Saturday, June 11, 2005

Bedhampton Farm Boot Sale

Car Boot season is getting back into full swing. I wonder how long the craze will last. Is this modern recreation of the medieval market place now to be a permanent part of British life or will it be gone in twenty years? I expect the question is much the same as, how long will this current enthusiasm for collecting and ‘collectables’ be over soon? Just another part of the kind of craven, individualist, money-valued life that’s presented on just about every television show at the moment. Obviously, I have no moral authority in this area, being one of those who profits, in face, makes a living from, buying and selling for profit.

Today’s boot sale was at Bedhamton Farm. A small farm tucked between the London-Portsmouth railway line, the A27 and Portsdown Hill. It’s one of those places which has taken the Government’s advice to heart and diversified. Most of the growing space is devoted to Pick Your Own, the grow a maize maze every year for the public to pay to get lost in and then a spare field is left aside for car boot sales every week. For a first of the season, this was quite busy. Found a nice old copy of Boy Scout Tests and How to Pass Them (1933) which was full of fantastic Imperial hangover language and diagrams of how to knock your opponent on the head with a Quarterstaff and so win your ‘Master-at-Arms’ badge. The best thing about Bedhampton Farm Boot Sale of course is that you can go on to spend a good hour or so in the Pick-Your-Own Strawberry field, on your hands and knees on the fresh smelling straw between the lines of strawberry plants, looking through all the dark green foliage for that succulent, thick, bright red colour of a perfect strawberry nestling down against the earth. Lovely.

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