Sunday, 28 September 2014

The Yard Sale - part 3!

It was a regular morning in the Chiffon/Chantilly household. Babies crying, siblings fighting, mother's begging and fathers trying their utmost to restore the peace. For an outsider it might look and sound like World War III is about to begin.

In the nursery, Delia finally manages to get Austin's diaper changed. He kept wriggling, trying his utmost to make his mother's task as difficult as possible. Delia gave as sigh of relieve. She got no sleep last night, the twins are teething and though Austin sleeps through it, despite the constant whining while asleep, Nigella was awake most part of the night.

At least it is not a working day, as Delia was unsure what she would have done, if she had to take care of other naughty children today. She picked Nigella up, who was still wailing. She wish she could put a sock in her mouth, but quickly banished that thought, she was a mother and a very good one a that, despite sometimes having a bad thought.

In the kids room, she could hear Gordon trying his best to keep patient while breaking up the fight between Karen and David.
Gordon: ... but who on earth will take your train.
David: She did dad, just yesterday she asked me which is my favorite toy and today it is gone.
Karen: It was not me, daddy. I don't even like that stupid thing.
David: You did
Karen: Did not
David: Did too
Karen: Did ...
Gordon: Ok ok you two, I have a plan, let's agree to disagree for now and when we return from the yard sale, we will all search together.
David: Ok
Karen: Ok, but I don't think it is fair, as I ...
Gordon: Hush Karen, we will help David.
Karen: Ok daddy.

Delia had to smile despite her tiredness, Gordon just always had a way to deal with those two. Upstairs she could her Myriam was having a hard time with Jacques. He isn't the easiest of babies, but Myriam is coping amazingly well. She was unsure if she should offer to help, though they share a house, it is always difficult to know what to do. The line between being helpful and interfering can be very fine

In the kitchen things were running much smoother and quieter. Maurice was quickly making breakfast for everyone, while entertaining Jocelyn, her infectious giggles could be heard through out the house

After what felt like ages, everyone gathered in the kitchen for breakfast.
Maurice: Morning, morning everyone. Come sit, sit. I've made some breakfast. Egg and bacon for the grown-ups and cheese souffle and yogurt for the kids.
Delia: Thank you Maurice you are a true lifesaver, but go ahead, I just quickly want to wash these bottles. Myriam where is Jacques' then I wash those too.
Myriam: Thank you so much Delia, I will take the afternoon wash shift then.
Maurice: So what was the fight about this morning Gordon.
Gordon: Sorry about that and that you all had to hear that. See you two (looking at Karen and David) this is really embarrassing, you should learn to live together in peace and harmony.
David: Karen took my toy train.
Maurice (becoming paler): Toy train?
Gordon: I don't think Karen took it David. Yes Maurice, it is a toy train that David has had since he was 3-years old, that his grandmother gave to him. He is very attached to it. It is a bit worse for wear, but you know that kids don't mind that.

Maurice knew exactly where that toy train was, it was part of the items he and Myriam donated to the yard sale. He found it in one of his old shoes, and didn't make much of it, thought it must have been something that Jocelyn brought home from school.

Luckily they were already a bit late, so breakfast was quickly finished after which they left in hurry for the yard sale.

Both families where surprised by the scene that greeted them when they turned the corner into the square, people were milling around, appreciating the thousands of items on display for sale.

David was glad to ran in into one of his best friends Hector Hunter-Smyth and they immediately set off, to have a look at all the wonderful items on display. 

Maurice however immediately went over to the toy table to see if he could found the missing train, and there to his surprise and huge relieve it was. He immediately pulled out some monies to buy it, but Mae Mulberry who was in charge of the toy stall informed him that Mayor Hugo must first open the proceedings.

Maurice was not the only one in a hurry for Mayor Hugo to officially open the proceedings. Many other Villagers had already picked out a few things that they desperately wanted too.

Slick Slydale had his eyes on some bathroom accessories.

Margaux Bercher wanted some of those roasting plates, while Sorrel eyed some vintage teaspoons.

Tilly and Grizabella were gathered at the book stall, and have already picked out a few books for each of them.

Before officially opening the sale, Mayor Hugo had a quick chat to Hatty and Velvette, who was behind the cash register. They will also make a list of what exactly will be sold.

