A lot of unbelievable things have been happening round here lately, from my making butter from scratch (scratch!) to a major Hollywood star turning up unannounced at the garage sale I had as part of the 2013 Garage Sale Trail. This national event organises communities around Australia to hold garage sales on the same day. The aim is to promote the re-use of unwanted goods, saving them from landfill. Apparently it’s also helped 800,000 people in Australia meet their neighbours! But then, who needs neighbours when you’ve got Angelina Jolie popping by?
Before I tell you about my famous browser, let me tell you about my gorgeous little “shop”. At garage sale time, all my fantasies about having a little shop and selling gorgeous things (channelling Patsy from Ab Fab right now) come to the fore. Sometimes I wish I could be a window dresser, store buyer, shop owner or stylist, just so I could style and decorate my gorgeous little shop with lots of gorgeous things.
But in the absence of a bricks-and-mortar business, and also in the absence of an actual garage, I set up shop on the footpath outside the apartment building I live in. It was a bit of a rush getting everything out on the street by 9am Saturday morning. I was running the shop by myself, apart from sporadic help from Spider Boy.
As I sipped my morning coffee, I spied the neighbour across the road and down a bit, setting up half-an-hour early. She had a big sign. I had no sign. “Quiiiiiick!” I shrieked, “I’ve got to get out there! She’s already out there, It’s supposed to start at nine!”
“Oh for goodness sake,” said Granny, “It’s not Wall Street!”
“No. It’s War Street!” I answered, not exactly embodying the Garage Sale Trail’s community spirit.
After being very good running back and forth helping me set up, Spider Boy got jack of it by 10.30am and started playing on my phone, then went inside with Granny, popping out when various visitors arrived to support my sale.
Today I was selling clothes, shoes, jewellery, books, DVDs, and toys. The clothes were mostly Senorita Margarita’s, but she was unable to attend our garage sale, due to her attendance at an important conference, which was NOT the Mind Body Spirit Festival.
It had started out quite a windy morning, so the inventive and resourceful Granny decided to tie my clothing rack to a street sign after it kept blowing over, leaving silk and suede all over the footpath.
My friends Lulu and Mr.M arrived. We were were chatting on the pavement when I noticed an attractive woman with long brown hair flicking through the clothes on the rack tied to the street sign a few metres away. As she moved away from the rack, I took in her face, her eyes hidden behind big dark glasses, her lips – slightly beestung and instantly recognisable, her glossy brown hair streaked with honey gold. She was very slim, average height, wearing a long silk top, maxi skirt, with a blonde child on her hip, which may well have been five-year-old Vivienne. She moved quickly past my friends and I, around the street corner, passing the BEST clothes I’d hung on the front fence. She walked right past my Kate Moss for TopShop silk waistcoat – was she mad?! Hello! Bargains to be had!
Lulu buzzed over to me. “That was Angelina Jolie! I really think it was her! Lulu’s husband Mr.M joined us, nodding in amazed agreement, “I really think it was her!”
I thought about snapping a pic on my phone but didn’t want to create a spectacle, and anyway, she moved pretty quickly. Us three gawkers just upped and left my sale (there were no customers anyway) and tried to casually follow “Angelina”. But once around the corner, I couldn’t see her anymore. The woman and child had disappeared into thin air. Was she a spirit? A figment of our collective celebrity-consciousness?
We were all aware Angelina had arrived in Sydney a few weeks earlier for pre-production on the WWII drama Unbroken. The gossip pages gossiped that she had rented a mansion in a nearby suburb.
Mr.M was further down the road than Lulu and me, but turned back to us when there was nowhere else for him to go (it’s a cul-de-sac). “She went into that block of units!” He announced. “Maybe she’s hiding… Maybe she has a friend who lives in there… Maybe she had a car waiting to whisk her away!”
We then saw my neighbour, Lovely English Teacher, and we babbled the story to her. Lulu and Mr.M were absolutely convinced it was Angelina. I conceded it may have been her. After they left, I sat down on a folding chair under a gum tree and thought about things. I had no customers, so had plenty of time for thinking. I decided to tell people that I think Angelina Jolie may have come to my garage sale.
My phone pinged with a Facebook notification: Lulu had updated her status: “Just saw Angelina Jolie at Alexandra Abrahams garage sale!” Well now it was out there. If it was on Facebook, it must be true! OK, I can work with that. Angelina Jolie was at my garage sale!
One Facebook friend commented… “Perhaps she was looking for Wham! 12-inch singles.” To which I replied that if she was, she wouldn’t find any at my garage sale, because they’re all safely inside my house. Never selling them.
Later that afternoon, once I’d packed up and was back inside, I overheard Lovely English Teacher from my window as she was walking down the street talking to someone. “…and they were absolutely convinced Angelina Jolie was at their garage sale!”