It has been a very busy week, sorry to say that blogging has not been on my mind.
The final preparations for the auction took me a couple of days. There’s rather a lot of paperwork and nothing must be forgotten. I do have a list, of course, that is sometimes amended from one year to the other. Which reminds me, I need more tie-on labels and more bubble wrap (I do provide tissue paper, but people mostly prefer the bubble wrap. It’s recyclable, if they bother) and should order them soon rather than forget until next autumn.
The auction went very well, I’m glad to say. I’d been feeling anxious about it and, all day, I was quite dismal because I missed Tim’s presence so much. He was wonderfully enthusiastic about the auctions, which he didn’t really care about except for my sake, though he did find them interesting. He even bought something, a couple of times. Anyway, I was all right as long as someone who knew what had happened didn’t say some kind words, which made me wobble. I appreciated the kindness but my emotions are very close to the surface at present.
One of my lovely clients brought me flowers. She was selling her late sister’s collection and giving the money raised to the local hospital cancer care centre. Last time I saw her, to pick up the china, she gave me a beautiful hand-woven wicker shopping basket. She really is a lovely woman, as is her daughter.
A local friend kindly came to help with the viewing, which was exceptionally nice of her, because she gave up her yoga class for me and it’s a 45 minute drive each way for her. She said she’d loved it, could see why I carry on with the auctions and has offered to help next year. Indeed, “I’m afraid you’re going to be stuck with me next year,” she wrote. Kind Rose also came along to lend a hand.
The start of viewing was quite busy, but then the salesroom was empty for most of the next couple of hours. For many years, our venue was in the town shopping centre and people would come, look at the china, then do other things before returning in the evening. Now, we’re at a hotel on the seafront and it’s a special journey for everyone, so they have no reason to come along twice. Next year, I’m going to start the viewing later. Instead of arriving at noon for a 2pm start, we’ll come at 2pm to be open from 3 o’clock. It takes the best part of an hour to set up, but I can set out the china first and catch up with the other jobs in between customers. At least I had a good many commission bids, as well as a few phone calls booked.
It all heated up, from my point of view, half an hour before the sale started. I had an email with a lot of bids, which I had to put into the auctioneer’s book, then at the very last minute, someone else emailed. He’d been abroad and not checked the date of the sale. So there was no time to put them in the book and I bid for him – his first piece was Lot 1, it really was so last minute that Elizabeth delayed the start of the sale until I was ready.
Since Wednesday, I’ve been doing the accounts and have nearly finished. I’ve received most of the payments, a couple of cheques are on their way and there are three or four others who will be coming to fetch their china and pay. I’ve started to pay out, I’ll have it all by the time it’s needed. There are still a few people who like to receive a cheque. Simpler for me to just pay them online, but at least posting a cheque gives me time to get their money into the bank (I know the people who still owe and they’re entirely trustworthy).
Wink took me to lunch in Southwold today. It was really good to be there, though we didn’t hang around afterwards. But a bowl of mussels,a dish of chips and a pint of cider was a nice way to while away an hour. Tomorrow, I’ll do the sale accounts and that will be it for a few months. A lot of work for a very small profit, but the profit isn’t the point, nowadays.