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 .