Bob, the Ball Boy!
Busy day today for retired people - haircuts by the lovely Lisa - early this morning so that Mr. HCB and our grandson, Harry could go to cricket at Bristol. Went out to have coffee with a friend I haven't seen for a while and catch up with her, a bit of window shopping and then a leisurely walk down the hill into the main part of the town - all the while looking for something to blip.
I then came upon this shop, newly opened, and selling an eclectic range of furniture including restored dressers, bookcases, bureaux, wine racks, tables, chairs, old musical instruments, a rocking horse, old china and other wonderful items, most of them obtained from house clearances and fairs, so I found out.
Craig, the owner, was just putting a "sold" sign on a pine wardrobe and told me how he had struggled to bring it in this morning, as he wasn't supposed to lift heavy things. Obviously a man with a great sense of humour, as he said that they could eat tonight now he had sold something and also said he might even ring and ask for the electricity to be reconnected! Someone trying to make a living when people, he said, weren't buying. Had quite a long chat with him - as you do - or as I do - and he was saying that it was hard at the moment to make any money. He was in the middle of doing up an old dresser, which wouldn't look out of place in a farmhouse, but he said that because of the downturn in the economy, he was selling more on the internet than actually in the shop.
I asked if I could take a photograph of him, and once again explained about blipping, but he said that he would rather I didn't because he was all scruffy, having been painting all morning, but I could come back another time and take one of him when he looked more presentable. I didn't try to persuade him, but he then said that I could take a photograph of a mannequin he had in the shop named "Bob, the Ball Boy" - and said he would even bring him outside for me. He was headless and handless, but as he was so kind, felt it was an offer I couldn't refuse and anyway, I doubted anyone else would be blipping a headless mannequin today!
So here, in all his glory, is Bob, the Ball Boy - and although I didn't mean it to happen, you can just see Craig reflected in the window. You can also see some houses from the other side of the road reflected in the window, and if you look carefully, you can even see me taking the photograph.
I guess one of the benefits of being retired is the fact that I don't have to rush everywhere and I spent a very enjoyable few minutes chatting with Craig. I hope he does well - he obviously works hard and I have no doubt I will see him again - must put a reminder in my diary to pop in perhaps next week after I have seen my old man at the bus stop, and see if Craig is looking more dapper!