31 May 2015

And now for something completely gruesome

Some years ago we visited Whitby, a charming seaside town in the north-east of England.  Quaint wooden fishing boats with their paint peeling off chug about the sheltered harbour, the streets of the old town are paved with cobble-stones and dominating the headland is the ruin of an imposing abbey built in 657.

The abbey was destroyed by Vikings in 867, rebuilt in 1078, then destroyed again by Henry VIII during the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539.  After that they gave up and it has remained a picturesque ruin ever since.  But don’t go there at night – the Abbey’s graveyard is where Dracula is said to have attacked a young lady victim, and some say his spirit still haunts the town.  Who knew that vampires had spirits? 

Whitby Abbey at sunset

But I digress, because Dracula was not the only celebrity connected with Whitby – it was also the home town of Captain Cook. 

As an Englishman, and indeed a Yorkshireman, the good Captain would have enjoyed a roast as much as the next man.  So naturally, when we came upon an antique ceramic gravy boat in a rickety old shop in town, we knew we had found Captain Cook’s Personal Gravy Boat. 

The chain of logic is undeniable – he came from Whitby, he liked roast dinners, it’s a gravy boat - essential to all civilized roast dinners, and it was found in Whitby.  It must have been his.

This is what we told everyone.  And everyone believed us. 

And seeing how, in those days, everyone for us was largely drawn from the Australian and international intelligence community, this was an alarming insight into how gullible those agencies could be.  Or perhaps it was a charming reflection of how polite our friends were, whatever crazy talk we came out with.  Let’s go with charmingly polite.

So anyway, using that same logic, I present to you the bone saw that sawed off the leg of Long John Silver.

Consider the logic:  Long John Silver had only one leg, this is a vintage bone saw, and erk, I think there is a little bit of blood and bone and gristle still stuck in the teeth.  How many vintage bone saws have you seen?  None, I’m thinking, because they're not common.  

Ergo, not only is this the Very Saw that sawed off the Pirate’s leg, using DNA extraction Long John Silver could be reanimated, to be the scourge of the Caribbean once more. 

Before you sniff at that – Hello?  Have you not seen Jurassic Park?  It’s totally do-able.  And before you sniff again about bringing back to life an allegedly fictional character, remember the bit about charmingly polite friends?   

This infamous Bone Saw is now for sale, and can be yours for only $40, including free Pirate DNA.  It’s a good short saw (18cm long), which I am reliably informed allows you to put some real force to your leg-hacking-off exertions.

As for these other two surgical instruments, I call upon friends in the broader medical profession (looking at you Kim, Fran and Robyn) and minds immeasurably superior to mine to tell me what they are.  I could make up something fanciful about them, but you know I don’t do that sort of thing. 

The bendy scissory thing doesn’t have sharp points but it’s 26cm long and looks like it’s designed to delve deep into you to extract something nasty – some alien parasite about to burst from your chest, or such thing.  

The grab-you device is 20cm long and locks shut into perpetual grab mode.  There’s something just a little bit off about a device that allows a perpetual grab when it’s inside your guts, don’t you think?  They are $15 each.

I'd like to think that each of these Instruments of Urgh were salvaged from a mad scientist’s dungeon laboratory, but in fact they came from a long-ago closed down hospital in country Queensland.  Stainless steel was invented in about the 1940s, so they are no earlier than that.

I’m going to make a real effort to offer things for sale here and on the Facebook page (Continuum Antiques).  This is thanks to old friends making pointed comments about me not working hard enough, and friends more recently met, like the lovely Tamara who carried off nice things at Collectorama and who was encouraging rather than pointed about getting my act together.  Thank you everyone, I will work harder.  I would never lie about that.

You can either follow my Facebook page, but more reliable than Facebook is to complete the Follow by Email field at the top right of this page.  Now that the God of Blogspot has magically allowed this field to work again, you can receive my missives direct to your email intray with no effort on your part.  No effort is always a nice option.

So I thought I’d start with something a little unusual.  I don't get many medical pieces, but I snap them up when I find them because they're collected by lots of people.  Strange people, granted.  Could you be one of them? 

To reserve one or all of these pieces you can contact me on Facebook or email ddpalmen@yahoo.com.au.  The God of Blogspot's wrath has smote the Comments function on the blog page, so it might not work.  You can try it, but I think is still out of action.

Whitby Harbour

In an amazing twist to this tale, Whitby has a Pirate Festival each year - in January so they really do shiver their timbers.  So would you believe that this was the very bone saw used by Captain Cook's personal ship's surgeon to chop off the leg of Long John Silver?  Too bad I didn't think of that earlier.

