Joany’s Some­times Stall

A road­side stall is a dream come true.

NZ Lifestyle Block - - A COUNTRY LIFE - Words Joan Rock­ell

“You want me to build you a what?”

asks Beloved, feign­ing sur­prise, although we both know I’ve been drop­ping hints for ages.

“I want you to build me a staaaall!” I say ex­cit­edly, at­tempt­ing to strike a tone that im­plies a stall will so im­prove our life­style we’ll for­ever won­der why we hadn’t built one sooner. “A road­side stall! Like the ones you see in quaint coun­try places with the quaint hon­esty boxes.”

I watch Beloved’s face for stress indi­ca­tors; not easy to do when he’s sport­ing a mas­sive beard. I’m aware I ask a lot from the man who does only things I re­ally, re­ally can’t do my­self, like dig­ging big holes, han­dling the fowl and build­ing things like a stall.

I love the road­side stalls that dot the ru­ral land­scape, sud­denly ap­pear­ing on a windy road when you least ex­pect it, so I was try­ing not to let on just how des­per­ate I was for one of my own. Beloved took a mo­ment to re­spond, giv­ing the im­pres­sion he was care­fully con­sid­er­ing the pros and cons.

On the other hand, I had al­ready thor­oughly con­vinced my­self a stall would not only bring joy to those en­coun­ter­ing it, but also add char­ac­ter to our boundary. The loose change would come in handy, mean­ing I may never again need to with­draw cash from an ATM.

“I can see you’re des­per­ate for a stall,” says Beloved. Dammit. “I just don’t think it’s safe for cars to pull over here,” he says au­thor­i­ta­tively, ges­tur­ing to­wards the stall’s pro­posed lo­ca­tion. For­tu­nately, I had fore­seen this pre­dictable line of ar­gu­ment and al­ready done my re­search. I may not be skilled with hole dig­ging, fowl han­dling and stall build­ing, but I have been blessed with a per­son­al­ity well suited to nav­i­gat­ing lo­cal govern­ment bu­reau­cracy.

“I’ve checked with the coun­cil and they say there’s no pol­icy on road­side stalls.”

Beloved looks at me cyn­i­cally, like I’ve man­u­fac­tured this in­for­ma­tion. Does he se­ri­ously think I’d stoop to telling porkies in or­der to get a stall? Maybe.

“It’s just as well we don’t live in a

Su­per City, oth­er­wise we’d prob­a­bly need to ap­ply for re­source con­sent,” I joke. Beloved cracks a re­luc­tant smile. Fi­nally, a glim­mer of stall build­ing hope.

“This spot is a dream stall lo­ca­tion,” I ex­plain, un­will­ing to give in and now sound­ing a lit­tle like a real es­tate agent. “This is the point in the road where phone re­cep­tion re­turns. Cars stop to make calls and to let their kids vomit – I’ve seen them! It’s per­fect for a stall. And maybe a sick bucket. And run­ning wa­ter. Plus it’s my birth­day soon and I re­ally, re­ally want a stall for a present.” I flash what I like to think is my win­ning smile.

Reluc­tantly, Beloved agrees, although later I learn this is be­cause he knew I’d skipped break­fast and was min­utes away from a low blood sugar out­burst.

“I’ll build you a stall on two con­di­tions. One, I am ab­solved of all stall-re­lated re­spon­si­bil­ity post-con­struc­tion; and two, you call it ‘The Some­times Stall.’”

“The Some­times Stall? That’s not very quaint.”

“It’s a per­fect name for your staaaall!” he says, mim­ick­ing me. “Be­cause you’ll some­times re­mem­ber to put stuff in it to sell, and some­times you won’t.”

I scoff at the sug­ges­tion. But know­ing how quickly I lose in­ter­est in things I was for­merly re­ally, re­ally ex­cited about, I quickly change the topic to more press­ing mat­ters, like colour schemes for the sign.

But ev­ery­one loves it – check out my fan mail! ■

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.