12 May 2008

Happy ... with a tinge of sadness ... (with photos at last)

On Tuesday Mum had an operation to remove a cataract from her 'good' eye. Whilst waiting for her Pauley and I spent a few hours in and around Taunton but nothing went right for us. You know those days ... Mum thought her op was specified at 12.30 but it turned out she wasn't due to be 'done' until 5pm so no way were we going to be able to take her home at 6.30 as anticipated. We didn't find out until I'd been sitting with her from 12.00 until 1.30 (while Pauley was sitting waiting in the car). This made her quite jittery so we didn't want to go too far away from the hospital in case she decided to do a runner! So we mooched round Taunton briefly and went to get something to eat. The plan had been to spend the afternoon in Watchet and Dunster or maybe just wander over Exmoor but that didn't work! The place we chose to eat (in desperation) was offering smoothies and paninis. Mmmm we thought, a nice cool smoothie would be lovely on such a hot afternoon. Ordered our food and were then told the smoothie machine wasn't working, so we had banana milkshakes - but I defy anyone to prove there was any banana flavouring in the insipid white liquid we were given. Pauley stood outside WH Smiths waiting for me to pay for a belated anniversary card for Han (what an awful mother, but being poorly was my excuse), and when he tried to move he was stuck to the pavement having been standing on a dollop of chewing gum! Aaaaaargh - we hate towns!!

We then set off for a brief jolly for an hour or so, and on the way back to Taunton came across a layby with a couple of picnic benches. So we sat and read for a while. This was the view from the bench.

Mum's op was a great success though, and the next morning everything was bright and clear. She's thrilled to bits (and so are we!!), and is now thoroughly enjoying all the wonderful colours in her garden.

A couple of days later I had to collect some shelves which Liz had stored for me after the last fateful Shepton Antiques Fair. I love cows and although they're not easy to see, there are some under the tree. This is the lane leading away from Liz's home.

And then Friday arrived and I set off for my final Shepton 3-day Fair (the tinge of sadness referred to) and believe it or not the weather was warm and sunny. Amazing. I think that's the first fine 3-day Fair in a year!! Someone said there were apparently a few spots of rain though. A friend came to help me unload my car as I knew it would be too much for me as I'm still coughing well. And cough I did - for the first 2 hours! However, once I was set up and able to slow down the coughing eased off. I'd printed off plenty of Dairy House flyers to hand to all my regular customers and had some wonderful comments about how I'll be missed at the Fair. They really made by day! Mind you, so did my takings! I had a brilliant trade day (Friday is trade only).

Gillie came with me for the day on Saturday and said what a sociable occasion it was. I shall miss that. I love talking to everyone who comes to my stand and many of them seem like friends now rather than just acquaintances. At least that's how it feels. I had another brilliant selling day and by the time I'd got home and checked totals I realised that I was nearing my best sales ever at this particular Fair. Another good day on Sunday would certainly clinch it.

Not to be, though. Sunday was a very slow affair, with reasonable but not good sales. However, this Fair ended up as either 2nd or 3rd best, so I certainly won't be complaining. May has always been a good Fair for me. A number of Japanese buyers come in May and they love to buy white linen and Christening gowns. No colour. Just white - and perfect. One of my 'regulars' (I have always sent complimentary tickets to she and her husband) came on Sunday and they already knew it was to be my last Fair. They were so kind a brought me a Streptocarpus as a gift (a pot plant with beautiful soft blue flowers for the non-gardeners among you). It was a day of hugs and good wishes and I really felt quite sad to think I wouldn't be part of that little community any more. Admittedly I shall be there in September buying like mad (if I sell well enough between now and then!) but it won't be quite the same. The sense of belonging will have gone. Still, there'll be no excuse now - I shall be able to concentrate on photographing and getting stock onto Vintage to Victorian. Some of the items shown are still available and will be added soon.

This amazing cloth is silk and measures approximately 6ft x 6ft. It's in perfect condition.

And talking of buying ... I finally found these Dewhurst's Sylko drawers. I've been looking for ages, and this just leapt out in front of me on Sunday morning. I shall keep it for a while, but it may eventually make it's way to the website. We'll see ...

And look at this amazing pair of Deco firescreens. They are wooden, covered in mottled paper, the ladies are painted and the central pleated section is fabric. I saw the blue one first thing yesterday morning before the dealer was at his pitch. When I went back later he showed me the pink one as well. I'd missed it before. These will probably go on the website although I may just take them to Dairy House. For the time being I'm going to enjoy them at home!

