We’re going to need a bigger shelf

Monday May 9, 2005

I had the house ready for the photographer some twenty minutes before he was due to call. Dolly had been persuaded to take an early breakfast and to settle into a deep, decorative nap on the sofa, and I was sitting outside, sipping hot coffee, and not making a mess. The sun shone, the birds were as cheerful as they know how, and the flowers in the borders were nodding gently…

This, if ever, ought to have been the moment when I had second thoughts. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t have second thoughts about selling a house at this point in the game when all the work’s been done, the place is gleaming, and all the real hassle is there in front of me.

And you know what? Not a twinge. This house, this location, while it seemed so perfect a year ago, has lost all its appeal for me and I can’t wait to get on with the next adventure.

I sat there, blinking in the sunshine, puzzled. And then, rather than examining my feelings, I gave myself a shake and got up to pull a few weeds I’d noticed in the border opposite my chair. That’s a good thing about a garden, any garden. There’s always a few weeds to take your mind off less important things.

So the guy turned up, all neat and brushed in his business suit, took his photographs, chatted over the business one last time and then gave me the contract to sign. I scanned it over carefully, found it to be all standard stuff, and dropped my signature into the box. Still not a twinge.

Off he went, happy with a job well done, leaving me happy, too. It’s always good to deal with a company and with a representative that actually likes your house, and wants to sell it.

“There you go, Dolly,” I said as I pulled her litter tray from its hidey-hole and shoved it back into position. “The die is cast and we’re off to pastures new. Again.”

She just huffed at me and waited impatiently for me to get out of the way so’s she could use the litter tray for its designated purpose.

And then the postman called, bearing a parcel, nicely wrapped and just the right size and weight for the eBay purchase we made just before Graham departed for his week in Somerset. Another vintage Fiesta-ware water pitcher. This makes five of the things, and very handsome it looked, too, when I put it on the shelf with the rest.

“What colour did it turn out to be?” Graham asked when we spoke a little later.

“A very pleasant green. Not quite the blue jade it was in the photograph but that suits me better.”

“Good. You will keep you eye on the auctions for another one, won’t you.”

“Why, how many more are we going to collect?”

“Oh, I was thinking one of each colour.”

“How many is that?”

“Well, I’m not sure. Somewhere around thirty, I think.”

“Gosh,” I said. “We’re going to need a bigger shelf.”

“Don’t worry. It’s all part of the grand plan.”


Vintage Fiesta-ware, Stickford, May 9,'05
“We’re going to need a bigger shelf”



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