Thank you for all the emails wondering how the 'takeover' of Dairy House Antiques went. I'm sorry not to have kept you posted, but there were no balloons and fanfares and I've struggled to stay awake long enough to think of what to write for the last fortnight!
Well ... it came and went while I languished in bed. Pauley and I went over for an hour on the Monday (my first foray into the outside world for a week after the return of the virus) and I then spent 'D-Day' in bed. Liz took me to a local Centre which was closing down on the Wednesday to buy some cabinets, and I stood by while others loaded Liz's van, coughing and spluttering every couple of minutes (not pleasant!). We took them to Dairy House and once again I stood around looking and feeling pathetic, thinking 'this is now my business and I haven't got the energy to lift a finger'. I managed to do my turn on the Thursday, but Pauley came with me in case I flagged half-way through the day (which I did for about an hour). Friday saw Liz and me transporting another cabinet which, once in situ, I proceeded to wipe over with a damp cloth, expending all remaining energy. Then to make matters worse, just as we were leaving to come home my tummy started churning and it took us an hour and a half to get home as I had to leap/stagger/fall out of Liz's van every few miles. What happened there I just don't know, but suffice to say Liz deserves a medal - and this is probably too much information!!! So my first Saturday was covered by Liz and Andrew (previous owner) and I stayed in bed again. I managed Sunday afternoon, and since then have been 'on duty' on Tuesday, Thursday and today.
My space is beginning to look a bit better, but I still have loads to sort and shift. I'm taking it gently though, because I really can't afford to be poorly again. As it is I do a bit and then sit for a while. I'll be so glad when I have energy again although I'm not sure there's enough Lucozade in the land to make that happen just at the moment.
However ... the good news is that all the new dealers are in, bar a picture dealer who isn't coming until I've had the hall and staircase decorated, 3 cabinets are filled with china, glass and other collectables, all of which are looking good, and the long-standing dealers have switched around their rooms/spaces and there is a good feel all round. Everyone is cheerful and calling me Boss or Guv or Ma'am (hee hee) and suitably bowing and scraping and doffing caps.
We've also had quite a few new customers in the last week or so. We are a little off the beaten track and so don't get passing trade as such. I think over the last 2 weekends we've had at least 10 couples who had never visited us before. Ten may not seem a lot, but believe me the knock-on effect is fantastic. On Thursday a regular customer came in with her sister. The sister had flown down from Scotland that morning and they were with us by lunchtime. Apparently she brings all visiting friends, and her sister always insists on a visit when she comes down to Dorset. We have a lot of customers like that, which is wonderful. They spent about 2 hours wandering around, collecting bits and pieces as they wandered. Absolutely charming, and due for a return visit next month.
Liz is doing Saturdays with me now instead of Thursdays, but the routine is much the same. Liz's hens lay eggs for us to have egg sandwiches and I bring whatever goodies my fridge or Waitrose has to offer. Today my contribution was the remainder of yesterday's homemade butternut squash soup. I used one of the enamel saucepans in my kitchenalia collection (well washed first of course), and set it on top of the woodburner. Within minutes the soup was bubbling over (we had a good fire going today) and splashing onto the stove, and a well-cooked smell wafted through the shop. Memo to me - use a saucepan with a lid next time! I might try jacket potatoes another time. Pre-cooked at home in the microwave, wrapped in tinfoil and placed on the top of the stove they will probably be cooked to perfection by lunchtime!
So, I'm off to bed now to regain my strength for tomorrow. It's now 9.30 pm and this is the latest I've been up for about 3 weeks. But tomorrow's another day, and hopefully a manageably busy one. I had hoped to take some photos to show you today but we were so busy that I didn't think of it until late in the day. Maybe I'll remember tomorrow. They've been a wee bit thin on the ground lately, but I promise to try harder!!
Enjoy the rest of the weekend ...