We have noice, different, unusual glass and ceramics that I will display on this and the Facebook page, and small pieces of furniture, all coming soon.  We will post, deliver (locally) or cooperate with your freight company - all things are possible.  

Most items won’t be particularly gruesome, but they will all have an interesting story.  Believe it, or not ….

12 May 2015

Things that make you go Hmmm

Or to be more accurate, this week I’m commenting on things that make you go OMG, My Eyes! My Eyes!

There are clearly different customer demographics at the Markets and Fairs we attend.  At Caloundra we see more tattoos than we’ve ever seen in our lives.  And in spots that make you wince at just the thought of someone sticking a needle there, multiple times.  And they’re just the tatts we can see.

At Peregian we see a great deal of beachwear, some really quite skimpy, some downright see-through, and lots of good casual. 

At Nights on Ocean, in Maroochydore, we see a lot of dressed-up-for-clubbing, which at times doesn’t cover much more than the beachwear at Peregian.  Generally it’s black and involves very, very high heels (and not just on the gels).

At the World Festival in Maroochydore, and yes I’m pointing the finger at you again Caloundra, there was more inappropriately tight jersey than you can imagine.  I’m not one for mocking body shapes – Lord knows I have no high ground there.  But who doesn’t know that jersey clings to every single curve, and that really, really tight jersey gives you a Sara Lee effect (layer-upon-layer-upon-layer)?

Friends and Loved Ones of People Who Like to Wear Tight Jersey!  Listen to me!  Heed my cries!  Physically wrestle your tight jersey wearing friend (or loved one) to the ground the next time they attempt to step out the door wearing it.  Please, for all our sakes.

But there is even worse than seeing multiple muffin tops on the one person, or back cleavage that rivals anything out the front.  And that’s wearing no knickers while wearing extremely short and extremely loose light cotton shorts. 

When I’m sitting in my chair at a Market, and you are doing a little swirl in the middle of my stand, your nether regions are at eye level – did you know that?  Unfortunately, I know that.  Put some knickers on, swirly girls!

And on a par with that, if you are a person of a certain build – let’s say around size 26 – walking around the Caloundra Street Fair in an eensy-weensy blue bikini, with a catastrophic wardrobe malfunction imminent up top, and your pants inadvertently becoming a g-string even though that was never their intention, please, please think of others if not yourself before you step into the public domain.  There are some sights we don’t need emblazoned on our brains.  Even inappropriately tight jersey becomes downright elegant in comparison.

I know, I know, isn’t it nice that some people are so confident in their own skins that they can walk down a very crowded street, practically naked or at least sheathed in a thin fabric stretched so tight they might as well be naked.  Maybe it’s just a matter of perception and I need to adjust my point of view.  What some see as extraordinarily lumpy-bumpy obese, others might see as deliciously voluptuous. 

But upon reflection, no - I saw this stuff and I’m not being unreasonable in saying I don’t want to see it any more.  And before you squawk that I have no right to set myself up as the Fashion Police for the market-going public, look at that – I have.  Keep it nice is all I ask.  In the meantime, if I have to have these images in my brain the rest of you have to share.

On the upside, the World Festival was a resounding success, as was the night market the following Friday.  Even the Caloundra Street Fair has been okay and the Peregian Beach Market always chuffs along nicely.  All up, we’ve sold about 150 French vintage pictures in the last month, which I think is a record for us.

So now we’ve added Nights on Ocean at Maroochydore to our schedule.  It’s a busy little market, with a buzzing, friendly atmosphere.  It’s a pity it’s only on once a month, but it’s a nice addition to our list.  The next Night Market is on 12 June (I think).

Meanwhile, Collectorama is fast approaching, and we have a number of small furniture items we’ll be offering this time so I need to get to work on them.  That’s at the Nambour Showgrounds on Saturday, 30 May, opening at 7.30am.  Be sure to add it to your diary.  Last time there were queues waiting to get through the gates at opening time and we had a huge day, so fingers crossed for this time.  Remember to wear knickers!

With good style in mind, I’ve included a selection of Vogue covers from the 1920s and 30s as my pictures this time.  These are very recent additions to our catalogue of reproduction pictures, and they are very beautiful.  I have more, which you will see when you visit us at one of the Markets or Collectorama.  I think I might feature pictures on the blog and Facebook for the next little while, because I’ve had a bunch reproduced, and I’m very happy with the results.  You won’t see a Vogue girl wearing inappropriately tight jersey – at least not on the cover.