There is something that many people do on Sunday mornings with a fervour I didn't realise existed among the suburban population.   No, not going to church or gardening - Car Boot Sales.

            For the uninitiated I can only describe the experience as something akin to waking up and finding the End Of The World had been declared - and every human being was out to pillage whatever they could in quest of comfort during their final hours.

            Having decided that the contents of my garage were beginning to form the first stages of a Turner prize exhibit, I roped in a friend for a morning of fun at the fair.  We had barely pulled on the handbrake of the people (or in this case, trash) carrier when a horde of people - obviously used to this hand-to-object existence - were ferreting through the contents of my vehicle like rats on speed.

Janet Kelly

It was only the assurance that this attack on my worldly possessions was a trait of the CBP (Car Boot "Professional") that persuaded me to stay.  I blame the Antiques Roadshow. Everyone seems to think they are going to find that one thing that will exclude them from the need to earn a living - just by scavenging through the contents of other people's waste.   "Ooh, Mrs Jones!  What a bargain.  This rusty ironing board just happens to be a Hottity Hittity of the late 20th century and worth more than enough to pay off your mortgage," goes the dream, particularly for those who practise how modest and surprised they would look on telly, being told such news.

            Having said that, there is a very basic appeal about things at Car Boot Sales.   I found myself very attracted to other people's shoes, a moth-eaten Backgammon set - and the burger van which sold very nice chips for £1.10 a bag (an essential part of the occasion).  

            I sold four broken watches, a vase which the buyer thought was an umbrella stand, plus a box of my husband's DVDs.  Unfortunately for him it now appears they were not in the garage for the sale, but to keep them tidy.

            Still, he can always go and buy some more at a Car Boot Sale - there are some real bargains to be had!   

            Janet Kelly's novel, Dear Beneficiary, will be published by Cutting Edge Press on March 19th 2015. Further details from


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