Saturday 4th July 2020 and it’s cool, wet and drizzling – not the best weather for the first car boot sale in over three months. The weather made the decision for me whether to go as a seller or a buyer. There’s no point trying to sell haberdashery in the rain. Crafter-customers tend to stay at home in the dry and craft; you risk ruining your stock; you don’t take much money; and you end up cold, wet and dispirited. So I went as a buyer, or should I say observer. I wanted to know what was going on in my world.
Ford had opened to buyers at 8.30 am but I didn’t get there until gone 10 am and by then the car park – at both the Yapton end and the Ford end – was nearly empty. Through to the car boot sale itself and while there were a few sellers I recognised and have bought from in the past (the lovely furniture lady who always has great stock at low prices, a chap whose car boot nickname is Roger Daltry, and the plant seller guy) the sellers I know well enough to have a (long) chat with were noticeable by their absence. As for buyers, it was good to see Jack again (in normal times he sometimes minds my stall while I pay a bathroom visit) and exchange pleasantries but, true to form, my crafting customers had stayed at home.
Ford looked quite different. The stalls were spaced apart instead of being next together. An extra toilet block had been installed. The security guys were wearing masks – along with one or two of the sellers and a few buyers.
Despite the low-key opening day there was a buzz in the air. Happy chatter. Delight at seeing each other again. We car-booters are people who love being outdoors and most of us are social creatures who love to talk. It’s who we are and what we do. It’s good to be back.