A mom on my son’s baseball team this year had recently moved back to the states from over ten years in the UK. She did a wonderful job of preparing me for much of what would qualify as “culture shock”, the tiny washing machines which are located in the kitchen, salad cream (a product that deserves a blog post unto itself) and the need to obtain a license if you plan to do something crazy, like watch TV in your own home. She also mentioned “Car Boot” sales and that I should try to go if I got the chance. (Thank you, Summer!!) So when I talked my new friend, Fiona, into going along, she said sure, and I know the perfect one to stop at first. I expected a few cars in a circle in the parking lot of a church, where people were selling items out of the boot (trunk) of their cars. Wrong again (I’m getting used to it). Maybe some are like that, but this one was an all-out festival of thrift held every Sunday in the summer in a giant open field. Apparently sellers start arriving at 5 a.m. and pay a few pounds to peddle their wares. There were little cars and big cars (check out how huge the small volvo looks above), caravans and trailers, trinkets on tables and stuff stacked on tarps.
Fiona and I had a great time chatting with the vendors and collecting many household items that I’ve been missing, like plates. The only drawback was that she wouldn’t let me buy anything with a picture of the queen on it (and the lingering cigarette smoke, which is a bit of a drawback in all outdoor spaces where there is a crowd here). I was, however, allowed to get an England hat, which was, alas, last seen with one of my boys, turned inside out and, oh, yes, full of marbles.