Friday, 26 April 2019

The Weekend That Never Was: No Basic Boot Sale - No Boot Sale At All (Updated)


This photo was taken on Friday afternoon when I was full of optimism,
We're should have been off to Classic Car Boot Sale. Gilbert had been painstakingly transformed and was packed to the rafters with hand-picked vintage to tempt visitors who'd travelled to London from all around the world to shop from over a hundred carefully chosen traders. 


Gilbert and the stall had even been featured in the official advertising campaign.



This'll be would have been the fourth time we'd traded at the Classic Car Boot Sale. We'd endured gale force winds in October 2017, torrential rain and unseasonably cold weather in April 2018 and even some sunshine back in August 2018.

What would this weekend bring? 



With the alarm set at 3.30am we were on the road by 4am, the force of the predicted Storm Hannah already making herself known with torrential rain and strong winds.  Fifteen minutes down the road and just about to join the M6, we heard a strange sound.



What's that noise? Jon asked. I think the roof's just blown off, I replied as I looked up and saw an expanse of sky that hadn't been there previously. With horror, we realised that the gale force winds had ripped off Gilbert's skylight and rain was cascading into the van and on to our stock. We turned around and drove back the way we came to see if we could locate the missing skylight, to no avail. Back and forth we went, wiping the condensation from the windscreen and hunched forward in our seats peering out at the inky blackness. Some thirty minutes later, I spotted the offending skylight wedged in a bus shelter. Jon ground to a halt and I ran down the road grabbing it just before the wind took hold.We drove home, covered the gaping hole with a tarpaulin secured with a pile of bricks and - as it was too early to let the organisers and our cat sitter know - we went back to bed for a couple of hours.

Gilbert is fixable but with a classic vehicle it's a matter of locating the appropriate forty-year old spare part.



We did consider going down to London tonight in our works van to make use of our hotel booking but the underground car park isn't tall enough to accommodate a high top van and the nearest one is in Camden and costs £26 for an overnight stay.....and then there's the congestion charge. 

After all this morning's stress the thought of another 3.30am get-up and, with an unsettled weather forecast, having to trade in the open air with nowhere to shelter (after you've unloaded your stock only classic vehicles are allowed to remain on site) doesn't appeal in the slightest.

WEARING: Vintage patchwork maxi (Mel at Moseley Vintage Fair, April 2019): bell sleeved top & whopping great big silver and brass necklace (both charity shopped)

After all the weeks of work Jon's put into painting Gilbert and replacing almost every fuse, plug and bulb, the blisteringly hot day I spent sewing replacement curtains & tiebacks and the eight hours we spent on Tuesday sorting and pricing our stock only for a freak gust of wind to ruin everything, both of us feel like crying.

Sorry Classic Car Boot Sale, we're going to have to take a rain check, we'll see you later in the year.


Now, where did I put that rum.....

60 comments:

  1. gilbert with his new shiny paint will be easy to find at moseley!
    how cool they used your stall as a backdrop for the ad. anyway the weather - you guys will have tons of fun there - posh hotel will help too...
    love this skirt - very baroque!
    wish you a glorious weekend! xxxxx

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    1. Thanks, Beate! sadly it wasn't to be and I had to update the blog accordingly! xxx

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  2. Gilbert looks incredible, kudos to Jon. I hope you make loads of money, have tons of fun and get some sunshine in the mix :)

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    1. Thanks you so much, shame we never even got out of Walsall! xxx

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  3. Gilbert looks fantastic, as do you I might add. I love that skirt and its velvet, gorgeous.
    Here's hoping you have a great weekend and sell lots of vintage. xxx

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    1. Thank you so much, Sally! sadly it wasn't meant to be. xxx

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  4. Have a fantastic weekend, hope the weather doesn't spoil it in any way for you, Gilbert looks amazing, well done John xxx

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    1. Ha! The weather totally spoiled our weekend, bloody Storm Hannah! xxx

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  5. Ooh, I'm Number 5!!! I do remember the days when we always longed to be no.1 in your comments because it never happened! I always remember everyone would be like, "FIRST!!" I'm going to press save and then continue in another box!

