31 July 2013

Will it be France or will it be Prison? I pick France.

Calypso is almost 2 and Caleb has just turned 1,
so you'd think that our toilet rolls would be
safe from wanton destruction by now.  But no. 
My only two suspects in this investigation are
both spotted.

Things have been moving at a cracking pace since I last blogged.  Just as an aside, let me say that I have taken to sleeping in like that.  How nice to be able to stretch and lounge and have breakfast in bed rather than dash about to get the shop open at the ridiculous hour of 8am.  It just wasn’t natural.  So that’s part of the good news (more of that later).

If you have seen real Lea Stein bakelite jewellery
you can always tell the reproductions.  They're
colourful, but not in the same league.  These
ones were at an antiques fair at the Gold Coast.
In the meantime, I know I said I would not dwell on the unpleasantness in my life lately.  Unless there were further developments. 
So how’s this for a development:  Anton the Landlord wants me to give him money or write nice things about him (or both, I suspect) on the grounds of defamation.  Apparently my blog has such an enormous world-wide readership that his good name has been rooned, rooned I tell you, on an enormous, world-wide scale.  Thank you, enormous world-wide readership for being there for me.  So anyway, he has lawyered up and got himself a Big City Sydney Lawyer to write a couple of threatening letters to me. 

This is an interesting way of
displaying jewellery, but not
very effective if you actually
want to sell your pieces.
Also seen at the Gold Coast
antiques fair.
Now I’m only a small town antiques dealer and I don’t have the counsel of a Big City Sydney Lawyer.  But here’s the thing about defamation – in Australian law it is a complete defence if your comments are substantially true – let alone demonstrably true.  So you can bleat all you like about someone reporting on your actions, but as long as that reporting is true you can’t sue for defamation.  Well you can, but you’ll lose and then have to pay the court costs for all involved.  But Anton the Landlord has applied his fiendish logic to the matter and has nonetheless instructed his Big City Sydney Lawyer to threaten me.  Twice. 

Now I’m only a small town antiques dealer without the counsel of a Big City Sydney Lawyer, but here’s a sneak peek at what we might expect at the Trial of the Century:

Are the following points true?

1.      Does the Retail Shop Leases Act 1994 really exist?  Check.

2.      Does the Act instruct that the lessor of a retail premises (that would be Anton the Landlord) must provide a variety of confidential commercial information to the lessee within a stipulated period?  Check.

3.      Did Anton the Landlord fail to meet this legal obligation?  Check.
4.      Was Malcolm the spineless-blithering-liar able to weasel out of his lease with Anton the Landlord because this legal obligation was not met?  Check.

5.      Did Malcolm the spineless-blithering-liar's lawyer write to Anton the Landlord to tell him this?  Check.

6.      Did Anton the Landlord give me a copy of this letter, providing the physical evidence himself of his own failure to meet this legal obligation?  Unbelievably, that’s a Check.  Some people have commented that this was an inexplicably stupid thing for Anton the Landlord to have done.  I say that I have nothing but thanks and gratitude and praise for the wondrous mind that is Anton the Landlord’s to command.

7.      Did Anton the Landlord’s failure to meet this legal obligation provide the loophole that Malcolm the spineless-blithering-liar used to void the whole arrangement with the sale of my shop?  Check.

I only liked a couple of things at the Gold
Coast antiques fair, and naturally they
were both the most expensive
things there.  $2500 for a rolled oats
jar was a bit too much for my budget. 
Now I’m only a small town antiques dealer who doesn’t have the counsel a Big City Sydney Lawyer, so can anyone tell me why Anton the Landlord would claim any of the above isn’t true when he knows that a range of documents exist that prove it to be true? 
If legislation really exists and you really have legal obligations that must be met under it, and no-one but you can meet those obligations, but you didn’t, and you have provided your nemesis (that would be me) with the physical evidence that proves that you didn’t, isn’t that kind of – I dunno – indisputable?

 So why would you threaten to sue someone for defamation over comments you know to be true, and you know can be proven to be true?

Lots of things at the Pomona Antiques Fair were
also pretty expensive, but these nice little
beaded bags were remarkably good value.
I think we’ve hit the nail on the head with the word “threaten”.  You might not be able to successfully sue but there’s no harm in threatening a girl, is there?  What a charmer.  But I will not be bullied into silence when a significant wrong has been done to me, and I can prove it.  The nonsense over the shop really happened, and the whole sequence of events - including Anton the Landlord’s starring role - are demonstrably true. 
Ignorance and incompetence has now given way to bluster and threats.  Does behaving decently just not occur to some people?  And as for Malcolm the spineless-blithering-liar, no one has seen hide nor hair of him so he's still hiding under his bed, presumably.

