Nov 5 011Though I shopped this past January for the holiday, and most everything was here this past August, I am never ready for what it really takes to change seasons.  Have you ever?  Even the corgis have that slightly appalled look on their faces.  I am certain that the 10,000 square feet I have to deal with is secretly multiplying in the dead of night. It seems that everything needs to get moved-at least twice. Spaces have to be cleared-and of course cleaned-before they can be re-imagined. Sometimes it seems like my imagination will never ignite.  When that everything involves stone, steel and lead, I have been known to daydream about being in the stamp-collecting business.

Nov 5 004Rob likes everything imaginable in front of him all at once. The disaster that is his desk-loaded with messages, invoices, catalogues, notes, and all manner of other bits, spreads to the floorspace like a slime mold on steroids. This week he has been working away on the last of my leftover Halloween candy; the combination of his blood sugar level and his natural propensity to disorder defies description.  Suffice it to say, I am living in a universe tending towards dissolution.    

Nov 5 005The greenhouse fernery, so gorgeous a week ago, is now bulging with all those things that have lost their homes, and have no place to go.  An impossibly delicate terra cotta pot with applied roses from Espace Buffon in Paris is one of a hundred fragile items crowding my office conference table.  What floor space is still available makes walking through any room, objects in tow, nervewracking.  Should anyone out there know of a small scale hovercraft rated for interior use, please let me know.  

Nov 5 013The rear portion of the shop is a cavernous garage-at least it seemed that way when I bought the building in 1995. Today every square foot has something going on, and not in any particular order.  The arrangement of boxes so neatly shelved and stored has become completely unglued.  The corgis treat this space like a formula one course, fraught with hairpin turns and unexpected obstructions.  Great fun for them-not so much for me.  This space needs to be shovelled out soon,  such that we have room for the crew and materials necessary to construct of all our winter and holiday decor. 

Nov 5 021Progress has been made; certain big gestures are in place. Every box I unpack, I hope I remember what I was thinking when I bought ,works out.  My idea of holiday has everything to do with materials and references to the garden.  This part is simple. It takes a great deal of concentration to shop materials from 30 or better vendors such that you end up with a cohesive collection; this is only the beginning. Remembering what I had in mind over 10 months ago-even my notes don’t ring any bells.  The materials pile up faster than I can do display; just this morning a semi truckload of twigs arrived.  At this moment, the driveway is impassable.    

Nov 5 015
Though this scene smacks of a storage facility whose loading in has never been accompanied by any loading out, my clients seem to like this phase.  They amiably poke through everything, and have no problem asking to have a promising box opened for them-thank heavens. They even go so far as to say how beautiful everything looks-I think they feel sorry for me. This process takes a month anyway, start to finish.  I learned a long time ago, if you do not set a deadline, you will never be done. 

Nov 5 010Next week Thursday November 12th is our deadline.  We host an evening holiday preview and shopping soiree for our clients.  Our 4pm to 9pm event ran until 11:30 last year.  We serve a little something to eat and drink; lots of people come, and we have a great time.  We aim for picture perfect,  we are 6 days out and counting. I don’t see how we will be ready this minute, but somehow we will get there. Stop in, should you have a chance.

Nov 5 022
Now, where was I?