From Burren Junction to Moree and the wonderful aquatic centre was a short step, via a pretty good market. We have often said that the pain of packing up is directly proportional to the amount of money we have made! Packing up after Moree Market was a breeze!
The big issue has become shortage of stock. Alan especially is short of the sort of ‘boys toys’ he likes to sell. A couple of people at Moree market asked us if we would like to buy some of their stuff, this was unusual, we often hint and suggest to customers that they might like to sell us their stuff especially after they have told us how much they have of everything that is on our stand! But they don’t often come through.
Anyway we bought some pretty good records and some OK stuff from a woman who wanted us to come back later after she had sorted out more stuff and then piked. We weren’t sorry, she was trying to fob off real tat on us. Then a wonderful lady who had lost her husband 6 months before asked us if we would like to look at his stuff. She also suggested that we could camp on her property, what a boon and a blessing.
She is an artist and runs workshops at the local Community College, I hadn’t realised that Community Colleges have taken over some of the courses that TAFEs no longer offer, especially in the arts and crafts areas. She was doing a felting workshop, a silk painting one and also some printmaking. Her husband had been a fighter pilot at the end of WW2 and a civil engineer and was also a (self-published) poet. Good stuff.
The genre of Bush Poetry is pretty strong in Australia, especially in the rural areas and I like it, covers more than just the rigors of life in the country. So I was able to select from his extensive library and now have gems on my table. Alan was invited to get into the tools under the house and now is well stocked. He sold a lovely old Lister milk separator and fantastic big bench vice this weekend, so now needing the ‘big’ items again.
We are doing more with books now, prioritising them. We have bought special boxes so that we can put them out and take off the lids and then are good to go. They are selling pretty well. We find that those who understand books and their value are a bit thin on the ground so have the task of educating our customers as to the difference between a $3 or less novel and a signed first edition! There are those who collect military and historical stuff and Australiana which always sells pretty well, the bush poetry is a welcome addition to that. The vintage children’s books are also very slow to sell and we think we will have to look for a specialist book fair to make a dent in that stock. People seem to expect to pay pennies for, in some cases, 80 year old children’s books! Another surprise has been that few Australians know about the Billabong books. As a kid I read them all, and owe everything I knew about Australia before coming here to those books.
We moved on to Cranky Rock recreation park. The story goes that a cranky Chinese murdered a local woman in Warialda in the 1870’s and his corpse turned up in the creek! Apparently she had told her brother not to play cards with him. However although the legend has some facts to back it up the rock was called “Cranky” before the woman was murdered. It is a beautiful spot, modest camping fees and powered sites; a hot shower and clean toilets. Peacocks wander about the park posturing and screeching and driving Bella crazy. Emus also visited, they lived there and were fed by the park manager. Bird life was abundant and there was lots of kangaroo spoor. It was a wonderful place to re-charge in. the link below has more pics about the place and other things in and out of the blog post!
So we feel as if our park-off spots recently have been as good as they get – true idylls. We did a swop meet in the Gulgong Showgrounds, less idyllic setting but a decent market. The story from Gulgong was the Sunday night dinner at the Bowls Club. We shuffled into the bar, sore and exhausted from our exertions, but clean and dressed for the occasion and I asked for a whisky. Was told that the brand on the measure was Macallums, not my best, so then the ‘good’ option was Johnny Walker Red, that will do, into the small glass it went, a full tot, not a half with some ice and then would I like Diet or normal Coke with it? It is sold like that in cans. Some would shudder at the thought! We laughed.
The decision to sell Safety Beach has lightened our spirits with anticipation of financial relief. Let’s hope it happens. Not sure where the next spot will be but heading for Dubbo and then Bathurst’s Annual Expo which sounds really good.