03 February 2013

Play Dates, Sausages & Forgotten Treasure

Noosa Main Beach.  Oh dear, those rocks are
meant to be under a thick layer of sand.
This week was quiet in the shop, but last week was really excellent so it all evens out.  And other than the damage to the driveway at home we emerged from the storms and floods relatively unscathed.  But not everyone can make the same claim.  We visited Noosa Main Beach during the week and boy did that take a pounding in the storms.  It was the only beach open for days on the Sunshine Coast, and it makes you wonder how bad the others must be.  Still, the other end of the beach was entirely undamaged and just fine for a morning walk. 

The other end of Noosa Main Beach.  We'd not
seen the water so high up the beach before, but
it was still good for a walk.
It was another big week for jewellery sales – we always sell lots of jewellery, so thank goodness the latest consignment arrived on Thursday - and started selling on Thursday.  And I rearranged the shop to take the Dutch piano trolley out of the front window, where hardly anyone noticed it, and put it front and centre in the shop.  Suddenly everyone is commenting on it and asking if we’ve only just brought it out.  It makes you wonder how something that size could go unnoticed in the window, but it also points to the power of proper placement.
New in the shop this week - extra
large French deep blue enamel
kitchen storage container.
Finally Polly the Poodle came back for a play date with Caleb, and what a sweet and funny encounter that was.  Caleb was really keen to play, and jumped off the desk to greet her the moment she walked through the door.  And then chased her around the shop.  Polly wagged her tail a lot and washed Caleb’s ears a lot, but he’s used to wild chasey with the gang at our house and Polly wasn’t really ready for the full-on version.  She retreated behind her owner’s legs a lot, but always came back for more.   At one point Caleb grabbed Polly’s leash and laid on it to prevent her from retreating, so she had to come back and play.

At first Polly the Poodle (and Polly's owner)
wasn't entirely sure that Caleb
just wanted to play.  But there were
no claws, and look at that tail sticking
straight up.

I’m amazed at how self-assured Caleb is around dogs he’s never met, especially when you consider that big sister Calypso doesn’t like dogs one single bit and if they get too close they get the Bengal Death Stare, and if necessary a very impressive snarl. No phaffing about with growling, she goes straight to a I’m-going-to-rip-your-throat-out-now snarl, which always works to keep the mutts (and their owners) at a respectful distance. But Caleb loves dogs, and had a great time with Polly the Poodle.

After chasing her around for a while,
Caleb was happy to wait for Polly to
regather her courage.

In breaking news, finally, finally this week we have approved the final drawings for the next stage of our house.  Yes, we all thought the day would never arrive, but at last we found a builder and designer who were not only on the same page as us, but they also came up with intelligent suggestions that looked good and saved money.  It’s taken so long to find a builder who thought about good design and didn’t ignore our budget.  When we mentioned things like proportion to other builders and designers they’d just blink at us and clearly have no idea what we were banging on about.  How can people in the construction industry not be able to discuss proportion in architecture?  And yet it happened a lot.  And who would have thunk that we would find a builder who isn’t obsessed with milking us for every last cent and who doesn’t appear to think that we’re morons who are just going to fork it out without considering if we were getting value for money? 
You're not going anywhere, Polly.

So yes, this Blog will shortly morph into a discussion of antiques buying and selling, pussycats and the joys of building.  But hey, that’s our lives right now.  It means that the final decision on a buying trip in March/April this year has been made, and it’s a no.  I mean, the builder seems to be very fabulous but we’re still not prepared to leave him to his own devices for four or five weeks right in the middle of the build.  This is a big investment, and we intend to project manage it. 

We’ll miss not having the buying trip, but hopefully we’ll be having fun here instead.  And now we’ll positively have to dig into the storage container and unearth the stock that we packed away about 15 years ago.  These were items we placed in an antiques centre in Sydney for a short time, and plenty more that never made it into that centre, that we bought while living in the UK for three years. 
Until next time, Polly.  I'll probably be bigger
than you pretty soon, but I'll still play nice.
Back in those days I was on posting in the Australian Consulate and was expected to turn up to work most of the time, but Doug and his mates got to gad all about the UK and often ducked over to France and returned bearing all sorts of good stuff.  On his first trip to France when I couldn’t go he promised to return with a fabulous present.  The man was in France – was it so unreasonable for me to expect Chanel?  At any rate, I anticipated some nice perfume or lovely jewels.  I got Toulouse sausages.  He almost got Toulouse sausages up his nose.  And then he had the gall to eat half of them! 
New in the shop, and not at all
unreasonable for a gel to expect for a gift -
French lapis lazuli & turquoise
on silver brooch.
Yes, the sausages were actually very delicious, but nonetheless we were obliged to have a little chat about how the party wot gets to go to France has certain obligations towards the party wot gets to go to work. And those obligations involve jewellery or some such. I crashed the office car into a stone wall by skidding on black ice on the way to work one morning (did I ever mention that to Central Office? Sorry about that, Central Office) and that evening when Doug called from France he was complaining that they hadn’t been able to get a table in the restaurant they wanted. We had another small chat that did not include me saying Oh you poor love, fancy not getting the crème brulee you wanted.
So anyway, when we moved to Queensland we didn’t know we’d be opening a shop here, so we packed the boxes with the stock into a shipping container for future consideration, and there they have stayed ever since. So it’s going to be exciting to unearth treasures that have lain there, wrapped and forgotten, for so long. We could call in Time Team! And we’re going to have to make a start on finding the boxes with these treasures soon – naturally they are as far back into a fully packed container as you can get – because if we’re not going on the March buying trip we’re going to need stock replenishment from somewhere. Watch this space!

Can you imagine this beautiful girl snarling at you?  Get used to it, if you're a dog.

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