Thursday, 27 June 2013

Diary of a boot sale princess

So here it is, my first blog post ever! Please be gentle with me.
This is a little update about our latest adventure in which I discover one is not a womble and sleep is a necessity not an option.
We loaded our goodies into the van and trailer Sunday night after Lord Rust had returned from visiting family in the north and set off for a day of selling at Newbury Race Course, which by the way, was one of the worst days trading I've ever experienced! Only made bearable by the company of our fellow traders Mr and Mrs Pork Pie Hat. (More about them another time.)
By packing up time we were deflated, tired and starving but decided that at this point things can only get better and headed on to Kempton.
For those of you who've not experienced this I'll try and explain the madness, imagine if you will that the queueing system was invented by someone on crack! We arrive in the car park at 7.00 pm, already about 50th in the queue, wander down the road to a pub where the carpet looks sticky but they serve a perfectly lovely salmon en croute, arrive back at the van around 11. We sleep sitting up in the front until around 2.00am when you are rudely awoken by some neighbouring transit van owner (knuckles dragging on the floor) and moved onto the race track, an hour and a half later woken again, this is the point where you find out if you are successful in getting a casual pitch or not. Imagine the profanities if one was to be turned away this far into the ordeal. Luckily for us, and the bearer of the good news we were charged £100 and sent on our merry way to our first ever pitch at Kempton, where you are packed in like sardines by an official who isn't afraid shout obscenities at you until you park in exactly the desired position.
6.30 am arrives and you are unloading as buyers are getting in your way, one tiny Japanese lady made me belly laugh with delight as she sprinted shrieking excitedly towards the far end of the market. Adrenalin had truly kicked in and amid a surge in customers we are given the recommendation to go to Wimbledon Dog Racing Track for their car boot sale the next day, full of tea and endorphins as our stock depletes we decide this is a brilliant idea.
It wasn't a brilliant idea, we decend upon a friend of Lord Rust's for a shower, re-stock our bacon and milk supply and head to Wimbledon. I'm sure at any other time of year it's pretentiousness is utterly charming but during the tennis its awash with chino wearing red nosed drunks taking up all the tables at every restaurant within our slightly modest budget. After a conversation with a delightful park ranger we are advised of a place where people park their camper vans for free on the common, upon arrival we see its a narrow road with no amenities. this does not make for a comfortable evening, with empty bellies we try to sleep, awoken by every passing vehicle. At 4.00 am the decision was made to admit defeat and go home, the thought of unloading our stock at a boot sale that didn't start for another six hours was unbearable, so we missed the morning traffic and left immediately, returning home just in time to hit  Marks Tey boot sale for a spot of buying, tired-yes, shopped out-never!

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