Collecting for my Cose Inglesi stall

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!

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2 Responses to Collecting for my Cose Inglesi stall

  1. Anne Alexandeer says:

    Bonjour Myra!
    I happened upon your letter on Venice and the cycle ride on Sunday while staying with friends in Kent (she was at Bristol University with me, and has since been thrown from her horse which broke her neck resulting in wheelchair etc. for life, just like Melanie Reid).
    Your career seems to have gone full steam ahead! I am full of admiration! Please can you let me have details of your bicycle from Venice to Este as I would like to follow your tracks. I now live in Suffolk after a 12 year break in Cambridge which included a Nobel prize winner (Medical Science) as my travelling companion, and am about to move to the south coast (Worthing with Harold Pinter) to be nearer Henry and Eliza and grandchildren. How are Marcus and Barnaby
    Congratulations on your achievements!
    Anne

    • What a nice surprise! I’ve often wondered where you went and how you were.
      I’ll send a longer email later, but for now, you’ve probably gathered from my website that I’ve bought a little place in Italy so I divide my time between here, where I am now, and Newcastle. I love my life here, which is how I came to write about it. My book about my adventures ‘The Best Mud in Italy’, is waiting in a queue to be published “properly” so in the meantime, I’ve published it privately.