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    1. Ha! Those were the days when there used to be thousands of blogs and hundreds of comments. At least it's not the nightmare it used to be catching up after a few days off line! xxx

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  6. I saw an advert for this today and I wondered if you would be there. Am half-tempted to come up to London after my rehearsal in Brentwood just cos it would be lovely to see you though I was going to try and do some work! Hmmm.. The patchwork skirt is amazing! Everytime I see you wear a patchwork maxi skirt, I get pangs and hankerings for one!x

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    1. We missed out on meeting each other again - so disappointed!
      You need a patchwork maxi in your life, you looked amazing in that wonderful blue chazza shopped beauty! xxx

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  7. Gilbert looks extremely handsome! Jon must have logged a lot of hours on the maintenance and renovation!

    Wishing good weather and an excellent trading experience for your team. Hope your alternative accommodations are comfortable and reasonably accessible to your trading location.

    BTW, does Gilbert provide heat this go-round?

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    1. Thanks, Taja! Sadly it wasn't to be and we ended up back at home after a disaster on the journey there. Gilbert's air cooled which means he isn't heated. We're wrapped up like polar explorers when we travel in him during the winter! xxx

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  8. First thing's first... Your patchwork skirt is AMAZING!

    The car boot sale looks like such fun. It's great to see how you and Jon have been snapped at the car boot each year. I wonder who you'll meet this year. I hope you have a great time and sell heaps. X

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    1. Thanks, Jess! Isn't the skirt fab?
      The weekend would have been fun and we were so excited but sadly disaster ensued and we spent the weekend at home. Damn! xxxx

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  9. Keeping my fingers crossed for good weather. Hope you bring Gilbert home empty.

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    1. I think you were the last commenter before I updated the blog post - back when we were filled with optimism for the weekend! xxx

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  10. What a horrible (and scary!) thing to have happened, especially after Jon has spent so much time and effort on sprucing up Gilbert! You must both be really devastated. It's a good thing you were able to spot the skylight in that bus shelter (it could have been anywhere by then), and that Gilbert is fixable, even if it will take time. With the weather forecast as it is, I think you've made the right decision. Hugs to you both xxx

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    1. Thanks, Ann! We were both absolutely gutted, we enjoy the CCBS so much and were really looking forward to catching up with some trader friends over dinner in London. Ah well! Could have been a lot worse. xxx

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  11. Really glad you are both ok and home safe , I really think they need to change the date of this event don't you xxx

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    1. Thank you! Yes, after last year's unseasonably cold weather and last weekend's storm maybe May would be a better option? xxx

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  12. Oh my!Happy to hear you both are safely back home.

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  13. Oh, I'm so sorry to hear this, Vix. Gilbert looked brand, spanking new as well! I'm glad you got back home safe and sound and had a few more hours kip. I wonder what you did with all that spare time - apart from drink the rum, that is!
    xxxxxx

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    1. Thanks, Vronni! Unbelievably bad luck, huh? Ah well, onwards and upwards! xxx

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  14. Oh no! What thoroughly rotten luck!
    Im glad you all made it home safely though chuck x

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  15. The comments tell the story, before and after.
    Your patchwork skirt reminds me of a long dress Mum made me out of all our offcuts, with an orange elastic necked and sleeved top with a looong drawstring empire waist. I loved it. It would have looked great in Gilbert.
    How devastating to have all your hard work fall apart. But Gilbert still looks great even without the intended audience, and it will make a great story to tell!
    xo Jazzy Jack

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    1. Your Mum-made dress sounded like a beauty! I bet this one was made of remnants, several of the lame pieces must have come from old evening dresses.
      Poor old Gilbert, he's got quite a few tales to tell after 13 years with us! xxx

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  16. That is sad news i was almost going to come by train today to say hello. Parts on ebay might be worth stocking up on when they come up for sale now and then. not anything you could have predicted but hope you can make up the sales as must have left you out of pocket.

