Every March the Silver Snail (my car) is filled with things for sale on my stall of English things at the Canal Festival, and we have a three day drive to Italy. I have learned what Italians like over the three years I’ve had a stall. They love English bone china, especially tea cups and saucers with flowers on them. Some collect plates with English scenes of hunting, or coaches outside thatched pubs. Wedgwood is popular, and boxes of cutlery, especially fish knives and forks, which they don’t have in Italy. Two years ago there was a run on horse brasses and beer mats, but they didn’t buy any last year. Decorative tins of tea and jars of marmalade always sell well, and of course anything with a union jack on it.
I get most of these things at car boot sales, mainly the one in Corbridge, but last Sunday I decided to try the Hexham sale. It was a weird experience, going from stall to stall in the cattle market. Each pen was probably big enough for 4 cows, and there were so many pens that it was like a maze with railings instead of hedges, but the same sense of being trapped, unable to get out.
What did I buy? A set of miniature cups and saucers, 4 plates, 2 jugs and a box of fish knives and forks. I’ll double what I paid, have fun selling them, and make enough to cover my exorbitant Italian taxes to enable me to live in comfort for another year!