We paid how much for a pitch? Jon muttered under his breath on Friday afternoon, wrapping his coat tightly around himself in a vain attempt to ward off the unseasonably cold July weather.
The weekend hadn't started well. An hour into our journey to rural Oxfordshire, we'd heard a sickening noise and pulled into a lay-by to discover half of the rivets on our pop top had ripped out. Jon spent a perilous thirty minutes on his hands and knees, wrapping rope around Gilbert in a desperate bid to keep the roof on whilst the motorway traffic thundered past at petrifying speeds.
When we'd mentioned that we were trading at Truck to other festival traders we were met with a sharp intake of breath and the grim words..... It's a very young crowd.
The gates had been open for three hours and we'd only sold a tee shirt. The few visitors who'd stumbled into our pitch were teenagers, giddy from too much cider, trying on our lovingly hand-picked vintage clothing, laughing hysterically and taking selfies whilst, directly opposite, the vintage wholesale business heaved with customers snapping up shell suits, tartan shirts and cagoules at bargain basement prices. Was the Truck going to be a car crash?
We needn't have worried. Once the crowd had bought the cheap essentials necessary to cope with the unexpected cold temperatures they turned their attention to Kinky Melon and the colour and frivolity on our rails. 1970s sequins, vintage leather jackets, crazy Hawaiian prints and Old School sportswear flew out and, with a massive sigh of relief, we'd covered our costs before the Friday headliners, Catfish & The Bottlemen, took to the main stage.
On Saturday morning we opened the shop to discover a queue of people anxious to buy stuff they'd regretted not purchasing the day before. The customers kept coming - young, not so young and some even older than us. Dresses sold to men and menswear to women. Our changing room was in such demand that customers were using our awning to try on stock (thankfully we're tidy campers).
As the temperatures hit the high twenties we were snipping off price labels and bagging up the customers' own clothing as they snapped up floaty cotton dresses, linen crop tops and voluminous shirts, wanting to wear them straightaway. By the most tremendous luck our lovely neighbours, the pizza parlour, kept us in free veggie pizza and garlic bread all weekend - there was no time to cook.
Sunday was even more of a scorcher. Traditionally a slow day for festival trading we were kept on our toes, not even cracking open a beer until mid-afternoon.
The selfies continued, price labels mysteriously vanished and the haggling was incessant. Clothes were abandoned in the changing room or knocked off the rails and trampled over, drinks cans & food wrappers tossed on the floor with gay abandon, people were chased away when we discovered them using the side of the stall as an alternative to the portaloos and, my major bugbear, mothers of pre-teens scrutinising my handmade items saying, Oh, I don't want to buy it, I'm just looking so I can copy it at when I get home. A relaxing weekend it wasn't but finally closed for the day, sprawled on a picnic blanket with our burning feet cooling in the dewy grass and the stars twinkling in the inky sky, sipping metallic-tasting tea from chipped enamel mugs with the Manic Street Preachers performing with the same passion they had when we first saw them over a quarter of a century ago, well, it sure beats working for a living.
And that was Truck. We're halfway through the festival season with five down and five to go with a welcome ten day break before Indietracks next weekend, hopefully with just enough time to restock the rails and fix poor old Gilbert and, you never know, we might even attempt to revive our social life.
See you soon.
Linking to Patti & the gang for Visible Monday.