Finally the moment was here and Mayor Hugo climbed on his small pedestal.
Hugo: Friends and fellow Villagers of Sugarbush Valley, welcome to our first annual yard sale. I would like to thank Hatty and Velvette for organising this special event, but also want to thank each of you for coming to support this worthy cause. As you must know by now, all monies raised today will go towards the Sugarbush Valley school for some much needed maintenance and also to buy the text books for the new term. 

Hugo: So without further ado, friends I now declare this yard sale officially open. 

Maurice pounced on the train as soon as Mayor Hugo finished his sentence, and in doing so almost took out poor Tamsie who was buying a toy for little Lumy. He was so relieved that he got it back, that the 100M he spent on it, didn't seem that much at the time.

But things don't always go to plan, because as he was about to turn around to quickly take the train home and hid it somewhere in the house, before returning to the yard sale he bumped into Myriam.
Myriam: Maurice, there you are. Oh I see you bought a toy for Jacques, though it looks a bit old?
Maurice: Uhm... actually Honey this is not for Jacques, this is for ...uhm ... David.
Myriam: David? Why would you buy him a gift?
Maurice: You know the train David mentioned this morning ... well this is that one.
Myriam: Oh Honey, how kind are you. But how on earth did it land up at the yard sale.
Maurice: Uhm... I accidentally gave it to Velvette when she came to collect from us.
Myriam: YOU DID WHAT? Oh my gosh, this is terrible, terrible. What if they find out. Let's just leave please.

Maurice was taken a back by his wife's reaction, which he felt was a bit dramatic, but he didn't dare say anything.
Myriam: How could you do that. You know that they are leasing their attic room to us, out of the kindness of their hearts. What will happen to us if they kick us out? What Maurice? WHAT?
Maurice: Oh Honey, I'm sure they will not do that and afterall I did get the train back didn't I. We will just put it back and nothing will come of it.
Myriam: Oh Maurice don't be so "don't-care" about it, what if they found out, before we get to put it back. I'm telling you, I'm not going back to living in the Commune. I really didn't like living there.

Maurice decided to rather keep quiet and obediently followed his wife back home. This is typical Myriam, overreacting when there is no reason for it.

In the meantime the sale went on. The Villagers truly enjoyed the experience. Velvette and Hatty helped the Villagers to the best of their abilities and then there were those who found true bargains. Like Camilla who found a toaster and a pressure cooker for next to nothing.

Teri found some shoes for little Cremé and even did a bit of early Christmas shopping for her Mother-in-law. Bridget wasn't that lucky though, as Clop refused to try on any of the darling little pairs of shoes.

Esmé and Scarlett loved the fact that Hubert Allan were taking photos of the event, and readily posed for him. Maybe their photo will make the Sylvanian Post and then they'll be famous!

Theodora Dappledawn was relieved when she found the ideal birthday gift for Herbage, a radio. He is forever complaining on how quiet things can get when the kids are outside playing. Meantime the Awesome-Twosome also enjoyed a shopping spree.

Everyone's shopping experience was, however interrupted by Velvette Slydale.
Velvette: Excuse me everyone, sorry, sorry to bother you, but can I have your attention please. I have a bit of a surprise for all the shoppers. Here in my hand I have a donation that the kind Mr Puddleford made. It is one of his exclusive hand-sewn duck down, king size duvet inners and 2 matching pillows. I want to auction this off and of course all proceeds will also go to the school.

It was obvious that the crowd was really excited about the prospect of bidding on one of these exclusive sets. It is mostly not affordable and a luxury in many house holds.
Velvette: Ok ladies and gents... who will give me ...
Mable: Sorry ... uhm... Dearie, we will give you 5000M for that set.
Mack: WE WILL?!
Mable (whispering): Oh hush Mack, it is for a good cause.
Mack: IT IS?! But we don't have that kind of monies laying around? Do we?
Mable: Yes you do! Yes, Velvette, sorry we will take it.
The crowd was shocked to silence and no one even attempted to offer a higher bid, as it was already more than double the price it is in "Nocturnal".

Velvette: Wow Mable, that is extremely generous of you! Thank you so much.
Mable: It is only our pleasure, we already have 3 grandchildren in that school and with Blanka and Andrey also moving here soon, I'm sure there will be more attending soon.
Velvette: That is wonderful, thank you so much again.

After the excitement and absurdity of the auction, the tables cleared even quicker and the shoppers got less and less. Velvette was about to call and end to the sale, when she noticed someone she didn't expect to show up: Nelson and Beth Puddleford. She was truly glad they came and went over to have a chat with them.

