Shopping is not one of my favourite things to occupy my time. Unless it is in a foreign country. Or an antique store. Which, in a way, can be like shopping in a foreign land.
There is a certain allure to antique shops. You never know what you are going to find. Some places cater to a very specific era like Victorian or Mid Century Modern or to clientele with upper class tastes for lots of needs-to-be-polished silver. Some are elegant while others a total mishmash. Some are more junk than antique. One thing they do have in common is a high turnover rate with no idea of what may be in stock next. Even if you are not particularly an antique lover you can usually enjoy a moment or ten perusing items that may remind you of your childhood, or finding a lovely Moorcroft vase that you never knew you had to have until that particular moment.
Some items may or may may not be actual antiques (like this vase I found on the internet, but it is a particularly fine example of modern Moorcroft Pottery)
And antique dealers are a different sort than your usual shop owner. They will often negotiate a price, sometimes even before you start demurring. Afterall, there is always more stock coming in. Someone could walk in the door with a stack of numbered prints or a phone call could come about Mother's estate that no-one in the family wants, or a restaurant could go to auction... room is always needed. I do believe they want to see their treasures go to someone who will really appreciate them. And it is not unusual to find a dealer who will spend a fair bit of time excitedly showing you various objects that he knows you have no intention of buying, but because it is so beautiful or unusual and he wants you to see it.
I have had dealers like Carrie phone me to let me know that there are more lampshades in like the one I was admiring a few months ago. There is Robert who will wrap up an item I am trying to talk myself out of buying and put it aside for the next day when I will return with money. Yes, you really need this. Of course, you need to have shopped there many times and made yourself known to them. Otherwise, you learn to buy it before someone else does, remembering that you cannot return it.
So you can imagine my dismay at seeing a MOVING SALE sign outside my favourite antique shop a short walk away from my house. No one was happy. The rent was raised to such an astronomical amount that he had no choice but to leave. There are still many other great antique shops not too far away, but none quite like Robert's and none within walking distance.
There will, however, be a new restaurant within walking distance...
More on that later.