A book I fancied at one of the Antiques Fairs, but
it was - you guessed it - too expensive.  $250! 
Doug has been with me for some time now
and he didn't know what a strumpet is.
That's a good sign, right?
Well now, I did promise to stop talking about this issue unless there were further developments.  So here I am, promising again.  In the finest tradition of AC/DC I might be reporting on my stunningly exciting Jail Break in a few blogs from now if Anton the Landlord is proven right, and I've just been imagining the whole thing.  But until then, it’s back to talking about antiques and house building.

And so back to the good news:  the builders returned yesterday, and dug a large number of post holes that are guaranteed to have us breaking our necks the moment we next step out of the house at night.  And walking the moggies is going to be extra good fun now that Caleb has so many water-filled holes he can “accidentally” fall into.  So it appears that the Council has run out of things to hassle us about - please don’t let them be Famous Last Words - and the builders have been working incredibly hard since they arrived back on site.  You certainly can't fault their work ethic, and they’ll be working at fever pitch until 13 September, when they will have to stop for a month.

Bits and bobs at the Porte de Vanves Market,
our favourite market in Paris.
And that’s because, guess what?  We’re going on the next buying trip afterall.  It was a bit dodgy for a while, what with Malcolm the spineless-blithering-liar causing a significant issue by running off to hide under his bed and leaving us in the lurch.  But there is no doubt we are going to need new stock - good, French stock in particular – but even if we buy it in Sept/Oct it won’t arrive in Australia until December, so we have to move now.

This also happens at my house every
morning, just on a smaller scale.
Doesn't feel smaller when it's happening
 all across my bed, though.

And guess what else?  Thanks to a recommendation from Alan and Carlyle, lovely customers from our old shop, we’re having a play day at the Tiger Temple a few hours from Bangkok on the way over.  Plus an afternoon playing with elephants that will involve trekking through the jungle for a few hours and also appears to involve getting a good soaking in the river while washing your elephant.  What fun it will be, and we’re really looking forward to it.  It shall be this year’s birthday treat for me, not exactly on my birthday, when we’ll either be in London or the wilds of far southern Cornwall (haven’t decided yet), but it doesn’t matter because all dates on a September buying trip count as my birthday.

Meanwhile, we’ve had a few excursions to various antiques fairs around the region, so see if we might be interested in taking stands with them in the future.  The French Fair in Brisbane was cancelled at the last minute, so we instead went down to the Gold Coast to look at an antiques fair.  But it was too small, prices were too expensive, and lots of the stock was undeclared reproduction.  You know how I hate that.  It didn’t take long to view that fair and it was a beautiful day, so we collected some supplies and went to picnic on Broadbeach instead. 

Who wouldn't want to run as fast as they
can to the top of this mountain and then hurtle
back down it?  Sounds like a perfectly
luverley Sunday outing, dahling.
Then off to Pomona, for the King of the Mountain weekend, which involves incredibly fit and incredibly crazy people running to the top of Mt Cooroora (an incredibly big, steep hill) and back in an incredibly fast time.  But there is also an antiques fair held over that weekend, so we went for a look.  Not bad.  We can provide very different stock at very competitive prices and it’s convenient to home, so we might have a chat with the organisers to see if they have any spaces for next year.
Plenty of hotted up old cars and bikes at the
Nambour Swap Meet.  And wow
expensive antiques.
We noticed that there was a swap meet at Nambour, so we toddled off there for a look as well.  Hadn't been to a swap meet before, and I've come away still not sure what was actually being swapped.  Most things being sold were car related, and there were a variety of cool old cars and motorbikes on display as well.  Some second hand bits and bobs were also for sale, and some antiques - at enormous prices.  I remember gagging at the price of a lovely retro toaster, just right for crumpets, at the Nambour Antiques Fair a few months ago, but a similar toaster was even more expensive at the far more down-market swap meet.  I expect that toaster has been packed and unpacked a few times now, and will be for some time to come.

Good plants at good prices
at the Yandina Market.
Finally, we’ve had a few Saturday morning trips to Yandina Market, which I haven’t been able to do for years because I had to open the shop at an ungodly hour.  What a good market, probably my new favourite in the region.  Small enough that it’s easy to get around, big enough that there’s a good variety of good quality food and plants.

Now I can go market shopping, so Doug has been
showing me all his favourite stalls at the Yandina
Market.  This stall has the best ever mushrooms.


So anyway, the next little while shall be spent organising the coming buying trip.  Unfortunately we won’t have a heap of time in France, but the schedule I have in mind is very full so we should get a lot of excellent buying done.  And I’ve got some good Play Days in mind, so we’ll see what can be arranged.


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