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Friday, January 27, 2006


Gosh, those acquisitive Bain-brigittes:

Fat Pickins: 0830hrs on my doorstep, and by 10:45, I'd been stripped bare of the good stuff: all the classy jazz DDs and hardbacks, *certainly* all my best paintings and prints (including my prized Mabel Hung pastels and charcoal drawings - one of which I learned was *not* Ladder Street but *Pottinger* Street - silly me - I mean, like I've only walked about thrice a month for 42 years.


And *what* abso-luverly people!!

Courteous, clean, educated, respectful, fun, appreciative ... typical that it takes *leaving* to find all this out. Murphy's Law truly working overtime.

apres saleThank you, everyone, for arriving promptly, buying decisively, having the correct change, and sympathizing so sweetly with me over having to part with my precious goodies - and I couldn't wish them a better home.

In four years I've never had so many people in my place, and I can't remember *when* I've had such fun in a crowd.

PE readerMy dears - I was positively giving  stuff away: a discerning eye for the Coltrane? "Over here, Miles live at Les Pins. No? Oh, go on have it - no one else will spot." An appreciative murmur over a deleted George Higgins? "You must know ''Trust'. No? Here, slip it into yer bag. Actually, yes, that is George's message - what did he say? Oh, so embarrassing - totally undeserved."

Bags of useless stuff still to go, tho', and it's interesting what folks do NOT want, won't even pause over:

  • Fine bone china
  • Exquisite crystal
  • Lectronic gizmos.
  • Crap music
  • kitchen stuffRice cookers, coffee makers/juicers.

    Take 2: My next sale, in a few weeks time, will only be of bed and other slim pickings, so that, mimicking the start of 'Pirates of the Caribbean', I ditch my last item as I close the door behind me and jet off into that SeaTac sunset - à la Depp's Jack Sparrow stepping delicately onto the pier as the tip of his Boston whaler sinks beneath him.

    I felt a real sadness after the last one had gone, as after a damn'd good luncheon party where everyone has been en forme and new friendships made and cool introductions made.

    I hied me down to Bagels for a comfort latte and of course who should I see but my belovèd Larry The Guitar, waiting outside Hallmark as his missus commandeered one of those gigantic musical Valentine cards with which to keep the flame alive come Feb 14.

    We talked guitar and Seabold and Bagels and agreed that my God has it really been 10 years since Busker shambled up front and regaled the assembled throng with 'Busking the Cost'.

    Vaya con Dios: The Nymph of Farewells is not making my departure easy, but when it's time to leave on that jet plane, adios it must be.

    I know my routine in London - first day there, buy up Peter Jones's poshest and raid the Camden Market, then take an ad in the Kensington Post announcing "Emigrating Sale - absolutely *everything* must go. Seeking new pastures on fair Bainbridge Island. Sooper bargains, bring the little ones, tea and cucumber sarnies will be served."

    I'll sell out, take names and contact details, and a week later phone them up and invite them over to a "Change of Mind Party" - dress code: drinking frocks, ashtrays will be defiantly in evidence, as will booze of the best and canapés courtesy of Partridges.

    Mummie dearest will phone from deepest Corfu to commiserate with my lonely existence ("Don't worry, darling, you'll soon meet some nice people.")

    Meanwhile, in the background, sounds of uncorking bubbly, the Hot Club plonking away, and ribald laughter as the Rt Hon Samantha Pelham-Warner exhorts, "That's right, Charlie, show us your knickers!".

    "Hold on Mum, just going to turn the tele down - gosh it's good to see these old Benny Hill re-runs - American TV is so-o  pedestrian.

    One of the ladies had commented that I was jettisoning a lot of jazz and was it good because her husband might be interested. I said yes so she called him up and put me on -

    "Yes," I told the gruff voice on the line, "I've got Prez, Bird, Miles, Dizzy, some Blue Note Monk-"

    "Dude, hold 'em all and put my wife back on."

    "For you."

    "I sort of thought it might be ... David, I did not understand *one* word just then."

    Efficient looking gent, razor slim fit, unsmiling, walked in and asked where were they, bought the lot but wanted to hear the Art Tatum.

    I had Jason Whitton on the machine which started up 'Alibi' before I could kill it.

    Thirty secs into the Tatum, razor smile nodded, yep, that, too.

    "What was that first one?" asked Lady-with-the-squishy-nose so I told her and put it back on and showed her the jewel case.

    "This is it", she said to her companion, "the one in the review."

    "Someone reviewed it?" I rumbled.

    "Just in a blog."

    "Good heavens, I *also* reviewed it in a blog."


    "Oh my god ... you're not ... not ..."


    "Omigod ... omigod ... Stan, this is that ... omigod ... but you're so ... *nice*."

    "Pathetic, isn't it?"

    Tristesse: When they'd all gone and I tugged the furniture - such as I'd been left - back into place, I felt a deep sadness: the white patches on the wall; hauling out the old books and pictures I'd stored in the cupboard, remembering when I'd acquired them, the places we'd hung them round the world, the scenes of happy marriage they'd gazed mute upon; the spirit in which so many of them had been given to us, to hang for a lifetime on the same London cottage wall, imprinted on our childrens' eyeballs, inspected more closely as they grew - back from boarding school, back from university, holding their own children up to admire - "Mummy used to look at that when *she* was a little girl, and I always wondered what was over that hill, what that bird was looking at."

    What's it all about, Alfie?

    The Nutrition Facts on my luncheon can of Campbell's Beef (with veges and barley) made no mention, but it sure tasted salty to me.

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