Friday, 15 May 2009

B12 & Bidding

I had an injection of the lovely vitamin B12 on Tuesday. That sucker might sting a bit on the way in but when it starts to work I am eternally grateful.
For the past couple of weeks I've been operating like a kids toy in which the batteries are on the verge of dying. The entirety of my motivation has gone on attempting to stay awake in daylight hours. Yesterday though, I realised at lunchtime that I had no urge to curl up and sleep for a decade. It's amazing the effect that one little jab has and I am grateful to be back to 'normal'.

Last weekend I went to an auction.
I've mentioned my love of auctions a number of times. I just can't help it, maybe it's the love of a bargain, maybe it's the thrill of bidding against someone unknown. Will the other bidder give in before you do? Will you be able to stop yourself from going over your mental budget?
I'm surprisingly good at giving in, this part of myself surprises me.
Anyway, as I stood in the main auction hall, deciding whether I had the energy to hang around or not this lot came up:

The catalogue described it as "a rare XIX century lignum vitae coffee grinder, the turned body with a screw off knop* to apply the folding iron handle, 28cm high".
The auctioneer said it was a fine item, that you'd be unlikely to see many like it. I glanced at it, my heart didn't skip a beat and I started to drift off to other thoughts. Like why was the other auctioneer standing on the phone almost pressed against the selling auctioneer. It seemed a little rude.
Then the selling auctioneer announced there was a phone bidder for this item, that the bidding would have to open at £500, as commission bids had clearly been left.
My attention was grabbed.
The price kept raising and raising, the phone bidder clearly not prepared to give in easily.
To my right, a lady stood, her back to the rostrum where the selling was taking place, with each increasing bid she giggled a little.
When items sell for reasonable amounts of money you notice that the room gets progressively quieter. Everyone becomes intent on the bidders.
The lady to my right holds a handkerchief in her hand and laughs quietly to herself, disbelieving of the sum.
A man in the room has the current winning bid.
It's gone to the phone bidder.
The room waits to see if that phone bidder will go again, or bow out.
£1250 is announced.
The bidder in the room, stamps a foot and turns his back on the rostrum in a pique of temper.
He turns back.
I'm sure the room collectively holds its breath.
£1350 says the phone bidder.
The room bidder gives in, he stomps from the room, clearly angry.
The gavel is dropped. The phone bidder has now purchased a coffee grinder for £1350.

The lady to my right seems to barely believe it.
I catch her eye and express my surprise at the price it fetched.
There are tears in her eyes as she looks at me and tell me it was her coffee grinder. It belonged to her mother.
I move and give her a big hug.
She tells me that her mother died last year and her husband just died in February.
I tell her that I firmly believe sometimes, after a run of life being unpleasant, the world will send something along to buoy you up a bit.
She tells me that her mother used to tell her that a pair of oil paintings she owned should be treated with care for they were very valuable. They sold for £10. It would seem that her mother never really rated the coffee grinder, but not only that, she'd had the coffee grinder valued, they'd told her maybe £200.
I sent her off for a cup of tea, for that is the English way.

It just makes you smile to see good karma visited upon someone.
Or I'm just soft.

*I totally didn't believe knop was a real word. I was wrong!


Carrie said...

So you were! I googled and got the definition on wikipedia, who would have known? Amazing what you learn, innit? Was a nice looking grinder by the way :o)

Flibbertigibbet said...

When I was doing this entry I was actually going to correct the 'misspelling' and make it knob.
Nice, but worth £1350?
Not to me! lol