Velvette: Nelson, Beth! You came, how wonderful.
Nelson: Yes, I assume it was expected of me and the town is so quiet that there was mo use keeping the shop open.
Velvette: Well, that is a good enough excuse. But unfortunately most of the produce is sold out.
Nelson: That is ok, I'm not really here to buy anything, maybe some of Pippa's doughnuts for the ducklings.
Velvette: I'm sure they will like that. And by the way your generarous donation, was sold for 5000M so you did more than your part.
Nelson: That little, I suppose these villagers will just never notice good quality, even when it hits them in the face.

As Nelson and his family waddled on, Velvette had to laugh at Nelson. Always the sceptic and as she looked around her she felt proud of what the Villagers of Sugarbush Valley accomplished.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Preparations - part 2

Unfortunately this morning's post turns out to be nothing like I planned, but I still think it is better than nothing. I suddenly and literally in the wink of an eye got a flu bug and though I pushed through and took some photos on Saturday, I just couldn't get myself so far to be creative yesterday, too. So apologies for the shortish story and do stay tuned for part 3.

Slick Slydale filled the kettle with some water and placed it on the stove. Today is Velvette and Hatty's big day and he really wants to show his support, even though he has had it with this yard sale event. That is the only thing that the two of them have been talking about the last two weeks. Not that he and Hubert ever get a chance to talk much, but this was even worse than usual.

Slick had to smirk as he thought of the events of the past fortnight. His favorite was still the one evening when he came home to find Hatty on the sofa, with a wet cloth on her face and her feet in a bucket of water.

Apparently she had to WALK all the way to Highfields farm to collect items for the yard sale from the Buttercups. Word is that Daisy was so kind to pack it all in one of the delivery trolleys.

His second favorite is definitely the evening that Jack Meadows came around, with another huge trolley of items. Telling Hatty that although they (the Meadows family), don't have much it is not a good enough reason to exclude them from an event of which the sole objective was to involve all the villagers.

Slick however, felt instantly bad about his thoughts. He really liked Hatty and not only because she is Velvette's best friend and her husband, Hubert is his best friend. She is by far the most reliable person he has ever come across, if she promises to do something she does it immediately. She is also a great mother to her four children and a wonderful 'aunt' to his three.

In the attic room the children were still sleeping, or rather pretending to be asleep. They are dying to get up, but too afraid that they will be given some instructions by their mothers to help with the yard sale. The plan is to wait in bed until the adults leave and then to get dressed and disappear.

Buster and Dennis vividly remembers the day they went to play tennis and forgot to help Hatty with the collection of the items at Highfields. Buster has never seen his dad so furious and Dennis his father so disappointed.

In their bedroom, Hatty and Hubert Allan was feeding the twins. She is particularly grateful that the twins are not fussy drinkers and quickly gulps down their milk. She still has a million things to do and after the week she had, she is exhausted. Hubert Allan has been her rock and if it weren't for Velvette this event surely wouldn't have taken place

On the other side of the room Velvette was getting dressed for the yard sale. She truly has never been this excited about any other event. The way the villagers opened their hearts (and their attics) was amazing. The number of items they collected is astonishing and she know that they will make enough money to at least buy new books for the whole of the next school term.

While making the bed Velvette had a little giggle. Most of the villagers, no actually all of the villagers were more then ready to donate items for the sale. Some of them like Spencer Maces and Alex Periwinkle even donated new items directly from the shelves of their shops! Of course there was one villager who wasn't that keen donate something, Nelson Puddleford...

This was the conversation between herself and Nelson
Velvette knocked softly on the shop door of Nocturnal. Though the shop door was open, it was a widely known fact that Nelson Puddleford, the owner of Nocturnal didn't like surprises, and should be approached cautiously.
Nelson (from somewhere inside): Yes!
Velvette: Nelson it is Velvette, how are you?
Nelson: Do come in Velvette, sorry Beth is out and I was at the back sewing. I'm actually running behind, so quickly tell me how can I help?
Velvette (for the 100th time that day): I don't know if you heard or got the letter but I am collecting items for our Village jumble sale and we are asking all villagers to contribute something.
Nelson: Yes, yes, I've heard. But how bizarre to collect second hand items and to resell it. Who on earth would want to buy that?

