Off to the boot

I promised myself that I would write about this :

Before you ask , there were not any drugs involved in the making of this post ( but there was a can of contraband maltese lager called Cisk , courtesy of the lovely @Caroline_s).   This picture has been ‘ professionally enhanced ‘  * ahem *  to protect the identities of those poor souls who had the misfortune to be snapped , by me , at a car boot (sale) , sometime , somewhere , in a field , in Wales .  I’m not sure about the spiders .  That might have been the Cisk .  They weren’t actually there but I think that they would like to have been , so I have put them in anyway.  They look happy enough .  One of them is on the rob .

So.  Pretty much every Saturday evening I can be found fiddling around with my mobile phone like an over sexed spidermonkeyed adolescent , frantically trying to remember how to set the alarm for 5am the next morning.  I usually manage to do it , and then I go to bed , where , if I am lucky , I manage to fit in five minutes of reading before I drop off to sleep , exhausted – not from the reading you understand , but from the manic child-orientated day that has inevitably preceeded it .  You would think that a lie in the next (sunday)morning would be a good idea wouldn’t you ? But noooo , why on earth would I want to have a lie in when I could be schlepping around a muddy field at 6am looking at other peoples crap ?   So that is what I do . 

I adore going to the car boot . That’s what you call it, the car boot . Not ‘ the car boot sale ‘ .  Sometimes it is just ‘the boot’. As in ‘ Are you going to the boot in the morning ? / Yes , I am off to the boot / are you booting  ? / Yes I love the boot ‘ –  etcetera , until all lines of enquiry have been exhausted , and the reading of Take a Break magazine has been resumed .   I don’t buy Take a Break magazine , Sue from next door passes them on to me from Muriel who lives next door but one .  Then they go to the doctor’s surgery  for the waiting room .  That’s recycling for you .  I bet those patients are gagging to get in to see the doctor after reading those .

That’s the thing with recycling , anybody can do it .  You don’t have to be rich .  It isn’t like buying decent food , where some people just can’t , because it is too expensive , out of reach .  It’s a community activity .   It used to be called ‘ making do and mend ‘ , ‘passing things on ‘  ‘handing things down ‘ – it was what everybody did .  My lovely Gran (who is becoming a  bit of a fixture on here , God love her ) used to have a monster stash of paper bags stored squirelled away under one of the benches in the kitchen .  It was one of those lift the lid things , with cavernous depths that I kept nearly falling into .  Lost , never to be seen again .  

My Gran used to save string too .   And her pantry was like the inside of Morrisson’s .  Row upon row of cans of vile , sweet , syrupy fruit ‘ for a rainy day ‘ .   Surely that would just make you feel worse .  She didn’t even like it . She was just worried that there might be a fruit shortage . It was the war that did it .  My Gran had seen two world wars and had appropriately stockpiled .   That’s what you did .  When she died in 2001 we found tins in her pantry dating from 1976 .  Everyone did it .  You saved things .  Austerity measures .  Waste not Want not .  You Grew Your Own .  You Darned and Mended ;  Created and Stitched .  You Handed Me Ddown ; Passed Me On .  But now ?  Throw it at landfill . Go and buy another one .

We need Austerity measures  .   The Global Economy if f*****  and  our poor planet is getting raped and pillaged like there is no tomorrow .  There may not be much of a one if we carry on .   And God help our children , and our childrens children , the ones that we profess to love .  That’s one hell of a hot legacy that we’ll be leaving them .    

Take a Break have long championed the myriad pleasures of ‘going to the boot’ – so much so , in fact , that they feel the need to devote a whole page purely to peoples fab car boot finds.   A kind of ‘ Top Tips ‘  with a seasoning of ‘Boot ‘ .   It would be fair to say that , on the whole ,  their readership probably isn’t  rolling in money  .   The Top Tips aren’t mere flights of fancy .  Usually they start with ‘ Well I needed a ( complete as applicable) but the ones in the shops were too expensive , so ‘   They are borne out of neccessity ,  just like my Gran’s tinned fruit salad & paper bag stockpiling . 

That’s why I love allotments too .   All that making do and mending , fixing up and bodging . There is a real beauty in Austerity Measures that Bling can’t touch . Bling wouldn’t know how to .  It’s like seeing someone with style .  The money doesn’t usually come into it .  And couldn’t buy it anyway if it did .  Bling wouldn’t like that . Bling would be jealous , and indulge in some insecurity rooted bitchery .  Style would smile sweetly . I like to think .  Because Style could .  And because it is a luxury that Style can afford .

I love car boots . They save you money and you recycle .  There is too much stuff in the world . Too many objects . I buy a lot at the car boot .  I’m not proud . It’s a very working class made good attitude , that everything has to be sparkling brand new .  I can say that with some authority .  I find it ridiculous .  Sure , new is nice , when you can .   And certain things feel good , new .  As a treat .  The money that you save , recycling at the car boot , can buy you the new bits . And the treats feel like treats , and life feels good .  The best piece of advice that My lovely Mum gave me was ‘ Always have small luxuries ‘ – good (fairtade)coffee ; fresh (garden grown flowers) ; (organic) lavender oil ; (Green & Black’s)chocolate . 

