Agnes Water is a distant dream. We still don’t have the post that was supposed to be there but I do have the feedback from the panel and am on the way to working with it. Wish I could settle to it.
This is the link to some pics relating to the trip I will refer to but will not say much about… https://picasaweb.google.com/105183160149035139526/Walkabout29BoyneToBalata
We did two spectacular buys… one in Wondai… Alan always checks the Community noticeboards and found a notice for a ‘Dispersal Sale’. We went to the address and a very elderly man tottered to the top of the steps and in a quavering voice told me that he is deaf and blind but that we can look at his sale and invited me to follow him. Alan joined us and we fought our way through the weeds down the side of the house to the backyard. We were amazed, the place was stacked with old stuff pretty higgeldy piggeldy although it had obviously once been organised in rows. He told us that he had had hundreds of important antique dealers already through the place so didn’t think we would find much.
We set to work and found a bit including a lovely old handcart with Rawleigh advertising stuck to the back.
I downloaded this from Google images to give you an idea. Anyway he came to give us a price and immediately launched into why we couldn’t have the hand cart… “it is the LAW! Makes me savage to think about it! These coppers turned up at my front gate as I was getting into my car to go shopping and took my keys away. They said I cannot drive anymore. I told them it is my right to drive, my license is valid until 12 midnight tonight! The buggers wouldn’t listen to my arguments. My wife has bad legs, how was she going to get to the doctor, how was I going to do the shopping and so on?? They didn’t care! So I have to use this cart to get the groceries! ” I half expected him to say he used it to take his wife to the doctor!
We kept our faces straight and said OK we would leave the cart with him. He had a few stories and prefaced them all with “… to cut a long story short…” Anyway we paid him what he asked and he offered to help load the stuff – poor old guy such a frail fellow and yet so feisty. He invited me into the house, it was crammed with treasure and he didn’t want to part with any of it. He had only partly cleared underneath the house as well and they didn’t want to part with any of that, an old washboard and mangle, old copper boiler still with fire remnants underneath it, they might need it again to make the soup for a family wedding, and the rest…
Wouldn’t we love to get into that spot and buy and buy… he had some inflated ideas about the value of some of the stuff but when it came to naming a price for what we wanted from the backyard he was very reasonable. There were some bits of green glass, lots of rusty stuff and tins, nothing of high value in itself but will add up to decent profits for us.
Next stop was Toowoomba Showground where we spent some time cleaning and pricing and passing time until we could meet our friend and collaborator Dave East who was busy clearing a house even deeper in dirt and treasure than the one in Wondai. He had saved some good stuff for us, we selected and packed and paid, and headed for Dalby where we had to do the market the next day. Dave’s treasures came at a price but so far have made modest profits; the high end items were a walnut ladies travelling case, not complete but still very nice and a set of 8 fish knives and forks in a lovely oak box made for Hardy Brothers in the 1880s. We have put a bit on them so of course still have them after 2 markets.
We know we will sell them, as we did the book I bought at the Gympie Gun Show in 2011. This guy came round looking for a sucker and found me… I paid a lot for it, having checked that he was almost right in his valuation(!). We carried it around and it came out when we put the books out which is not often and someone tore the most important page so I had to drop the price… I had had $500 on it and dropped it to $300. It is a hard covered version of the photographic record of the Great Fire and Earthquake of San Francisco in 1906. Anyway we sold it on Saturday at the Narrabri Garden Expo. It was the only market we could find in the general area for this weekend and had few expectations. Hoped for enough to fill the car and ourselves with fuel and food. Anyway we were able to do more than that and pay the Telstra bill!
So we decided on a night or 2 at a caravan park in Wee Waa, (Waioma Caravan Park). Pretty good decision, a very good spot, a ‘normal’ Sunday – I went to church and we had Sunday lunch with our neighbours, (a couple we had met at the market, she is from Cape Town, been here 12 years and was also once married to a potter) and had time to recoup some of our spent energies.
Anyway all good and now we are at Burren Junction parked between two adolescent gum trees on the perimeter of a huge red sand/gravel oval next to the Burren Junction Bore and the wind is howling and the sun not shining! The bore pool is wonderful and one of those being rehabilitated for use by travellers and visitors. I am amazed to discover the Australian great Artesian Basin. Look at the extent of it… and incredible statistics as well. As usual all sorts of controversies surround the management of the water flow but as I read it it is for the good of the environment if not the absolute comfort of the users!!
One other thing I would like to add to this post is that we have decided to sell the house at Safety Beach as long as we can get the price we need to add investment to the Ipswich properties. We have realised that we would lose too much selling the latter properties until we can make some sort of profit out of them. The pressure will be off by investing the profit from S.B. to avoid having to top up the mortgages and pay rates, utilities and insurance each week. That will be so good.
Of course this is relinquishing a long-held dream, but we are being worn down by the pressure of having to top up all mortgages from our market profits, leaving us with little reserves for stock and emergencies. We like living in the moment now and the prospect of financial respite has such a good feel about it that it hardly seems important.
We are looking forward to the day it is sold and then we will head to Grafton and unpack and sell lots of our stuff in the storage shed, maybe my Mercedes as well, and have more money to use for traveling and exploring and less to worry about in terms of ‘things’.
I, (Alan) took much strain in making this decision as it was my “project” from the beginning. After having had some relatively poor markets by our standards and some unexpected expenses coming up on one of the Ipswich houses, we are not going to be out of the woods otherwise.
No reports of any culinary delights this post as we are cooking our own food currently. Maybe next one will have something.