Buoy and Bauble

My favourite store at Peggy’s Cove was one that seemed rather like nothing from the outside. Maybe that’s why I loved it so much.

From the outside I saw only hints of glass and flashes of colour. The building itself looked rather shabby, with peeling paint and dirty windows. But inside lay a sea of treasures.

The ceiling is low and covered in fishing net that is attached to the wall by dried starfish and shells. Many of the items for sale were truly vintage – well worn from years of hard work.

A small stack of used books greeted me first. Then I looked up and saw the bold colours of painted buoys. They hung wherever there was space, all dressed up in maritime colours.

More subdued were the retired lobster cages, sun bleached and aged with sea water. Driftwood, coral stones, and rusty anchors gave the place a certain unexpected appeal.

A large whale jawbone drew the clicks of many cameras – mine included.

At the entrance an old man sat, whittling away at small piece of wood. He was polite and cheerful, with the patience of a seasoned fisherman.

Perhaps my favourite aspect was the old glass bottles that lined the window. Some were chipped, and most of them were a little bit dirty. I like to think that they were found objects – bits and pieces that he had collected through his years out on the ocean and along the beaches. Or perhaps they were old bottles that he had collected over time. Medicine, alcohol, pills… I think they are my favourite because there is a kind of curiosity behind them.

As I left I passed by his front desk where the old man sat. The table was covered in large sea shells and small hand-painted buoys. Five dollars. They were simple. It wouldn’t be hard to make one myself. But I handed over the money with a delighted smile.

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