Spring is finally here, one month late it really hit London, with a very typical opening of mixed sunshine, hailstorm, thunder, lightning and rain. Londoners are so obvious in the spring, people seem to change personalities over night, it is funny to observe how exited and energitic people become. There is definitely a possitive vibe in the warm spring air. Joyful Londoners can now be found everywhere in the streets. We too are one of them.
So what do people do? What do we do? Except from the parks an absolute favourite is the markets. There must be hundreds of them here, varying in size, local to the more famous ones like Camden Lock, Portobello and Spitafields Market. We prefer the smaller less famous markets, some more known as car-boot sales, because there are so unpredictable, you can never imagine what you will end up buying. If you are looking for something specific the famous markets are much better, but their charm is nowhere close to the car-boot sales. Car-boot sales are usually made up by people selling things they no longer want from the boots, the backsides, of their cars. They sell whatever they can get hold of.
Everything the stalls offer in car-boot sales is not amazing, to find valuables and bargains you have to keep your eyes open. Sometimes it is dissapointing, on the other hand sometimes it is great. Prizes are always a funny issue. Normally it is very cheap, but be aware of prizes in the bigger markets. Car-boot sales normally have more generous prizes so there it is not necessery to bargain.
Luck is what you need when you go hunting for goods. You can never really plan to go off and buy something. It is not a supermarket nor a department store and that is the beauty about it, that you actually end up buying stuff for yourself or others that you would neccesary have bought otherwise. People gather in car-boot sale for different reasons, so there is an interesting mix of shoppers. Generations of ordinary people, second-hand shopowners, collectors, fashion designers, students etc. In the car-boot sale you can be yourself, there is no pressure whatsoever. The sales is not only about shopping, it is more like a daytrip, a source of interest and inspiration.
Last weekend we went to a recommended car-boot sale in North London. It was set in a school-yard looking much like a maze. It had all the typical elements: Ice-cream truck, cafe, hot-dogs and hamburgers, 25p entrance fee, music etc. We found a Princess telephone from the 70s for 2｣, a slide projector for 10｣ and a rocking donkey for 7｣.
Happy Easter and enjoy the breeze if you are in London.
Text: Karl and Yasmeen