I'm in the process of finally clearing out my little shop. I started there in November 2015, traded through 2016 and then, in the autumn of that year added a few fairs back into the mix. My plan had been to do some of both. The footfall in the village is minescule, almost immeasurable, so I figured I could be away if I publicised it on the website, in the shop and socially media-ed it too.
I planned to 'fair' my way through the dire winter months when footfall dropped from nothing into negative and then mix the two things through the summer. In my head it would work. And frankly, in my head, it still would have. Made all the more probable by the fact that the junk shop next door remains more often closed than open and so there was no 'pull' to my place from there.
I made one big mistake though. I think I fell out with my landlord, and owner of said junk shop. I say think because I'm still not sure if we have fallen out or not, but anyway, the upshot is that while I was having a quick week on the beach in Spain, I got an email telling me I was out. The reasons for this remain unclear: every time we have essayed the subject a different reason has been given. That's fine, its his shop, his building and he can in theory do what he likes, but I find it hard to not understand why.
It wasn't making me rich, but it was turning enough money to wipe its feet and gave me a good base to from which to operate, and it was growing and had that all important thing; potential. Without the shop I find I feel adrift, lost, rudderless. And I think it was quite an unpleasant thing to do when someone is trying to make a thing work, to whip it away from them. Especially as the decision appears to have been emotional rather than logical. It was my livelihood after all. Or played a very significant part in it: allowed me to build up customers, allowed me to store my goodies, and allowed me to find new stock and then trade at fairs profitably. It allowed me to become financially OK, and then ...gone... So, yes, I am a little bitter.
So, here we are. Monday next will be the last day and I will clear the last few bits out into the van to take to Ardingly and that will be that. The rewiring, the redecorating, the printed stationary and the installation of a phone line, all wasted capital none of which is recoverable and an investment I had made with years in mind, not 14 bare months.
But the milk is spilt. Boo Hoo. Move on. And that's what I hope I will be announcing soon. Announcing! Who am I kidding. I write this for no one but myself. I love to write and once upon a time was even paid to do it. Its in, as they say, my DNA. My sister is a novelist, my Dad wrote, even my Mum wrote a couple of papers for the NHS, so it is written that I will, er, do it too.
Anyway, for the reader who has the patience to end up this far into my whining, I hope to be able to tell you about a new place soon. Its not so much shop as storage/workshop with retail by appointment potential. Its much much closer to civilisation than I am here on Exmoor and is bigger than the shop (in pieces above - see what I did?). I'm hopeful that this will go ahead, if only because it solves a problem, and that it will be ready in September. So stand by: there will be a social media onslaught. And maybe a return to blogging about antiques. And wouldn't that be nice.
Footnote 30 Oct. Not looking very promising on the shop front, and certainly not the one I refer to in the last para, so my strong (and helpful) advice is "don't hold your breath"