Saturday, 6 September 2014

Boot fairs are serious places.

Around 7 this morning, the sun was shrouded in mist but the day was promising, the dew was on the grass and in the hedges with the cobwebs glistening like jewels:  I managed to get my daughter out of bed.  We left the house at just after 8 to go to the local boot fair, my car being full of the discarded junk from the under stairs cupboard and bags of clothes and shoes from daughter's bedroom, a sprinkling of little teddies, a black Cleopatra wig complete with fake crown and a few of my old paintings that had just gathered dust and it was either the boot fair or the skip.

We got to the boot fair 10 minutes after we left the house, paid our extortionate £6 to park at the back of a field with several chickens running about and set about unloading the car into a nice display in the hope that someone would come along and take a fancy to something that we had decided to throw away. 

Six quid is a bit steep I think, the last boot fair we did; I do believe we said never again, was only about 4/5 pounds and that was last year.  Still we gave the older lady in the hi visibility jacket with hair the same colour as mine, a nice bright red hers setting off her wrinkles and me then questioning my hair colour choice as she yelled into her radio to the other older lady at the back of the field in matching hi visibility jacket and boots that we were on our way across, she really didn't need the radio.  So we drove to our slot next to a chap from the Army who was up from Poole visiting his little boy and trying to sell off clothes that the little one had grown out of, after taking shoes and trousers off of him as the lad decided they did fit and were favourites from his position in the boot of the car, two younger girls parked up next to us in skinny jeans and tiny tops with nicely painted toenails showing in their sandals, making me feel I was more suited to standing at the top of the field with the old woman with the same colour hair, hi-visibility jacket and wrinkles as I had donned the practical attire of old fleece, grey, jeans and battered trainers that I use for dog walking.

No one smiled.  No one.

Hereford has a large community of Polish people that have made their home here since the end of the Second World War, once an older community now the younger generation have come in and settled, the town is no longer full of quaint English curiosity shops but endless rows of shops selling Polish cuisine, so for the first couple of hours this morning not an English word was heard, us Brits not known for our get up early and go get a bargin, we are more likely to queue at a venue our stiff upper lips preventing us from pushing through to the front and grabbing that gem, although on our table, those gems were definitely few and far between, unless you like bags and have size 3 feet and a love of ankle breaking heels, as that is what my daughter collects and consequently was making space in her room for more!

Opposite us was a couple in their 60's at a guess, obvious pros as they had a wonderful display of items all gleaming and organized, no dust in sight and using the sleeve of my old fleece I did then spruce up the old CD racks I had brought along to off load, that trick of no dust paying off as a nice Polish chap came and took away all three for the bargin price of £6..that was the entrance fee paid!  Next to the organized couple with the brushed hair and clean clothes was the grumpiest man I think I have ever had the privilege of being near.  He laid out an enormous blanket on the ground and proceeded to remove large colourful toys from his big car and display them, a collection of Cabbage Patch dolls, remote control cars, lego things, winding up things...he had the lot and a face like the child catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, he was mean, so mean that daughter and I counted not 1, not 2 but 4!!  4!! children he made cry by telling them to leave the toys alone, would have been 5 but I managed to stop a nice chap with his grandson and point out that the grandson would get yelled at if he went over there alone, the granddad grabbed his charge and dragged him past thanking me as he did!

So there we were.  A few things found a new home, I managed to gloat with another 'trader' who couldn't sell her Wii board thingie - the one you stand on and it tells you your weight, exercise thing, I never used it! - I flogged ours for the grand sum of £3, she wanted £5, a touch over priced for this type of selling venue. 

Well, we got bored, daughter and I.  We people watched but spent too much time having to walk around the car to stop laughing, some people dressed a bit like me, scruffy but comfortable, some with shirts and ties, some ladies even had high heels a field??  and only a few wore a smile, even when we were trying on the Cleopatra wig, the old woman opposite with no dust on anything looked like she was going to come over to our table and give us a good talking too.

Eventually all good fun must come to an end and it was time to pack up what was left of our wares and come home.  We made the massive sum of £25, got a possible glass bead commission from a great guy up from Glastonbury, and decided once again that we were through with boot least for now.  If nothing else daughter got dressed before lunchtime and we had a good laugh and when my wrinkles start showing [more] its because I have enjoyed getting each and every one of them, nothing like a good giggle to start the weekend.



  1. Well that was fun Laney! Perhaps it was too early in the morning for everyone to be here we tend to go to Antique Markets in the Spring and Fall....I'd love to go to a Flea Market but apparently they don't do those in CA. Well not my type of Flea Market... Here in CA a Flea Mkt is all new stuff....perhaps from China......sold cheap . What i'm looking for is a Flea Mkt somewhat like what you described except some people might have tables and such and not just out of their trunk.... But you know... old stuff...not stuff brand new still in the package.....Maybe some arts and crafts...... ah well i'll keep looking. :) So glad you had a great time with your daughter.... Hugs! deb

    1. I love a good Flea Market I used to go when I was little with my Grandma, now though the boot fairs like the one I described are all we seem to have, shame really I used to like a good rummage and find treasure.

  2. Hi Laney I enjoyed reading about your day at the flea market-I don't sell at those any more or even have my own garage sale-though we live too much out in the woods to do that--takes allot of time and effort and usually for not allot of profit-unless you happen to hit it lucky and people love what you have--but it is an adventure out the house-though


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