Velvette: Yes, it does seem strange, but the items that we have received is in excellent condition and we will only sell those that are really worthwhile.
Nelson: Well, I won't be buying anything.
Velvette: Some people even donate brand new stuff...
Nelson (suspicious): Like who?
Velvette: Unfortunately that is confidential, so Nelson what will you be donating.
Nelson: Nothing. My children is not in the Senior school, so no I will not donate and item.
Velvette: Oh for heavens sake Nelson, do you like it to be difficult. Just donate something. A pillow case even, what will those set you back?
Nelson: I don't like your tone Velvette but if you are bullying me into donating something, I guess I have no choice. What about this bale pack? It contains a duvet, and two pillows, stuffed with goose down.
Velvette (astonished): Really are you now completely serious. Oh wow, Nelson that is an amazing donation. Thank you!
Nelson: Now please get out, I have work to do.

And that was the end of the conversation. Velvette couldn't believe her luck. And she is sure no one else will too. She has something special planned for that bale pack. She hid the bale pack and didn't even tell Hatty about it.

Soon it was time to leave. To their mother's disbelieve, all  four children were still fast asleep, so they left a note for them on the table and left.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Meeting at Cedar Terrace 3 - Part 1

Dear Reader

So time for another new story, you are truly spoiled this week. I had time to write it yesterday and as the photos was so easy to take, i.e. not a lot of different scenes and things to set up, I pushed through and here it is!

This is a 2-part story and if all goes to plan, part 2 will be up soon.

With the change in seasons, the lightening in my SF room has changed too, and I'm still figuring that out, so the pictures are not the best but it will have to suffice for now.

It was a lovely Spring day outside, but Hubert Allan Huckleberry preferred the peacefulness of the attic room. Even though the attic room is the children's room it is the quietest room in the house. It is spring break and the children are playing outside, enjoying the fantastic weather and their free time.

Hubert Allan however, discovered a new book about words and its meanings at the Sylvanian Market. According to Spencer it was ordered by mistake, and he was planning on donating it to the school, but Hubert Allan didn't have the patience to wait for the donation to happen or ran the risk of not getting his hands on the book first. So he was sitting on his son's, Dennis, bed and memorising the meanings of all these wonderful words.

He could hear Velvette fiddling in the kitchen downstairs and Hatty has been in the bathroom for over an hour now, obviously the two ladies are getting ready for something, but he is not entirely sure what and he do not want to ask what the occasion is, as then it will be expected of him to offer his help and he much more prefers hiding up here and enjoying the book.

The peacefulness was however short lived as the next moment Hatty stood in front of him, looking ever so annoyed though beautiful. She usually looks at her most beautiful when she is angry.
Hatty: Hubert Allan Huckleberry! What are you doing?
HA: Hello dear, I'm just reading a bit, you know, resting, and enjoying the school break, as I should be.
Hatty: Oh that is NICE! I wish I could get a chance to rest and do NOTHING! But no, Velvette and me are working ourselves to the ground for YOUR school and your are resting!

HA: What do you mean Sweetcakes?
Hatty: Don't Sweetcakes me! Have you truly forgotten about our meeting with Mayor Hugo, about the fundraiser for the school.
HA: Oh my dear! I'm so sorry, yes I did forget. Or no not really forget, I just thought that it was tomorrow... or is it already tomorrow? What day is it?
Hatty: It is the day where you should put that book down and come and help us downstairs to get ready for the meeting. Mayor Hugo will be here any minute and we must still put the snacks out.
HA: I thought it was a formal meeting, not a tea party?
Hatty: HUBERT ALLAN! Do you really want to have our Mayor over and not offer him anything to eat or drink?
HA: Of course not, but I'm sure he would be happy with water and biscuits?
Hatty (throwing her arms in the air and storming out): UUUUURRRRRGGGGHHHH!

Hubert Allan slowly got up and as he walked out the room longingly stared at his book. Why do one always have to choose between what one wants to do and should be doing?

In the kitchen the table was setup for the meeting, folders and pens and writing blocks and a jug of water. On the counter the coffee cups were put out and Velvette was arranging the most daintiest of sandwiches on a platter. Hubert Allan wasn't sure what to do, everything looked ready.

Hatty: Thank you Hubi for coming down to help us. Can you maybe decant the juice?
HA: Sure, dear.

