03 September 2013

Collectorama! - Be There or Miss Out Badly

Caleb enjoying Helga & Michael's lovely garden.
Still wasn't allowed off his leash, though.
In the last fortnight we were invited to visit to the lovely Helga and Michael’s for afternoon tea, with the strict instruction that we must bring a moggie.  Caleb is pretty well unfazed by anything so he was our selection, and he had a great time.  He wandered about investigating a new garden for a little while (albeit with me attached to the end of his leash) and then spent a few hours thoroughly exploring Helga and Michael’s house.  This was a great excursion for him, now that he doesn’t get to go into the shop, and he was an exhausted snuggly-cuddly boy when he got home.  We’re going to have to think of more excursions for both him and Calypso, who both still clearly miss their shop time.

Caleb and Marley the Builder's Baby.  We put
Marley on the verandah whenever machinery is
on site, because he's only a baby and doesn't
yet know to stay out of the way.  Caleb
constantly tries to lure Marley into games,
but he plays too rough and Marley has learned
he can't win so it's best to ignore the
invitations to play.
Meanwhile, planning for the buying trip is completed and our itinerary is packed.  On one day, for example, we’re dashing from an antiques fair in London up to Fort William, which is in the Highlands of Scotland, so that will be a nine hour drive.  But it will be worth it, because it means we get to travel on The Jacobite, reportedly the best steam train journey in the world, on my birthday.  On our way back south we’ll have time to meander a bit, so we’ve selected a route that takes us past Loch Lomand, and then east along Hadrian’s Wall so we can go for a look at Durham, which looks to be a charming medieval town.  I’ve managed to fit in a good number of play days, which is surprising given the very crowded shopping itinerary I have also planned.  But it will be great fun and we can collapse and relax when we get home.

Even Mischka has warmed (a bit) to Marley, although her approaches to him mostly end with him being smacked on the nose and being told he must Respect her Authority and show her Proper & Appropriate Deference.  And he does.  This is a good thing for all little dogs to learn early in life.
Meanwhile, we’re in the last throes of preparing to attend Collectorama, the largest antiques fair in south-east Queensland, held at Nambour the Showgrounds next Saturday.  It’s also Federal election day, but that means that people will be obliged to get out and about anyway, so they might as well come to Collectorama and have some fun as well.  This is the Fair that I have consistently bleated about regarding the prices asked, but now I think that’s a good thing because I’ll be looking supa-dupa competitive on prices and will have really different stock to all other stands. 

Klaatu has zero interest in playing with Marley,
and instead prefers to stay inside and watch TV. 
He's now off the V8 Supercars, and currently
prefers nature documentaries.
As I type Doug is off polishing the heads of some seriously cool vintage golf clubs (putters and woods, which is what everyone likes), which are mostly from Scotland.  Doug always has a fit when I tell him what I plan to charge for various things and stomps about declaring that it’s not worth his while doing all that work just so I can give things away, so I’m keeping quiet about my prices on the golf clubs until all the polishing is done.  Then he’s going to polish the last of our French copper pots and pans, which several people have expressed an interest in seeing and are coming to the Fair just for them.  Then, while I have him in Productive Mode, he’ll polish up some brass and iron trays for some really very nice French bench scales.  I have three of these bench scales, all from a produce shop in Normandy that closed decades ago, and I’ve never seen others like them.  They've got that semi-industrial look that I favour, and we'll see how they go.
This is one of the magazine covers
that will be offered in
reproduction for $12.  Have
you looked at the pictures on my
other pages on this Blog?
I've put a lot of time and effort
into ensuring that they are the
best copies I've seen.
Plus I’ve got some really good metal crates from a die cast factory in England, and goodness knows what people will do with them but they’re interesting and people are very creative so someone will love them.  I do, which is why I bought them in the first place.  And those very nice and extremely heavy French hexagonal cast iron weights that I featured Caleb playing with a few blogs ago have been cleaned up and look spiffo, plus an elegant English cast iron book press is ready for presentation.  Finally, the very last of the French coloured enamel buckets are coming out.  So all in all, I’ll have some really good metalware to offer at Collectorama, and I know that no-one else will be offering anything similar, which is always good.
This is another of the reproduction
images I'm now offering.  It's
called Under the Ice.
It's a charming, cheeky and
very rare picture that took me
years to find in the original.
We’ve also dug out some exceptionally good ceramics from the depths of the garage, which I’ll put together with those lovely pieces I bought at the Kybong auction a few weeks ago (see last blog).  And I’ve spent considerable time and effort to get the French reproduction images looking as good as they can possibly be, and I’m really pleased with them.  Have you looked at the other pages on my blog to see the first of them I’m offering?  How lucky for me that one of the best copying machines in Australia is located a short drive away, and it produces the best resolution I’ve ever seen.  We did a number of test runs, until I was satisfied that the colours matched the originals so you can’t tell the difference between real and repro.  I know it doesn’t matter if you haven’t ever seen the originals, but it matters to me that I sell the best possible quality.  Not counting here on this blog, I’ll be offering the copies for the first time at Collectorama on 7 September, so we’ll see how they go as well as the myriad other things we’ll present for sale. 

I'm even dragging out a couple of retro cool reclining TV chairs and a really old wooden office swivel chair for Collectorama, which I will sell at give-away prices simply so I can clear them out of my storage.  Some Early Bird is going to be very happy.  I had intended to have them recovered and showcased in the front window of the shop for Malcolm, and they would have looked great.  But Malcolm is still in hiding - just how long can someone live under their bed? - and the shop has closed and that is that.

Me watching Caleb watching Doug watching the crane
that came to hoist the floor joists onto the house site.
On the house front, building is again delayed because the wrong type of flooring was ordered.  Lucky we were on site to refuse delivery, because we’re having blackbutt floorboards, thank you, not whatever scummy thing turned up.  The main benefit of living on site, notwithstanding that you’re living in the middle of a messy building site, is that you’re on hand to ensure that things proceed as you want.  And seeing how you’re paying a lot, things can jolly well proceed as you want.  We have an agreement with the builder that only the floor and decking will be done while we’re away, because he knows exactly what we want on that front and there’s no room for “creative interpretation”.  And the rest can wait until we’re back home.  It means the build will take somewhat longer than originally anticipated, but we’re happier this way.  When you’re spending so much on an investment, it’s up to you to protect your interests.  However well-meaning people are, no-one takes care of your interests like you do.
I will try to find time to write about Collectorama after it’s done, but otherwise the next you’ll hear from me will be from somewhere in France.
There's no point having a builder who doesn't have a Builder's Bum, is there?

Thank goodness for underwear is all I can say, because it could have been a lot worse.

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