13 August 2012

My Secret Addiction!

Those of you who know me well will know that I have a secret addiction. I totally LOVE car boot sales. On Sunday mornings, during the summer months, I get up at 6.30am when most normal, sane human beings are still snoozing in their nice comfy beds and I drive to a field near Looe in Cornwall to go to my favourite car boot sale. Every year I wait with baited breath for a few fine days at the start of July so the farmer who owns the field can harvest the silage crop and the email that pings into my inbox to tell me the car boot sales are about to begin.  My bargains over the years have been considerable. A spectacular stone statue of Poseidon for £35 (haggled down from £70 which, considering I never haggle, was quite an achievement), a fabulous brand new leather handbag with a RRP of £85 for £3, and a John Rocha top bought for £1 which I then managed to sell on Ebay for £15 to mention but a few. This morning though, as I switched my alarm off and made the all-important call to the car boot sale hotline to check if it was on or not, I began to wonder whether or not I should be worried about the fact that I look forward to rootling through other peoples junk. Having thought about this long and hard I have come to the conclusion that car boot sales are basically upcycling at it's very best. Things which no-one wants any more get a nice new home and a few quid can be made at the same time to help in this economic mess that our country is in. I think this is one of the primary reasons I don't haggle. I have always assumed that people who sell at car boot sales do so in order to raise a bit of spare cash. It seems wrong somehow to haggle them down from what they must have considered a fair price just so I can save 50p. I also never go to car boot sales to sell things. Although I have done in the past, it was a thoroughly depressing experience and one I'm not keen to repeat. People go to car boot sales for a bargain and realistic pricing is not an option because things just don't sell. I find I can get more for them by selling them on Ebay or giving them to my local vintage shop  to sell for me in return for a small percentage of the price. When I go to a car boot sale I have a strategy. Firstly ...... and most importantly ...... I have a bacon buttie. The smell of sizzling bacon wafting from the catering truck is too much to resist and I find a good breakfast is essential for maintaining the energy levels vital for mounting a successful car boot sale forage.  Secondly, I have a quick whizz round looking for things that instantly catch my eye and I weigh up whether or not I want them, either for myself or to sell on Ebay. Lastly, I have a slow walk around the tables looking in greater detail and looking not only on the tables but under, around and to the side because for some reason, car boot sellers have a habit of just dumping stuff all over the place and it's very easy to miss a fabulous bargain if you don't have a good rummage around. When I spot something that I like, I ask the price. I have to say that, out of necessity, I'm very strict when it comes to buying things. If they are too expensive I walk away and as I said, I never haggle. Except on one notable occasion. My statue of Poseidon. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it but the seller wanted £70 for it. Rule Number 1 for car boot sales ....... never take more money with you than you want to spend. I never take more than £20. That way I know that's all I can spend. That week, however, I had just finished a shift at the camp site where I used to work and I had my pay packet in my bag. It was fate! Knowing that £70 was way more than I would be willing to pay I thanked him and started to walk away. The owner then started haggling with me! He kept lowering the price until he finally said £35 and I will help you take it to your car! Well how could I resist. It took two of us to wedge it into the foot well of my car and a wheelbarrow and an awful lot of sweat and swearing for me to take it out and put it on my patio when I got back home. It looks fabulous just in front of my gate guarding the house and it is still my favourite car boot sale find. 
So now you know ..... My Name Is Kay and I am A Car Bootaholic! :-)

Some of my many Car Boot Sale Bargains
My Wonderful Poseidon Statue
Gorgeous Hurricane Lanterns £1 for the pair.

Fabulous Puffin Print 20p

Bamboo Magazine Rack £1.50

Fantastic Tweed Bag £1

Porcelain Soup Tureen (for my collection|) £2

Awesome Girly Spirit Level 20p

12 August 2012

Whatever Next? ........

A few days ago, I slipped in my field and hurt my knee quite badly, leaving me with no choice but to sit and rest it on the sofa until the swelling goes down. Add to this that fact that everything in my house that could possibly break down did and you can begin to understand my feelings of frustration. It all started about eight weeks ago when my hideously vile next door neighbour banged on my door and told me that my boiler was causing a fire. I rushed to the kitchen to see black, sooty smoke pouring out of the vent at the back of my house and immediately scrabbled to turn everything off. Unfortunately while it wasn't actually causing a fire it was definitely un-usable. On the plus side, it's summer (or at least it's supposed to be) and the need for heating is minimal. Hot water, on the other hand is an essential commodity so for the last eight weeks I have had to resort to switching on my immersion heater in the morning so that I can have a shower. Mindful, however, of the cost of doing this I have limited the heater time to just 30 minutes a day and this has resulted in more cold or lukewarm showers than I can count. In addition to this, my tumble dryer started making a very loud grating noise and had to be replaced and I had to get the pest control people in to deal with a wasps nest in the roof space in my porch. I finally managed to scrape together the money for a plumber to fix my heating when my ceramic hob broke and cracked from one side to the other for no apparent reason. The following day, my microwave started sending out sparks and I am now having to cook just using my oven until I can afford to buy a new hob and/or microwave, I discovered that my hoover was clogged with awful oily soot  that is impossible to clean because the plumber used it to finish off hoovering out the boiler because the bag in his Henry was full and he didn't have a spare and to top it all and my toaster has broken.  Suffice to say, it has been a pretty awful few months and I'm hoping that the run of bad luck is now over ...... although I'm not holding my breath!
On a positive note, I have loads of tomatoes on my two Totem tomato plants and I have five apples on the apple trees I planted this year.  Ok it's not much to show for a whole lot of back breaking work but I also have some great shallots and some garlic that I managed to salvage from the  soggy, slug infested mush that is my raised beds. Other than that, my veg growing this year has mostly kept the local slug and snail population well fed! Anyway, as I don't want to post pictures of broken stuff, I decided to post some optimistic pictures during an all-too-brief sunny spell here in Cornwall.