I had done the last time we passed through Singapore, so I’m still largely immune to the frizzy hair that rain and high humidity normally gives me. 
Lid of a large vintage Japanese themed
Cadbury's tin I bought at the Fair    
This week we visited a local Antiques Fair, which is one we are considering taking a stand at after we move on from the shop.  OMG you should have seen the prices!  I alternated between being outraged (as a potential buyer) and entirely encouraged (as a potential seller).  We could shut the shop right now and not change our prices and still have the best stand at the Fair and by far the best prices.  And we’re a retail shop, with rent and insurance and GST and business tax and utilities, etc, etc, versus $140 for taking a stand at the Fair.  Once we don’t have all the expenses that come with a shop our already low prices can come down even further, so we shall be unbeatable. 
This tin is nice and looks
vintage but is not really old
For this visit all I walked away with was two nice tins, one fairly new and one vintage.  It would be an utter disaster if I visited an Antiques Fair in England or France and only found two things that were worth buying and affordable.  And the new tin was only worth it because it was attractive, not because it was remotely antique – even though it was being offered at an Antiques Fair.  The lady tried to convince me that it is old, but it so isn’t.  It’s totally Buyer Beware when you buy at these venues.

I was spitting that I forgot to bring my camera with me because Gordon Brown (from the Australian antiques show The Collectors) was on hand to provide valuations.  And what a fascinating exercise that appeared to be.  I wasn’t able to watch for long because we did actually have a shop to open, but I did get to see his reactions to two pieces.
A hugely nicer Victorian ceramic salad bowl
than the one poor Gordon had to evaluate
The first was a Victorian ceramic salad bowl.  I’ve seen an awful lot of these bowls and currently have a lovely one on offer in the shop, but the lady at the Fair dragged out the ugliest I’ve ever seen.  It was Wedgwood, and that was its only good feature – its name.  As for the rest, it had three bulbous claw & ball feet in gold and two different designs on the body that in no way complimented each other.  It was seriously hideous.
Calypso spots a lizard, but Caleb is just chilling.
But our Gordon has learned the Art of Diplomacy:  Mmmm, interesting, he said. Noice, different, unusual I whispered to the woman standing next to me, which made her cackle very loudly and everyone turned to look at us.  We smiled innocent smiles back at them until Gordon returned to his discussion of a piece that was surely made by Wedgwood for people to give as gifts to their enemies when gift giving was unavoidable.
Artemis spots the lizard, but Caleb is just chilling
The second piece was a Chinese porcelain mug with a removable tea strainer and a lid.  The lady took the lid out first, and even at my distance I could immediately see that it was reproduction.  And up close, Gordon could clearly see that it was.  Mmmm, he said again.  He told her he was sorry but it was new, but she didn’t want to accept that because of the chop (signature in Chinese) on the bottom.  And yet it was new and he could not say otherwise.  She grimaced at him – I think she was trying to smile – and told him that it was good to know the truth, but given her reaction I wondered how much she had paid for it.

Even Klaatu comes to look at the lizard,
but Mr Oblivious keeps chilling
I was fascinated by these exchanges and wanted to stay for longer, but got dragged off by Doug so I could go and open the shop.  We popped home to pick up Caleb, who we brought in because I had been emailed by people who had read the Blog and asked to meet Caleb the Klepto Kitten.  Oh boy, what a commotion he caused!  A little bit of thievery has turned him into quite the celebrity.  Helped by how beautiful and sweet natured he is, of course.  He is well on his way to joining Calypso as the most photographed thing in Eumundi, and he’s just learning how to pose nicely for people so that went down very well with all of his admirers. 
Kim from Catwalk Bengals (Calypso & Caleb’s breeder) informs me that his grandmoggie was also a thief in her youth, with a particular preference for sink plugs.  So when you consider nature versus nurture, it’s not that he’s a poorly brought up pussycat at all – it’s an inherited trait – he’s Klepto by nature!

I have recommenced work on the website, with new jewellery and images being added this week.  We bought a whole lot of jewellery, vintage French pictures and antique English botanical images on this trip, so I’ll be adding new things for some time to come.
No matter how high your vantage point is, the view is better from just a little bit higher.

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