Up at 5.30 am this morning, just like the old days when you had to be in the queue early to guarantee a place when selling at a car boot sale. Well, I couldn’t risk arriving too late today after yesterday’s debacle when I arrived at Beachlands Hayling Island car boot sale at my normal time only to find that it was full already.
My first car boot sale since Lockdown and – no surprise! – the organisation was very different. As per instructions on the website, I entered via the Ford entrance (the one with the plane on the pole), was greeted by one of the security chaps who gave me a leaflet with the same instructions as on the website, and joined the seller’s queue which gradually moved towards the car park at the opposite end where we were parked up. I’d seen this sort of “holding pen” system in operation at other car boot sales. Now the long wait until letting-in time at 7.30. Oh, and no getting out of the car, buying a coffee or visiting the loo. I always bring a book and a thermos to while away the wait in these situations – or sometimes stock prep, of which there is a lot in the haberdashery trade.
Sellers now drive in before the buyers (or “punters”) are allowed in – and that was so nice! I used to find it quite stressful dodging people who seemed quite oblivious to a moving car.
Just a single space today instead of the usual double on a Thursday – not that that makes much difference to me, as there’s only so much I can get in my little car (yes, still the same old Micra). But now there is a space between each of the stalls: this is, of course, to help with social distancing but an unintended consequence is that it gives a better “feel”.
Although I rarely have the same problem that antique dealers or newbies have of a rush of potential buyers raking through my stock while I’m trying to set up, it was still good being able to set up in advance of the buyers coming in – especially as my layout was different today as I had brought gardening stuff and jewellery today (just in case my crafting customers were still keeping away) as well as a slimline version of my haberdashery stock. Indeed, it was the gardening stuff that sold first – gardening books, pots, tools and string. But eventually some of my crafting customers emerged, many sporting their hand-made face coverings and/or wearing gloves and diligently observing social distance (I’ve noticed that we crafting folk tend to be polite, respectful folk). They seemed to appreciate the work I’d put into making my haberdashery stock as Covid-19 secure as possible – just one item of each type clearly displayed (with more of the same available from stock stored separately) instead of the usual rummage, and much of it wrapped. If I were a customer, that is what I would want too. I was – am -anxious about catching this virus but you know what: it was so wonderful getting back to doing what I love.