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    1. Oh no - I'd have been so disappointed if I'd missed you. Jon's found a replacement via one of the VW forums he's a member of. He does love browsing eBay for spares, he could probably rebuild a fleet of vans with his stash! xxx

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  17. Oh Vix....what a disappointment. I hope your stock isn't ruined and that you manage to get Gilbert fixed up soon.
    Hugs-x-

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    1. Thanks so much, Sheila! Luckily the stock was all bagged up so only the blanket we'd covered everything with was wet! Small mercies! xxx

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  18. Oh no, what a terrible shame! Those skylights aren't brilliant; years ago, ours cracked & let water in all over the kids during a long journey to the far reaches of Wales. We thought they were just moaning... Anyway hope there's not too much damage to your stock, and that you'll be able to put your feet up today instead.

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    1. Lovely to hear from you! Your story did make me giggle, your poor kids!! xxx

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  19. Oh dear! What a shame. Hope you (and Gilbert) have fully recovered!

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    1. Thanks, Liz! I'm better, Gilbert's still a bit sickly! x

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  20. Oh no! Well, I am glad you are safe. I got the old Benz out of winter storage this past week and had it inspected so it can be out on the road. The first long trip with it is always a bit anxiety inducing, because I am paranoid it will break down. That is part of the adventure of driving a relic, I guess! I hope Gilbert recovers well and you are all back in business soon.

    I wish my fella was as mechanically inclined as yours, as we have to take ours to a garage to have it serviced.

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    1. These classic cars really do have personalities & quirks of their own. Jon did the ride around the block earlier in the week and I was on tenterhooks waiting for him to come back! Such a freakish thing to happen. We are lucky that Jon's so handy with motors! xxx

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  21. Sorry about your disappointment but you did well to find your missing skylight.
    Gilbert looked fantastic, and will again.
    Meanwhile make the most of your enforced leisure, as you always do!

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    1. Thanks, Jan! I did a bit of sewing which cheered me up (as did the rum!)
      Sadly the skylight is too warped to refit but Jon's ordered a replacement - not cheap! Gilbert will see another event! xxx

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  22. Oh gosh, just realised I commented on the later post aaaand-so, so sorry. Yikes, that's awful.Just shows I can't keep instagram and blogs straight. so so sorry.

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    1. It's my fault - I should have added "update" to the post earlier. I didn't want anyone not on IG or Facebook to turn up at the Classic Car Boot Sale especially to see us. xxx

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  23. Crying -- and cursing! -- are justified in these circumstance, Vix. What an ordeal to endure at that hour! (One is not fully functional, having a 3:30 get-up.) Stoicism is over-rated. Please wrap your bruises in kindness to yourselves. May you, Jon and Gilbert make a speedy recovery.

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    1. Thanks so much, Beth! I'm pretty sure that if it had happened at a more decent hour we'd have coped a lot better! xxx

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  24. Sorry that you couldn't trade in London, but finally I'm glad you're safe (despite poor Gilbert have to be restored once more!). This kind of (stupid) accidents that ruin everything can be part of life, bit this doesn't provide any comfort!. I think that all we can do is have a deep breath and a gintonic.
    Wish you (and Gilbert) recover as soon as posible and have lots of successful (sunny) days!
    besos

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    1. Thanks, Monica, it could have been a lot worse if it had happened on the motorway. It's so frustrating but I'm sure we'll see the funny side one day! x

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  25. Damn, that sucks. I am glad Gilbert will live to transport your trade again, all that bloody hard work to do him up!

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    1. I know, such rotten luck after the hours Jon spent on him. Freak of nature or what? xxx

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  26. Oh Vix I could cry for you both. I wish Gilbert a speedy recovery. xx

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  27. I am SO sorry this happened - I would have cried too, after cursing a blue streak!

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    1. Thanks, Shelley! I think Jon's finally calmed down now. xxx

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  28. This was such bad luck, poor Gilbert! We did get the storm pretty fiercely too, some tiles came off our shed roof and our bins were halfway down the garden. Hope the roof is fixable without too much money xx

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    1. Oh no! I think Wales and the Midlands bore the brunt of Storm Hannah! It won't be an easy fix but Jon can rebuild Gilbert. xxx

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  29. This maxi skirt is a beauty! Sorry to hear you had to take a rain check.

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  30. I saw part of this story on Instagram. It's such a shame you didn't get to go. Stupid Storm Hannah!
    xx

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Lots of love, Vix