31 May 2013

Signed, Sealed, Delivered - It's Yours

Caleb's favourite Tuesday afternoon
position - knocking out zeds
on our computer chair.
Not a lot happening this week.  Except that the shop is now officially sold – Yay! Welcome to Malcolm as the new owner.  We’ve had heaps of fun here for the last five years and I’m sure he will, too.

It took a while because Malcolm’s stoopid bloody solicitor said he forgot that getting the Lease signed was urgent, even though Doug and I and Malcolm all told him it was urgent when we signed the contract of sale two weeks ago.  But seeing how Malcolm’s not taking over the shop until 1 July, his solicitor told him that he saw no reason to hurry and had forgotten that no Lease = no shop sale.  So when he was firmly reminded of this he hurriedly put together some gobbledegook that was entirely wrong.  But in the end it was done correctly and now all parties have signed their lives away.  Preparing a retail tenancy lease is pretty basic stuff in legal terms, but hey pay for a country hack get a country hack.  Little did Malcolm’s solicitor know that our meeting with him and our assessment of his performance was a secret audition to see if we would use him ourselves for future exercises in which we might require the services of a solicitor.  Yep, he failed. 

Our previous solicitor – also a country hack and now sacked - firstly charged $500 just for farting (as Doug so crudely put it), gave incorrect advice, needed to have relevant legislation correctly interpreted by us before he would concede he gave incorrect advice, and then still tried to charge a huge amount in order to confirm that he’d given incorrect advice.  You might be surprised to learn that he’s currently under investigation by the Legal Services Commission for corruption and over-servicing.  You might be, but we're not.  I’m beginning to feel all Richard III – my Kingdom for a Decent Solicitor.  Fortunately we don’t need legal services very often, but it would be nice to have a good lawyer on call when you do need them.

And in addition to incompetent legal assistance, we’ve also encountered the bureaucrats at the Council.  The builders are working on the profiling to determine where the house’s post holes will go as I type, and next week they will build the stairs from the carport to the house site, but that’s as far as they can go until the Council gives its final approvals.  According to Council there are things that need to be done that no-one else agrees needs to be done, but when you’re the Council you have the power to entirely hold up a project just because. 
You woke me up for this? 
You are beyond tedious.

So the first issue was that they decided additional soil tests were required.  Oh no they’re not, said our engineers.  Oh yes they are, said the Council, and we’re the Council so we win.  But then our engineers again produced all previous soil test results and asked what else the Council could possibly want, seeing how there isn’t a square inch of our building site that hasn’t already been soil tested.  So, grudgingly, the Council conceded that they didn’t really need additional soil tests at all. 

But wait!  Then there was something else the Council needed – advice from the engineers that our sewerage treatment plant would not be overloaded by adding an additional bedroom to the house.  Our system can accommodate a household of 10 people.  We’re a household of 2 people.  We currently have 1 bedroom, and are getting all wild and crazy and extending to 2 bedrooms.  So if you count on a few fingers, stick your tongue out and squint, you can probably add up that our current treatment plant will be sufficient.  Yes it’s advanced mathematics, but if you concentrate you’ll probably conclude that a system for 10 will deal with 4 people (presuming that our spare room becomes permanently occupied).  So okay, eventually that point was also conceded. 

One of the large original Circus window
cards we're offering in the shop this week. 
c1970, $86.


We also offered this French clown image, which sold the day we put her on the wall. 
She's a Clownesse, apparently. 
Guess what Circus image every single man
visiting the shop preferred?
But wait!  What about the sprinkler system that disperses the water from the treatment plant? asked the Council.  Is it sufficient for a household of 10 people?  Doug and I exchanged glances.  I gave him my Do-you-have-any-idea-what-the-hell-they’re-on-about raised eyebrow look.  He gave me his Stuffed-if-I-know frown.  So we were obliged to ask - what bit of “we’re a household of 2 and the maximum we can become is a household of 4, seeing how we're moving from 1 bedroom to 2" wasn't clear? 
Le Sourire French vintage magazine cover. 
Coming onto the website this week.
It's dated 4 March 1926 and is $48.
Ah yes, that’s all very well, but what if some time in the future you decide to sell your property and a household of 10 moves in? Then how will the system cope – answer that! said the Council, triumphantly.  WTF???? we said.  It’s a 2 bedroom house – where are 10 people going to sleep?  Will you also be wanting to inspect the rafters? I asked, because the 10 future people will need to be hanging from them in order to sleep somewhere. 

But at that point Doug told me to shut up now rather than put further ludicrous ideas in the Council’s brain.  And yes, I use the word “brain” with some reservations.  So now we have to get an engineering firm come and tell us how many sprinklers will be enough for us, for maybe 4 people and for maybe 10 people.  All at significant cost, naturally.  Engineers are in the same stratosphere as solicitors when it comes to charging, but hopefully they will prove to be a little more competent than the local legal practitioners.  With bated breath, we await the next instalment of Council Knows Best – No Really, We’re Not Joking, We Know Best.  Stop Laughing, We’re Telling You We know Best. 

We went all pretty on the dresser last week.
I read a quote this week, which was:  We shape the things we build, thereafter they shape us.  It refers to the importance of good design on the well-being and happiness of people living and working in those spaces.  I hope we get to build something in due course, but notwithstanding the Council’s antics it seems we are edging ever closer.  Our builder said that in the Council’s defence it might be that after all the approvals are given and the Council has gone away, we could decide to turn the place into a doss-house, by doing things like converting the kitchen larder into a bedroom, our office into a few bedrooms, our tack room into yet another (pretty small) bedroom, and the Council has to take that into account when considering the poop capacity of our sewerage treatment plant.  That’s their thinking?  Really?  Let’s ignore our clients’ house plans and instead work on expectation that they secretly plan to turn their home into a slum tenement?  It totally makes sense, now it’s been explained.  No, I just said that in case the Council is reading this.

This week we're doing retro-cool on the dresser.
Meanwhile, back in the real world the weather has been blah all week, just snuggle up in front of the fire with a decent book weather, and that has impacted on the number of people coming to the Markets and into town in general.  So it hasn’t been hugely busy in the shop, either.  I took the opportunity to bring out the first four of our American circus window cards, two of which sold instantly, and have also catalogued and tagged a bunch of really great Midwinter retro plates.  Midwinter is my favourite of the mid-20th century potteries.  It has several really cool designs from the 1950s that are dang hard to find in Australia, though it’s quite a challenge even finding them in England.  The garage keeps coughing up good things like this, so I’ve presented a retro-cool dresser this week.  It’s more of a Sydney look than a country Queensland look, but what the heck, I shall require my customers to have some retro-cool-sophistication this week. 

The builders starting on the profiling, so they know
where the post holes should go.
Artemis and Calypso, the main Building Site
Supervisors, keeping a close eye
on progress.

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