Quick hop to Tennant’s

I haven’t been inside The Boar’s Head since the last night of Midsummer Night’s Dream, maybe six years ago. I didn’t expect to be back here just before we lock down for the second time during a global pandemic.

I was driving from Leyburn to Harrogate this beautiful day, and I hit a very familiar roundabout. I impulse pulled my wheel into an empty parking space. Now I’m having an expensive fake beer in one of the places we would all spill to after a show in the grounds of the castle. A decade of shows at Sprite. A decade of wages direct to Lord and Lady Ingleby by way of this establishment. Warm happy memories of fellowship, positivity and financial recklessness. The life of an actor on tour. One third sleeping, one third shouting, one third drinking. Maybe a bit of exploring instead of the drinking and sleeping, but doing so in monkish silence because all the drinking and shouting isn’t great for the old vocal folds.

God’s Own Country. The rolling dales. Hell of a place to work outdoors in summer. It’s where my mission took me, once more, just before we lock down. It’s my fourth journey to Tennant’s Auctioneers. I’m catching the last opportunity to jettison bulk and make it easier to organise the contents of my flat once I’m confined to it in the cold dark fearful winter.

They know me by now. One of owners greeted me by name immediately upon arrival. They took the lot, pretty much. Rejected a bag of uncle Peter’s fucked Hornby. Rejected a bag of mixed crap cameras. Took the rest. I can sleep easy in Harrogate tonight knowing that there’s nothing much to lose if somebody decides to have a rummage through the car by way of the broken window. The window is now plugged by a vintage pillowcase which is probably the most value in the whole vehicle. I’ll miss it but it’ll have to go. Might try and swap it at a dealership up here tomorrow.

I did find myself browsing the next Tennant’s sale, which they’ve rushed to get on display in order to give potential buyers a shot at eyeing up the merch before everybody has to shut the doors. It’s a strange experience, seeing things that used to be on my drinks cabinet looking shiny and tagged as part of thoughtful displays on other people’s antique furniture. They’ve laid it out very well. But looking at it all was a mistake, as now I’ve got my eyes on something in the sale. It’ll be an effort of will not to buy it if my stuff sells well before it. Although I don’t want Tennant’s to become a swinging door where I essentially just walk in with a box and walk out with a different box every few months. Freedom to move within my flat without stepping on something is a glorious dream that CAN be achieved…

There’s something about the circle of stuff that’s interesting to contemplate. I wonder the record number of times the same item has been sold by the same auctioneer to a different person over the years. I bet it’s higher than you’d think. Stuff goes round and round. Loads of my dad’s things have the tags still attached from previous auctions. Ditto the fire damaged stuff from different provenance. Even my uncle’s things. These auction houses can be habit forming and I’m sure the idle rich will spend ages and fortunes. I’m relying on it. But I’d advise caution. Like this blog, consume only as part of a balanced diet.

On which subject, I’ve finished my virtuous nonalcoholic bitter. I’m off to Harrogate for a peaceful night with a lovely friend and then back to London to pretend I’m a hermit until Christmas.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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