Years ago, when we ran the theatre company, a few of us attended an auction of theatrical costumes. Beth, our fabulous wardrobe mistress and designer was there, lending our excursion an air of authority. We spent a reasonable amount and bought, among other things, a wonderfully huge wicker basket for storage and transporting costumes. It served us well, proving a valuable investment.
While I can’t remember the actual day, I do remember the fun we all had and the restraint we had to employ in order not to bid on and buy everything. Today we had a similar experience: And we didn’t buy the real stuffed zebra or bedroom sized Edwardian bird cage (that went to an American and I reckon the shipping would double the price he paid for it…assuming it was a ‘he’).
There’s an auction house not far from us in Fernhurst. I see their ads in the paper every week. A few weeks ago, the ad was for garden ornaments and tools (and a few taxidermied animals) and we decided to go and check it out.
Actually, Fernhust isn’t really that close but, in Max, every added mile is an extra mile of fun so, if anything, it is too close.
We turned up early enough to check out the lots, picking the ones we wanted, dismissing the more extravagant (it’s very thrifty having a small car) and taking a seat on a garden bench. The first bit of the auction was held in the outside store room and very quickly the shovels, forks and spades were sold or retained. (Imagine my surprise when the bundle of 1,000 cable ties failed to sell for £5!)
Mirinda has always wanted chickens, something I’ve managed to avoid in my adult years…up to now. Our first purchases were a cockrel and a chicken.
That was it for the outside auction so we moved into the main auction room for the next bit. Of course, we were too late for the seats, so we stood at the back enjoying a piece of boiled fruit cake each.
Eventually we reached the next lot on our ‘desired’ list, a couple of small statues described as nude women, one of which was dressed. And, I’m afraid, I made a bit of a fool of myself with the auction paddle.
As you enter the auction house, you need to fill out a form with your details before getting a numbered paddle which you hold aloft when bidding then, again, if you win the lot. In my excitement at winning the two statues I flung the paddle high in the air, my grip clearly not strong enough. The wooden paddle fell a-clatter on the floor where I eventually scrabbled it back into a firmer grip to hold up for the auctioneer to see. He told everyone I was clearly very excited about winning the items, hardly containing myself.
That was really all we wanted but then a plaque with cherubs on it in relief was begging to be bought. Mirinda told me to bid so I held the paddle, securely above my head. The auctioneer took my bid and proclaimed that I had just beaten the Internet. That’s ‘just’ as in time, given the Internet bid came in a nano-second after mine. And, given the Internet clearly didn’t really want it, we won that as well.
Rather than wait for the fine art lots, which were intriging and tempting, we gathered our lots together and checked them out. The plaque was quite heavy but fitted in Max nicely with the chickens and statues on top. Max drove us carefully home.
We dotted our purchases around the garden, half hiding the statues in amongst the foliage, letting the chickens peck at the new lawn, free range style. The plaque proved a little more difficult. Eventually we decided to put it against the edge of the terrace, burying the bottom to, not only give it a bit of stability but to give it a look of something half buried by time.
We had a jolly good time and are determined that it won’t be our last.
I forgot to mention in yesterday’s post that we went to the Maltings to see Hannah Scott at Girls and Guitars. She was the first G&G we ever saw and have become big fans, trying to see her whenever she’s in Farnham. Of course, she was superb even given her bad back which had her hobbling a bit.
She was joined by Stefano, “boy and cello” as she described him. His bow gave the concert a lovely depth and added dimension.
She has such a following in Farnham that she sold out the cafe space that G&G normally perform in and we were all moved to the larger Cellar Bar instead. And, even though she didn’t sing my favourite Hannah Scott song, the gig was still fantastic.