We've just returned from our recent buying trip to an unseasonably cold England. All winter long we heard from British friends about the country's abnormally cold and snowy weather. As our departure date approached, we checked British weather forecasts daily, hoping that this bitter winter would yield to spring before our arrival.
Unfortunately, this did not occur. The severe English winter of 2013 extended well into April. We arrived in London on March 26, on the heels of a heavy snow storm that had paralyzed parts of England. The weather was on everyone's lips. A dealer in Brighton, on the south coast, told us that, only a few days before, he had taken the bus to work in a morning snow. By day's end, all public transport had been cancelled, forcing him to make the one and a half hour walk to his home in blinding snow and freezing temperatures.
Although we saw only a few dustings of snow, we experienced much of the same. We needed to scrape our windshield almost every morning, and temperatures of 35 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and winds of up to forty miles per hour kept us in multiple layers of clothing for the entire visit.
The mega-fair at Newark in Nottinghamshire presented the greatest challenge. When we left our hotel around 7:00 a.m., the temperature was a few degrees below freezing. When the fair opened at 9:00 a.m., it had warmed to 36 degrees, but any possibility of comfort was squelched by the strong, gusty winds that continued all day. By 4:00 p.m., after seven hours of traipsing through open fields and unheated, open-ended buildings, watching as more and more exhibitors decided give in to the merciless cold and to pack up and go home, we did the same, but not before we had acquired a significant shipment of good furniture and smalls - adequate compensation for discomfort endured.
The focus of this month's newsletter is the upcoming showcase for these new acquisitions and the many other pieces we've acquired in England and at home during the past five months. The event to which we refer is, of course, our 2013 Spring Opening on May 4 and 5 at our shop in Conway. The shop has been closed all winter in the interest of conserving heating fuel, and we've been doing business by appointment and through our website. We're excited about having people in the shop again and promise to have plenty on display to reward those who come.
We'll send another announcement of the opening in late April. In the meantime, we invite you to see pictures of last October's Opening - one of our best. Just click this link.