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  • Debra Palmen

It's Almost Here ....


Okay all you Slug-a-beds, this is what dawn on New Year's Day looked like at Peregian Beach this year. It wasn’t spectacular, but it was lovely. Low cloud kept the colours subdued, and the sea mist rolling in from the shoreline to the dunes blurred the horizon and gave the landscape a romantic, ethereal look. We enjoyed mimosas on the beach and it was a lovely way to start 2017.

The peace was temporarily interrupted by a fellow who decided to entertain us with his exceptional bongo drumming skills. Exceptionally bad, that is. Bong, bong, bong – even I could do at length that if I wanted to drive you all nuts.

But bongo man did occasionally interrupt his concert with an even more impressive display of endurance peeing. Right there, in the middle of the beach, roll-up, roll-up, come one, come all, just don’t get too close because high-pressure hose control appeared to be a bit of an issue. Then back to the bongo.

The whole exhibition only lasted a few minutes, so having to pee at length three times in that period surely indicates a plumbing problem. Or maybe just a whole lot of drinking.

Meanwhile, bongo man’s severely drunk mate was apparently encountering the ocean for the first time, and was enraptured. You’d think chilly water at dawn would quickly sober you up if you stumbled and fell face-first in it, but no. He dashed up and down the shallows like an over-excited giant puppy.

And try doing this: stick your arms straight out from your sides; then bend your elbows at a 90 degree angle so your hands are hanging down. There. Feeling silly?

Now run around like George of the Jungle, whooping and falling flat on your face, shrieking at the ocean for tripping you, and getting up to run about a bit more.

I took a photo of Doug emulating him, just so you can imagine the entertainment. George of the Jungle later turned up at the Peregian Beach Market, offering sodden, stinky-beer-breath New Year’s cuddles to a number of reluctant stall-holders. Please go home, they told him, and off he wandered. Harmless enough, but hopefully he won’t breed.

The first day of the year was hot, hot, hot at the beach, but we kept in the shade as much as we could, enjoyed yet more mimosas with visiting friends and made reasonable sales.

Our Pop-Up shop is now open in Eumundi. If you're a local, it's up a laneway right near the Imperial Hotel, 10am-3pm daily except for Sundays. Four days in, and sales haven’t been too bad. Not great, but then I am breaking my own rule by opening a pop-up shop without street frontage. But it was the only suitable venue available for January, and my new stock was supposed to arrive before we opened.

So my plan for the new pop-up to have only my new stock on display was thwarted because the shipping line decided to take the scenic route, and the shipment was delayed by almost a fortnight.

Lucky I still had sufficient stock to almost fill the shop, although sales over the last few days have resulted in the shelves looking decidedly sparse.

I do have quite a few of my new images reproduced into A3 size and ready to go, though. The two I've featured in this Newsletter are French fortune-telling charts, for those of you who hanker to be French Gypsies, reading peoples' palms.

I was so glad to get these pictures because I plan to use them in a magazine feature article I'm going to write on the history of fortune telling. I'm tossing up whether to title it "I See A Tall Dark Stranger ...." or "I Bet You Didn't See That Coming". Let me know which one you like, or if you have a better idea for the title.

The good news for this week is that the boat with our new stock has finally made it to Australia. Huzzah! And it’s been through Customs and we are currently locked in mortal combat with Quarantine, as usual. But fingers crossed we should be able to collect the new shipment by mid next week. And then we’ll unpack like the wind, so by this time next week the pop-up shop should have plenty of new things. I can’t wait!


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