Thursday, 27 June 2019 12:22


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The spirit of summer presided over the halls of sunny Olympia in June, as the House & Garden Festival welcomed visitors through its doors. Giggy & Bab was there...

Sitting pretty on J34
Sitting pretty on J34

Here we are, Stand J34, a lovely spot, and, as luck would have it, surrounded by charming chaps. There was Dylan on Collectiviste, selling gorgeous oyster shell and resin lamps and hand woven cushions from Colombia. Kane was opposite on Ask Mummy & Daddy, plying his moreish confectionery in cute screwtop jars. His milk bottles and rainbow pencils are filling-tinglingly good. The pretty boys on the mixers stand next door were straight out of central casting. Then over the way was Tim of Red Door Posters with his stunning original posters from the last century - perfect for big walls... and wallets.

The step stools went down really well with show visitors. There were some lovely moments as people who remembered the original step stools shared their happy memories of sitting on them as children. A goodly number of people whose eyes lit up when they saw them, had been looking for one for ages, it's exactly what they wanted, and bought one on the spot. The people who had an old one in the garage covered with paint but still in use, how lovely to see them brought back to life. The man who came up to me on the first day and said "These stools are the best thing here," before melting back into the crowd.

Simon and Ness
Simon is 6'7" of bonnie lad, nae stool necessary

My sister Vanessa joined me on the stand and was a star as usual. Here she is with handsome Scottish Simon of Highland Boundary. At 6'7" he is emphatically not my ideal customer, but he does look rather fetching up a stool.

Simon's company Highland Boundary produces the rather special Birch & Elderflower spirit, one of many delicious tipples on sale at the Scottish Spirit Consortium stand, which he manned along with fellow Scot Findlay.

It was part of a cluster of food and drink stands regularly plundered by J & V of G & B. Halva from Sesame Kingdom, waxed truckles from Blacks Cheese, and lemon chilli peanuts from New York Delhi were particular faves.

We exhibitors all pulled together, friendships were formed, experiences swapped and grievances aired, products admired and bought or exchanged. Nessie fell for a Sputnikesque pale grey cooler table from Outside Gang, run by the delightful Graham. He loved the step stools and swapped one for a Blackheath in duck egg. Nice one!

Chaps on stools
Chaps on stools: Alex, Dylan

A special mention to Louise and John of Louise Tate Illustration for coming to the rescue. Nessie and I had set up the stand the day before the show opened, but after we left for the day a stool we had mounted on the wall fell off. It bounced and was unharmed, natch, as they are built like tanks. But Louise and John heard the noise and went to investigate, and took down the other two stools in case they too fell down. Dylan told me the next day, and I went and found them to thank them. Good eggs both, and she is a very talented illustrator too.

As usual, the stools came in handy both for sitting and for reaching high places.

Dylan of Collectiviste was pressed into service as a model. Poor man only came over to borrow one to hang something on his stand, but obliged with a manly pose.

And Alex nipped up a mint green Hornsey on the first day to staple up the new Giggy & Bab nameboard as the original one was spelt wrongly (tsk, tsk). Luckily there was a veritable smorgasbord of sturdy step stools for him to choose from.

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