19 April 2014

Can you shop in the freezing cold?

A French cast iron angel
on foliage, salvaged from
a demolished church in
Normandy, c1880
So everyone knows that we are really home and will therefore be at the Peregian Beach Market tomorrow, right?  It's a gloriously sunny Easter weekend and we anticipate a lovely day at the beach tomorrow, so it will be nice to have visitors.

Meanwhile, the story of our buying trip continues, and we're fast approaching the business end of the trip ....

The final week of this buying trip is crunch time, the week when we see if I can buy sufficient to make the trip worth doing – pay for itself and turn a profit. 
So, no pressure.

There has only been one day so far when I haven’t bought something, and that’s because I was stuck on a ferry to France. The van has been filled to capacity on several occasions, but it still hasn’t been enough. It’s at the big antiques fairs in the north of England where I can buy real volume, if there are enough decent things at decent prices for me to find.

This angel fits into the palm
of your hand.  Very worn
after spending over 130 years
outside, but still very
distinctive & beautiful.
Dealers’ Day at the Lincoln International Antiques & Collectors' Fair dawned bone-chillingly cold with a deep, grey fog. Visibility was incredibly low, and as we travelled to the Fair surprisingly large trucks would suddenly loom out of the gloom. It was going to be shopping by touch.

But was I deterred by the thick, wet fog? Well, yes I was a bit. I live in Queensland, in the warm, where the fog is never deep and grey, trucks don’t loom and there isn’t any gloom. Who wants to shop under pressure in conditions like that?

But I am not a professional shopper for nothing, you know. I’ve earned my Retail stripes over many years. I am made of stern(ish) stuff, you know. 
So was I deterred by a bit of bone-chilling cold? Well, yes I was a bit. Come on, bone-chilling cold sucks, we all know that. And I had to get out of bed and get into it, calculate exchange rates and concentrate sufficiently to make good commercial decisions. All with a frozen brain.

I wanted the porthole, but it was a ludicrous
price.  I did carry off the little wooden tea
box at the very top of the stack.  It has a
Welsh dragon on the lid, which I really like.
But guess what? I bought tonnes of good stuff! I set a new Me record for An Extremely Large Amount of Spending in a Really Short Time. I can show you my award certificate. 
So now we have an enormous selection of fabulous French enamelware, a large number of giant Jamie Oliver wooden boards – rectangular and round, five large wooden dough troughs, and some seriously good kitchen glass. Exactly what we were looking for, because this is exactly what sells best for us at our market stand. Yay, yay, yay!

Poor Calypso has had her neck shaved yet
again so she could provide a blood sample.
But we think we're on the way to getting
her better.
Then we had to pack it. Less yay.
But it has to be done, because everything has to be safely wrapped and boxed for the journey to Australia. It’s the tedious part of every trip, but we factor in special Pack Days, where we ensconce in the hotel room with take away food, bad movies on TV in the background, and get the job done.

So we packed like a frenzy, and are set for the next Fair – a small one in the middle of Big Fair Week – but it often presents some good things. We’ll see.

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