Well if you had asked me this time last week what I'd be spending the week doing this week I don't think I'd have believed the answer myself but such is the way life plays out and we must go with the flow and make the most of the choices we have. A bit more than 3 years ago I took a chance and put a note in the letterbox of 107 Princes Rd in Mitcham and a week or so later the owner Mary rang me back and asked me to come in and have a look at her shop which had been disused for 10 years. She had been fighting cancer for nearly 10 years but was willing to take a punt on having a tennant at the front of her house....it wasn't perfect but it had potential and so my little space was created as a Gallery and an office....a few months later Sally came along and with Tash's help 'This Fine Day' became a reality. The shops were redecorated and Mary perked up and really enjoyed the company and now had an outlet to sell her home grown olives and fruit.....when Mary passed away in 2011 it was like losing a wise and supportive mentor and threw us into unknown waters as the building went on the market...an agent was chosen and the uncertainty began....our shops were heavily marketed as the strong point of the building and there were offers and retractions and misunderstandings but we carried on as normal while it became increasingly difficult to predict what the future might be. I stayed on a monthly lease not wanting to sign up with an unknown landlord....then 4 months ago an offer was made and accepted and we were told the 'good news' that we were safe and would be able to carry on with our tennancies as before by the agent which not only made me breathe a sigh of relief but also stop looking for alternative buildings . The fact that the new owners didn't contact us during the 4 months was a bit worrying but we saw the agent on a few occasions who reiterated the owners wish to leave things as they are...the last time adding 'for now' which set off alarm bells at the time.....sure enough last Friday was settlement day and was a busy day for the new owners and we didn't get to have a chat until Sat. On Friday they expressed surprise that there were certain parts of the building being used that they had been told would be available for them. On Sat I was asked how long it would take me to leave as the new owners had told the agent from the get go that they would be needing my space. The result of this was total chaos and I have spent the most part of this pre xmas premium shooting time clearing out my space....the new owners have kindly said they will keep up my signage which is a help and I am moving my office home and trying to get settled asap (even though I could take a couple of months) so that I can carry on with my work as normal. Luckily I operated from home for 15 years before having the studio doing mostly location shoots but with the addition of the 'She" Beauty Shoots I need a shooting space outside of home so these may be on the back burner until the right space comes up. Viewings will also be on location again and I will be hanging out at This Fine Day as a customer instead of a co-worker....Funnily enough I am kind of looking forward to having a rest and regroup over the Xmas holidays and am quite excited about the potential choices that I will have in the future as I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason. The other rather wonderful thing that has emerged in the last week is the enormous loyalty and support from friends and family, clients and the photographic community and for this has resulted in me feeling pretty lucky and I want to thank each and every one who has offered to help.
On Sunday I will be joining This Fine day in having a xmas sale with very good deals on paintings and wall prints and will also have TFD Vintage clothing and jewellery for sale as the Sunday Market at the Mitcham institute will be on across the road so should be a bit of fun.
I will miss my lovely little gallery but it is destined for greater things and I will keep you posted as to where my studio eventually finds a new home....and in the meantime you can reach me as always on my mobile number and via the website x L