Saturday, 17 September 2016

Buying From Hard Nosed Dealers

   Today we went to a regular car boot sale at Wimbledon Dog Track. I love this car boot sale as it is full of dealers who do house clearances. But Tom hates it as he says the dealers are too rough and rude! Every stall has a large van full of boxes that are just plonked on the ground to rummage through and you have to battle with other dealers to get the best items. My hands are filthy after half an hour here and I must admit the first thing I do when I get back to the car is use antiseptic hand gel!
    Most of the dealers are great you can have a bit of banter with them as you try and knock down their prices even though they are pretty rough and ready. Now I am no shrinking violet, I have worked in a busy casualty department and as a psychiatric nurse so I am not upset by bad language and can stand up for myself fine in difficult situations but there are few dealers who are just rude and aggressive. As I look through the boxes I can see so many fantastic retro 60s and 70s items that are just smashed to bits as these morons just chuck them into the boxes and have no idea that cleaned up they would be worth quite a bit of money. As everyone is roughly looking through more and more items are getting broken of some poor old person's prized possessions.
    In one box I found a framed photo of an adorable little girl. The frame was already chipped and I thought of her parents dressing her in her Sunday best to have her photo taken and here she was in a box surrounded by filthy items and bad language. That's it you are coming home with me I thought. She was £1 and worth every penny.


   Talking of bad language I was looking at one stall where the dealer was telling the dealer on the next stall about one woman who had dared to offer him too low a price for something he was selling. "I told her F--- Off. I said. Infact you can F--- right off out of here." The dealer on the next stall nodded in agreement. "You're too polite mate" he said " I would have said something much worse" Oh dear.
   By the end of the morning I had some great items to sell and even though it was freezing cold I still think you can't beat a London car boot sale. I may put the little girl up for sale or I may just keep her on our wall at home where I know she will be appreciated.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Sundays In 1971 And A Banned Picture

     I have recently been looking through old diaries from when I was a child. I was always stopping and starting keeping diaries but they only ever lasted for a few months. One of the diaries I found was from 1971 when I was nearly 11. I talked a lot about my favourite TV shows, Follyfoot was my big favourite at the time but what really struck me was how Sunday's bored me to tears. I think maybe my Mum must have had an idea that we should spend the time as a family as I never seemed to go out and play with my friends on a Sunday.
    We would go to church in the morning which seemed to take up the whole morning then the highlight of the day was chicken and bread sauce for Sunday lunch. The afternoon was spent watching a film on TV which I remember always seemed to be an old black and white war film, then after sandwiches for tea my Mum would do the ironing whilst listening to Sing Something Simple and I would panic and wish I hadn't left my homework until the last minute. I'm sure you can get the picture as to why I found them rather dull. However the highlight of the occasional Sunday seemed to be window shopping! Does anyone else remember this as pastime. We would drive to somewhere like Guildford or even Oxford Street, incredibly in those days with virtually no cars on the road we would drive from Ashtead to the West End in 40 minutes and look in the windows of closed shops. The streets would be deserted except for a few other people indulging in window shopping! My Mum and Dad would spend ages looking in windows whilst my sister and I tried to drag them on to somewhere more interesting.
   I can remember one window shopping incident very clearly. There was a little shop in Guildford which was full of antiques and collectables. Even in those days I loved those kind of shops. My Dad and I laughed and laughed at a picture of dogs weeing on a wall we thought it was so funny. Then about a week later he turned up at home with it. My Mum was horrified and refused to allow it in the house so he took it to his office. When he retired he brought it home, but my Mum still refused to put it up so he gave it to me as he remembered I laughed so much at it as a child.


   For 20 years we have taken it from home to home and it always takes it place above the toilet. I think these signed etchings are quite collectable but I would never part with it. Oh and finally for anyone else who is old enough to remember it and loved the programme Follyfoot here is a trip down Memory Lane.

Friday, 2 September 2016

The Moral Of The Story

   The man from the tree department of the local council office came to my Mum and Dad's house today. He knew Mrs Aggressive very well and said she is never off the phone to him complaining about every tree adjacent to her garden and every tree in her garden, as two of her own trees have protection orders on them. One wonders why she ever bought the house surrounded by lovely old trees when she clearly has such a problem with them.
    "Oh dear" said the man from the council looking at the damage to my Mum and Dads old Yew tree. "You can't prove anything you see." he said "She could say you have damaged your own tree. We don't have the resources to prosecute anyway even if we could prove it. You will have to take out a private prosecution." So that's it. The moral of the story is you can do what you want in life to other people's property as long as you don't get caught!


    My Dad was really defiant after the council man had left. "That tree is never being cut down while I'm alive." he said "It can stand dead, casting shade on her garden for evermore as far as I'm concerned." So that's that then. 
   .

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Making A Profit On Ebay

   Tom was off work today and we went to the Charity Saleroom to try and build up our stock for selling on ebay. We have thought of lots of ideas in the weeks to come to increase our profits. As we got out of the car a man who was getting out of the car next to us said to his friend "Right we have to find everything that will make a profit on ebay." I laughed to Tom "Not if we get there first!" I found a few little bits including a really kitsch 1950s ships wheel letter rack from Eastbourne. I really love it it's the kind of thing I remember in my Grandma's house. I also bought some 1960s paperback books. The finds I was most pleased with though was a large collection of vintage linens.
   Most of the items at the saleroom are from house clearances from old people who have either died or gone into an old people home. There were boxes everywhere that had not been unpacked yet. I asked a lovely young girl who was working there if I could have a search through one box of linens. I know I'm very emotional but I could have just cried looking through the box. All the linens were so carefully packed and folded. They were nearly all hand embroidered and in perfect condition most probably from the 1950s and 60s. 1950s headscarves were folded in with a few floral old ladies dresses. It looked like someones life in a box.  It's not just about making money on ebay, I really hope these carefully preserved items are sold to someone who will love them and the old lady's possessions are used again.