In First Nation cultures there was always a healthy approach towards things , objects .  All objects were sacred and were made of the earth so that could go back to it .  They were imbued with thought , care and spiritual significance .   They were beautiful and their beauty was inherent in the simplicity of their function – a cup , a plate ; a blanket , a basket .  Objects were created to fulfill their role and their destiny – their function .   Once an object no longer did this with you , you passed it on , or left it where it was , so that it could fulfill its function with someone else .  It was seen as wrong , immoral , not to do so .

I rarely buy from shops anymore .  I can often find what I need at the car boot , or a friend will pass it on to me (without me having to ask and without them knowing).  Or I’ll find one , or something that I can make into one .  I pass things onto other people too .  Freecyle is great (http://freecycle.org)   E bay (no link needed !). . . Gum tree  , Exchange & Mart . . . it’s not just me then .  And we don’t want for anything .  It makes you more creative .   

It would be better if a lot of stuff wasn’t made in the first place .  If everything was ethically sourced and made .  When I do buy new , I try to buy green .  Sometimes it isn’t there , or it is too expensive .   When I buy something from the boot there is one less made ; one less in the world ; less carbon footprint ; less crap . 

Of course the answer is to stop doing so much shopping .  That’s hard in Modern Life .  If I am honest I can still be lured by the prospect of shiny baubles . But I try to restrict that to Christmas .   It’s a guilty pleasure .   

I’m teaching my children about recycling too .  Eldest totally gets it .  She doesn’t think twice if something is from the car boot . It’s only stuff .  She is very, very aware of waste .  Waste not Want Not . Now that’s an old working class attitude . 

And here’s a new one . Reduce . Re-use . Recycle .   

And get yourself down to the car boot . But no CISK . Or else you might see Spiders on the rob .

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About In a Welsh Garden

Artist,Illustrator,Pro-face and body painter,Blogger and Happy Gardener : )
This entry was posted in Car Boot, Consumerism, Eco Living, Environment, Green, Recycling, Sustainability, sustainable living and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Off to the boot

  1. I’m not a frequenter of ‘the boot’ but agree wholeheartedly with you that we should be looking at reusing, recycling and reducing wherever we can. All concepts that I apply in my writing, as well as in the house and garden.

    It’s unfortunate that people seem so ready to ‘dump’ something they deem past its usefulness, rather than passing it on to someone who could still get good use out of it. Of course, it doesn’t help that goods are manufactured not to last as long as their predecessors these days

    I love your Mum’s idea that we should have certain things, like good coffee and chocolate, which we buy new and savour and are genuine treats.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking post, powered by CISK!

  2. Ooh , Hello ! – Yes , I agree that many things just aren’t made to last anymore . Is this an unfortunate response to market forces do you think ? And is it an inevitable one ?? – I’m not sure ; or is it just greed ??

    I remember that My Lovely Mum used to have a Volkwagon beetle all through my childhood – same car from when I was born through to when I was thirteen years old – and it had to be fixed now and again , parts replaced , but other than that it just kept going ; it had been built to last . I remember my Mum saying that at the time too , and hearing that same thing from other adults around me at that time , about other things . But it doesn’t seem to be like that anymore ; nothing seems to last , no matter what you pay for it . I love how they give you a piece of paper that tells you exactly how crap it is (usually 12months , I find) – and then we go and buy it !! The words ‘ laughing ‘ ‘bank’ and ‘all the way to ‘ spring to mind …

    . . . Ah yes , small luxuries … love . . . Love CISK too , maybe Caroline will get given a job lot of it in Malta and send some more this way : D

  3. My punctuation is still crap though , maybe should read that Punctuation book . . .

  4. all you need to do is not hit the space button before hitting the punctuation keys 🙂 Having said that , I like your punctuation as it is ! Great post. I’ve been reading about recyling and tip stores in other countries, and there are some really interesting and good practices that we could adopt here. Have a look at Christine’s post here http://slowlivingessentials.blogspot.com/2010/07/come-scrounge-with-me.html

    My only prob with car boots is that they are also a great place to fence stolen stuff .. my city being car crime city of the uk, it peaks on a Thursday and Friday evening, while certain people are out getting their stock for the weekend boots….but then without car crime where would all those people who work for insurance companies be? Without jobs! So your average car thief could argue that he is doing his/her best to help the economy. Pass the CISK. 🙂

  5. Hello : ) – Glad you enjoyed it , I am going to check out Christine’s post after this . I love it when I hear about new blogs .

    I do know what you mean about theft . I think we are a bit sheltered here as the car boot that I go to is about 99% just families having a clear out (you can just tell). Having said that there is a huge carboot not that far away from us which is full of traders and (I expect) things that have ” fallen off the back of a lorry” – so to speak : )

    I can recommend CISK , but only if you have a free schedule for the next few hours and aren’t about to embark upon doing anything , in particular : D

  6. elizabethm says:

    I am not a booter either (have quite enough of my own rubbish without being seduced into buying other people’s, as I surely would be) but I agree completely about austerity and making do and passing on and just not buying stuff. It is so much easier to do that living up here and not seeing any shops mind, and I was never a recreational shopper in the first place. I am a great believer in growing it or making it. As both these things take ages you really have to want something!

  7. – Hello : ) – Wise words indeed , I agree with everything that you have said ! : ) x

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