As 2016 draws to a close I look back and think for us, Yep, it was good. We went on two buying trips to Europe via Bangkok and Macau and had a blast, ran a successful pop-up shop for 8 weeks, I published my first book and made good progress towards the next books, and we had some laughs with friends and family.
Land care at our place went by the wayside, so now the jungle has fought back and we have a real job ahead of us for the next little while. But I enjoy chugging about on the tractor and it’s very satisfying to get this work done. The house isn’t yet finished, but fingers crossed we’ll get the whole lot to at least lock-up early in 2017. Yes, this time I mean it.
Good news for the business is that we’ve organised a pop-up shop for January in Eumundi. It’s not the best location, being tucked down a laneway, but it’s a nice little shop and right next door is a new store (called The Store) that sells good coffee, cakes and salads, and all sorts of interesting groceries and produce.
And seeing how our new shipment contains a great deal of French vintage kitchenware, I’m hoping our pop-up shop and The Store will feed off each other. The Store has offered me part of their front window to display some of my stock, and already I’ve sold things from there. My sucky photos here makes it look pretty messy, but actually it's looking pretty good.
The bad news is that the ship with our new stock is behind schedule by a fortnight. I’m spitting blood! It’s on an extraordinarily slow boat from Singapore, clearly taking the scenic route. I’ve offered to row out there and help push.
Our Customs Agent doesn’t think we’ll be able to collect the new stock until about 9 January, which is a gobsmacking delay. Fortunately, we have enough stock on hand to open an interesting shop until we can collect the new pieces. Then we’ll unpack like the wind.
Meanwhile, I’ve almost finished the Dogs and the Dragons chapters for my next book Little Beasties & How to Collect Them, and I’m enjoying the writing process.
Did you know that every second of every day, somewhere in the world, a puppy is born. Awww, puppies. And did you know there is an ancient Chinese dragon that is associated with litigation and which to this day features over prison gates – something to look out for the next time you’re incarcerated in China.
Meanwhile, meanwhile, someone suggested I could intersperse the grown-up books I’m writing with some fun children’s books. That sounded like a plan, so I’ve written a medieval-meets-21st-century version of George & The Dragon for little ones, 5 or 6 years or younger I’m thinking. In the legend St George (or St Michael, depending on who's telling the story) kills the dragon, but my book is all about tolerance and understanding and friendship. And pizza.
Then the search was on for an illustrator who could follow a brief to produce beautiful pictures. I won’t be having any of those cartoonish stick-figurey drawings, thank you very much. I want lovely illustrations. I’ve found an artist whose work I like, so hopefully the book will be published around February. And as subscribers to my Newsletter, you will naturally be offered the eBook at a stupidly cheap price during its launch, before it’s offered at full price to the public. More on that soon.
Meanwhile, meanwhile, meanwhile, I’ve had to jump forward several books to produce a chapter for a book on Collecting Movie Memorabilia.
I’m not sure what to call that book yet and I’ll ask you all for suggestions when the time comes, unless you can think of something great now – let me know! I write feature articles for a magazine called Antiques & Collectables for Pleasure & Profit (have a look at it at https://www.acpp.com.au - they'll send you a free copy if you like), and the Editor said she’d like a chapter from that book for the next edition of the magazine.
So I put the Little Beasties work on hold and wrote a chapter on collecting Star Wars memorabilia. Seems timely, don’t you think, given the release of the most recent Star Wars movie this week.
Did you know that since 1978 over three-quarters of a billionStar Wars action figures have been sold? And yet, even with those numbers in circulation, for an original 1978 figure you’ll still have to pay around $1500.
For the prototypes of some figures – if you can find them – you’ll pay over $20,000. That’s for a 3¾ inch plastic toy. I was around in 1978 and I liked Star Wars, but it never occurred to me to collect these toys. D’oh!
So anyway, that’s that for 2016. Thank you all for your support over this year, and hopefully 2017 will be even better.
If you’re able to visit our pop-up shop in Eumundi we’ll be at the top of the laneway next door to The Store, right near the Imperial Hotel. We’re opening on 2 January, and will be open every
day from 10am – 3pm, except Sundays.
The next Peregian Beach Market is on 1 January, and we’re getting there way early so we can enjoy a champagne sunrise and perhaps have a quick dip before the Market starts. You’re invited to join us, if you’re in the vicinity.
Otherwise, I’ll be Newslettering soon, about how we’ve fared this time in our battle with Customs and Quarantine, how the pop-up is going, and plans for later in the year.
I’m already talking with people about potential pop-ups (also in Eumundi) for February, but more on that as it develops.
Have a lovely Christmas everyone, and a terrific New Year.
PS. If you've wondered what the pictures of angels and faeries throughout this Newsletter was about - apart from the obvious Christmas connection - these are among some new images I'll be offering (plus many more) in the new pop-up shop. They look beautiful when they're framed, and I'll have some on the walls to show you.