Hubert Allan was a bit taken aback by the sweet tone Hatty has suddenly adapted, but they have never fought in public and though they are in their own home and Velvette is their best friend, she is still seen as "public", so Hatty's behavior is not that strange after all. That is surely one of the disadvantages of sharing a house, even if it was with your best friends, some issues are swept under the carpet to protect the peace and not have a public showdown, but as in this case it has many advantages too.

Too soon, according to the two ladies the doorbell rang, and the meeting could begin. After the usual pleasantries and a few jokes Velvette called the meeting to order. She informed the Mayor that as the Chairperson of the School Board she thinks it is necessary to have a fund raiser. The school is in dire need of some upgrading and though the simple way is to increase the school fees, she thought that it was a good idea to rather have a sale of some kind and get the whole village involved.

Hugo: That is a great idea Velvette. What do you think Hatty and Hubert?
Hatty: We have already discussed the possiblities and we agree that a fundraiser is a great idea.
HA (looking puzzled): We have?

But no one was paying attention to Hubert Allan he was afterall only the Headmaster and everyone knew that it was actually Hatty and Velvette who were in charge.

The meeting went well, and it was after much brainstorming and deliberation that the decision was made to have a yard sale.

Velvette: I think a yard sale would be the best idea. We will have the sale in the Village Square. The shop owners in and around the square can keep there shops open, which will mean some extra sales for them. It will be like a small festival.
HA: That sounds like fun, but what will we sell at the yard sale?
Hatty: It was our thinking to get all the villagers to donate items that they don't use anymore. Obviously it should still be working and in a good condition, or at least easy to fix.

Hugo: This sounds fantastic, you ladies have obvioulsy planned this well in advance, which will make the execution of the event so much easier. Thank you. I just think to make things even easier, is that, instead of asking people to bring their items to the school, that it should be collected from their houses.
HA: That is actually a great idea Mayor. We send a letter with the children to give their parents some time to prepare the items, and then it is collected at their houses.
Hugo: Brilliant. And as Velvette and Hatty are the champions of this fantastic event, I think they should do the collecting. Velvette, I suggest you go round to all the residents in town and collect from them and then Hatty you can collect from the outlaying areas and the Commune. We will need Hubert to write the letters and to excite the children about the event, so that they in turn can convey that to their parents.

Hugo knew he was abusing his power, but he was a bit irritated by these two. They always take over everything, it was obvious that poor Hubert Allan wasn't included in any of these discussions or planning, which is not fair as he is afterall the Headmaster and in charge. He could have easily suggested that he and Hubert Allan will do the collections, but as they are so ready to get all the praise they can just as well to the grunt work too. 

Hatty (displeased expression on her face): You can count on us Mayor Hugo, this will be a night to remember.
Hugo: Thank you Hatty and once again thank you Velvette to for all your hard work.
Velvette: Let's have some coffee.

Hubert Allan were enjoying the moment immensely, He wasn't stupid at all, yes he was introverted and always tried to avoid conflict, but he saw what Mayor Hugo was doing and appreciated it very much.

After polishing a plate of delicious sandwiches and a refreshing cup of coffee, Mayor Hugo excused himself. He had a million other meetings to attend as well. He thanked the ladies and Hubert Allan once more and left.

Hubert Allan was a bit anxious about what would happen next. Surely the complaining and whining will start, but to his surprise it did not. Both Velvette and Hatty silently started to clear the kitchen and he saw the chance to sneak away to his book.

Hubert Allan savored the peace and quiet of the attic room. He is still regretting the fact that the day they divided the rooms amongst the families that he didn't put his foot down and insisted that they, the Huckleberry's should get the attic room. He, afterall, got the house for them. But the children were so delighted that they would share a room that he felt too bad to shatter their excitement.

Hatty: Hubi are you up here.
HA: Yes I am, Sweetcakes (oh no not now Hubert thought)
Hatty: I'm so hurt, can you believe the way Mayor Hugo spoke to me?
HA: What to you mean Sweetcakes? 
Hatty: Suggesting I should walk to the farm and caravan-park to collect items.
HA: I'm sure he didn't mean it like that!
Hatty: Will you help me?
HA: Oh Sweetcakes, you know better than to defy Mayor Hugo. And I will be so busy with the organisation behind the scenes, that I might not have time. Maybe Dennis and Buster could help you.

Hubert Allan now felt bad too, but he has had enough. He loves Hatty and is one of a very few that understands her, but this time he is putting his foot down.

Hatty sulkily turned away, manipulating the situation as only she can. But Hubert Allan stood strong. He will NOT give in!