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01 July 2015: Car Boot Success!

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Anyone who knows me knows I love junk! I find car boot sales a thrill. But lately I have been hugely disappointed with my local one in Cardiff. The atmosphere has gone down the pan. Too many stalls with junk, and not the good sort, grumpy stall holders unresponsive to haggling, too many prams, too many electric scooters, too many smokers, and too many grim, humourless faces 🙁  And no quality junk…just…junk junk (you know what I mean).

But I have discovered a new one. Ok it may be 3/4 of an hour away heading eastward at the Monmouth Showground, but it’s well worth the trip out. It’s my favourite neck of the woods anyway, so it can be doubled up with a day out and lunch at my favourite eatery The Ostrich in Newland.

And the boot fodder is excellent! Not an abdominizer in sight, nor is there stall after stall of children’s clothes and plastic toys. Nope, you can get honest to goodness proper JUNK!

Here are my latest finds. The first lot I bought only 2 mins into our visit, I was so excited I forgot to haggle! I bought 2 large letters, an ‘E’ and a ‘B’. They were a bargain so I didn’t need to haggle anyway! I love BIG letters. They have a stylish, groovy, graphic quality. I think these are fairly new as opposed to having been removed from a shop or a pub. I do prefer them to be a bit more distressed and have some sort of history, but these were eye catching and large. But more importantly, affordable! That’s the reason I don’t have more, they usually have a price tag to match their size. Paul gladly trotted off back to the car with them (he doesn’t quite feel the excitement of the hunt like I do).

The second stall I perused, I found a slightly soiled (!) industrial looking, porcelain, Jeyes toilet tissue holder. Not sure you can even get the boxes of tissue which it is designed to hold, but I liked it’s retro look, and I do like a bit of vintage bathroom porcelain. It still had an empty box of Boots toilet tissue in there!  I always remember the Izal toilet tissue my Grandparents had at their flat. Oh it was horrible! The total opposite of what you want in a toilet tissue.  Think of trying to wipe your nether regions with a non absorbent, tracing paper. Yeah, that’s the stuff. I always wondered why they kept buying it, and my Mum revealed (upon seeing this photo) that my Grandma would bring it back from one of her cleaning jobs!  I’d still rather buy nice soft loo paper than get that stuff for free!

So after the thrill of bagging two lots of bargains only minutes into my hunt, the quarry seemed to go cold. But I enjoyed it all the same. I petted every dog I saw (apart from the ones I couldn’t catch) and exchanged light-hearted banter with the locals. All the while the sun shone, the sheep bleated in the surrounding fields…and no-one smoked.

I had a vague recollection that that first stall I encountered had more goodies than I could originally digest. I hadn’t taken it all in due to my excitement with the letters. So I went back to peruse with my more relaxed state.

As I approached, I saw for the first time a set of orchard ladders. Well I’ve always wanted a set of orchard ladders! No shabby chic, sun bleached, beach hut style bathroom is complete without a set leaning against the wall with fluffy white towels draped over the rungs. I happened to overhear the tail end of a conversation with the words, “…but I would take £7.50” spoken by the stall holder to a bloke who then wandered off. Surely he didn’t mean the ladders? I enquired as to how much the ladders were, expecting a figure far outside my miniscule car boot budget “I wanted to get £10 for them” he said. Well I nearly choked. So low??? I took a breath, looked at Paul and said “What do you think” he shrugged, not wanting to get involved. That short time out to think it over stopped me leaping for my wallet. “Would you take £7.50?” I brazenly suggested. “You heard me say that to the last chap didn’t you?…yeah ok then”.  He had been talking about the ladders! In a certain boutique reclamation yard not 20 miles up the road near Ross on Wye, these would go for at least £75 if not more!!! Oh happy day!

My car boot visit was at an end. I had that fuzzy, satisfied feeling of success, one I haven’t felt for a long time. I had bagged a few bargains and it felt good. Ebay hasn’t quite destroyed the car boot experience…yet.

All I need now are actual fluffy white towels, not ones which are as stiff and as non-absorbent as Izal toilet tissue!

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