I also bought 3 blue and white striped deckchairs (with arm rests) in excellent safely usable condition, an Edwardian bathroom cabinet with 2 lockable cupboards, original bevelled edge mirrors and locks with keys. And I found a lovely shabby round French garden table and 2 chairs. These will be going to Dairy House on Tuesday. So, not only was it a good selling weekend, but it was also a perfect buying one, too!

Driving home through the lanes I came across this field full of buttercups. A lovely end to the weekend. (I've wished I'd been able to stop several times over the few weeks to photograph the amazing bank of cowslips on the A303 but there was nowhere to pull off the road. I did manage one attempt but it was rather scary as the cars were zooming past at break-neck speed. It was the largest mass of cowslips I've seen since I was a child - awesome as some would say!)
Thankfully I'm feeling much better, although I'm tired after the weekend. I'm still coughing in phases, and it seems to have turned into a cold/bunged up doze type thing. Energy levels aren't what they were, but are building up slowly each day. Lucozade and Guinness (not together) are helping, along with Manuka honey (and the odd swig of Covonia for the cough)!
I hope the photos have made up for all those posts I've written with nothing to look at. Have a lovely sunny week and lots of fun!


Nonnie said...

Glad to hear your last fair was so successful. Now you can really concentrate on Dairy House. And getting completely better! Love all the photos. The buttercup field is particularly lovely. I saw a fantastic patch of cowslips on the side of the M40 the other day. Definitely wasn't going to stop there to attempt a photo!

Nostalgia at the Stone House said...

Hi Sue,
Lovely to see you on Saturday and to meet Gilly.
I'm so glad that you had such a successful last fair - I know what you mean about missing the community there, but I also know that you will enjoy shopping next time(!) and stopping for lots of chats! ;-))

Love the fire screens, they are very pretty and how did I miss that 'Dewhursts' box?!

Hope you are back to 110% VERY soon!
Niki x

PS: I think this must be a good year for cowslips - I've seen lots of wild ones as well and I have great clumps of them in my garden.

Unique Gowns said...

Thank you for sharing your story....Dana


anne bebbington said...

Oh Sue I wish I'd known - you could've come to me for a cuppa - mind you I probably couldn't have offered you a banana milkshake :o) aren't hospitals just the giddy limit and what a treck to Taunton from you

Ex-Shammickite said...

Well, you've really outdone yourself writing that long essay, you've made up for all the non-posting while you were poorly! I'm glad you're feeling better, but if you're still coughing, take it easy, you now have a new responsibility in the form of Dairy House, gotta take care of business!
I'll be in UK June1-18, but I don't think I'll be anywhere near you, too bad! Would love to browse around all your lovely stuff!

Ex-Shammickite said...

I'll be visiting rellies in Brighton, Northampton, Norwich, Bury St Edmunds and Romsey... would like to go to the West Country but I won't have a car and it's so hard to get there by bus or train... and I don't have that many days, however, I might rent a car for a couple of days, yet to be decided. No rellies left in CM now :-(

the homely year said...

Hi, so glad to hear you're feeling a bit better and coughing less...you must be really fed up with it. You had a bad day while your mum was at the hospital, but you must be so pleased about her successful operation.
Wonderful things at the fair, no wonder you were busy.
Margaret and Noreen

periwinkle said...

Glad to hear you are feeling a bit better , but just take it easy. Some lovely things you bought at the fair, I've seen about 3 cowslip plants this year in total!
Lisa x

Lucy Bloom said...

Hi Sue, you're going to hit a world record soon for this bug thing you've had, let's hope it's finally on it's way out. Your stand looks fantastic, I wish I could have gone, and a successful weekend, nothing like going out with a bang! ... and you bought some great stuff, there'll be a queue for those Dewhurst drawers I'll bet.
Lucy x

Country Cottage Chic said...

Glad to hear that your mum's op went well & that you had such a great fair too. Looks like you found a fair few lovely items as well.

Curlew Country said...

Good to hear you're feeling stronger. Shepton Mallet sounds like a wonderfal fair. Quite a good job I live too far away because I would definitley bankrupt myself! I love your pictures, such a green and pleasant land we live in.
Best wishes

Ex-Shammickite said...

I haven't actually visited Northampton since I was a young teenager, so you're right about it having changed a lot since my last visit!!!

twiggypeasticks said...

The fair sounds great. Mr Twiggy and I intended to spend our honeymoon staying in Dunster, but I booked the wrong hotel so we stayed at Porlock instead and had a terrific time.
Hope your cough clears up soon and your mums eyes improve.

OhSoVintage said...

That must have been a little sad for you knowing it was your last time at the fair as a seller but think of all the bargains you will be able to find next time when you won't be confined to your stall. I love the Sylko drawers you found and the lace too. Glad to hear you are at long last on the mend, Sue.
Ruth x