In the ongoing quest to declutter the house we gathered up boxes of books, videos, china and bric-a-brac early this morning and set off to do our first ever car boot sale.

And it was a bit of an eye opener for both of us. Martyn stood there astonished, confessing that he was seeing a side of me he’d not seen before as I cajoled, bartered and bargained with people over prices. He summed it up with “You have a knack for striking up a conversation with people I’d cross the street to avoid”. The years of holding stalls at church bazaars as a child finally came in useful. I would get very hot under the collar to see people try and bargain for homemade cakes though. My mother‘s world famous* homemade cakes at that! She would spend an awful lot of money on ingredients then bake from dusk to dawn for a week each November. To stand there and see people try and bargain the price down from 30p to 20p for a slice of fruit cake would have me bouncing off the floor in anger.

We’d barely opened the car doors before the crowds swooped, prodding and inspecting the contents of our boxes. We had three paste tables and nice cloths to cover them – hah! It took us an hour to get everything on the table because we had to keep stopping to sell things. Which I suppose is living up to the name “car boot” sale since we were literally selling from the boot of the car.

But two hours in and I learned to smile with eyes that said “Feck off if you think you’re going to steal from me” and to recognise the children sent by their parents to weadle a better price for items by lisping “It’s for my mummy’s birthday…”. As far as I can tell we had two or three items stolen. The first was a brand new S0ny Walkman (they left the box the bastards) and I think a couple of books disappeared too.

So will we do it again? Absolutely! Despite a bad back, neck and feet (standing for 5 hours will do that to you) it reallly was huge amounts of fun. We met some lovely people, the sun was shining and we’ve recouped a bit of money for all stuff that we should have gotten rid of years ago.

But now I’m going to hobble off to a nice hot bath.

* world famous might be a tad exagerrated but she is certainly known as a very good cook, particularly her pastry. And not to leave dad out in case he ever reads this, his pasta dishes are divine too.

6 Responses to “Booty!”

  1. Neil T.
    April 24th, 2005 18:14

    Once I’ve settled somewhere and laid claim to any useful rubbish in their house I imagine that’s what the parents will be doing. They don’t have a huge amount of junk but there’s still a fair bit lying around that they could easily get rid of.

    That said, my mother does give a lot of her old clothes to charity shops. She has two tests: ‘Does it still fit me?’ and ‘Have I actually worn it in a couple of years?’. Unless it’s a particularly special outfit, anything that fails either of those tests ends up in Oxfam pretty quickly.

  2. Croila
    April 24th, 2005 21:12

    Wow, sounds like you might have discovered a new calling in life. I have got loads of stuff to get rid of… Hmmmm. I’ll have to think about this myself!

  3. Daisy
    April 24th, 2005 22:06

    Neil, I have in the past given lots of stuff to charity but it’s a tad disheartening to see how low they price things (I aprecciate that they know their market but still). There’s also the problem in our area that most of the shops are full to capacity and just not accepting any more donations. The game plan is to use part of the money for regular monthly donations*, I’m just saving them money by selling it myself :-)

    * but definitely not Oxfam, I think they spend too much on administration.

    Croila, go for it! It’s tiring and a little dispiriting to see the thieving that goes on but so much fun. Maybe start off with a small table of d’s clothes that he’s outgrown?

  4. mary
    April 25th, 2005 00:10

    Sounds like so much fun. I don’t think we have a place for that here. We do have yard and garage sales, but you have to advertise in the paper if you want much traffic. This sounds like a great idea. I think I’ll bring it up at our next council. Thanks – rest up.

  5. Daisy
    April 25th, 2005 15:09

    Mary, we do have garage sales here too (people advertise them in local papers) but I think the car boot sale is so popular here because it means you don’t have swarms of people coming to your house. Living with a security conscious retired policeman, he flat out refuses to have a garage sale until we’re about to move from here. But in order to get ready to move from here we have to get rid of oodles of stuff. Chicken, meet egg; Egg, meet chicken.

  6. Nancy
    April 26th, 2005 17:02

    I missed this post the last time I checked. Your car boot sale sounded way more fun than my (almost) unending garage sale. I do like making conversation with all kinds of people, but I’m horrible at selling. I just take what they want to give me. “It’s for my mummy’s birthday” – that is low, though!

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