Monday, 20 June 2011

Pays your money takes your chances...

This Saturday we wombled on up to Wimbledon common to take a last minute table at the Wimbledon Village Fair for the third year in a row. We hired a large van and filled it to the rafters with a large selection of our stock.

The met office 5 day weather forecast had been about as optimistic as a Greek spreadsheet and we knew we were facing a windy and wet one, needless to say we were totally unprepared for what was to follow. After all, who would expect anything other than inclement weather the weekend before Wimbledon Championships?

 We arrived at 7.30am and by 10.30am trading began. Around 10.35am the rain began.

Inside, everything was bright and happy and dry....

a while later our original WWI Union Jack bunting was looking decidedly soggy!

The day turned into a game of musical chairs as our beautiful Kelly Swallows piece did the hokey cokey being in the gazebo one minute out the gazebo next while we 'shook it all about' in the rain. (chair or us? Both couldn't fit). Am still recovering from the chill, but the chair is perfect and wonderful (and still begging to come and live with us.)

The sun made an appearance briefly as did  sky-blu-pink , a wonderful follower of our blog. It was so lovely to meet Geraldine, also a teacher and crafter of beautiful things. She re-homed one of our pretty tins and truly bought a ray of sunshine with her. Thanks Geraldine. In spite of the brief sunny spell, moments later the heavens opened but this time it meant business and our gazebo sprung a leak. 

At lunch time a particularly cheeky gust of wind blew all the bits off the top of our dresser and broke several of our pieces......sniff.

The day got worse and worse until eventually the rain got so bad we all huddled together in our gazebo catching up with friends who we hadn't seen for a while....a great bonus.

At the end of the day it all began to feel like a Greek tragedy. Sadly we had only made a handful of sales and lost more in damage and breakages than we had made. It became clear that had we spent a day in bed, we might have made more money, but we made some great contacts, caught up with friends and handed out many cards which hopefully will lead to new visitors to our shop.

It behoves a Wimbledonian to have their photo taken with their hero and inspiration -  The Wombles! We have a lot in common (ha ha) after all; "Making good use of the things that we find, things that the everyday folks leave behind" so when Steve saw Haydon, The AFC Wimbledon mascot, walking along he hailed him over to pose for a family snapshot......aaahhhhh.

And so our day ended and we skulked home wet, cold and slightly dejected but determined to keep our chins up. It worried us that in a crowd of around 10 000 there were absolutely no signs of shopping bags just foody things. In years past we would have cleared most of our stock. I hope we make it out of the woods intact and like our Wimbledon AFC friends, make a big come back next year at the fair... in the meantime we spent today putting the shop back together and ourselves. We know that we are on the right track just perhaps at a difficult time which requires a strong nerve and a determination not to let it get to us and so it was great that we had a successful and profitable day in the shop today...phew,  thanks for listening and keep the faith...we have fight in us yet.


  1. Oh, what a shame - your goods looked absolutely amazing! Your comment "optimistic as a Greek spreadsheet" made me laugh out loud! I'm sure everything will go well - good luck.

  2. Oh! I'm so thrilled to be mentioned in dispatches! I'm sorry it wasn't a sunnier and more profitable day for you on Saturday, but you gave many people lots of lovely things to look and smile at. I'm delighted with my purchase which sits proudly on my kitchen dresser looking after tea.
    I wish you good fortune, and thank you for being at the Fair.
    Hope to see you soon,