Hatherleigh market holds an auction sale every Tuesday morning. It’s where like-minded men can buy useless shit from other people’s garages to add to the useless shit in their garages.
Jeff loves useless shit so, as we’re on holiday, he made me get out of bed at 8am to ensure we arrived in plenty of time (A.M.???!! that’s ante meridian which is Latin for bastard early).
Before registering to bid we mingled amongst the locals, every one of us scanning the lots for a bargain. The stands were stacked with box upon box of ‘treasures’ (dusty boxes filled with a random assortment of 80’s crap) which included;
a pair of donkey stools (one of which is either ashamed to be there or not happy with what Wile E Coyte is doing to him)
|They’re donkey stools. What’s wrong with that?|
The Flashman Trilogy, George Macdonald Fraser’s best known work (probably what he got his OBE for).
|Not sure if it’s the ‘bully’ or the ‘coward’ in him which makes him ‘irresistible!’|
You could even get ahead for Christmas with this wind up card for Alsatian lovers. I didn’t wind it but can only assume it barks the tune to White Christmas.
Amongst all this was a Wills’s cigarette enamel sign, a triumph as Jeff is a collector of such advertisements. He decided he had to have it at any cost (well, around twenty pounds).
So, I grabbed myself a large polystyrene mug of mellow birds and we waited for the auctioneer to make his way to the lot we were interested in.
I could barely contain myself as they moved closer, the stench of anticipation (and the lady of questionable hygiene standing inappropriately close to me) hung in the air.
Finally, Jeff was off with the bidding and I knew what it must be like to be a contestant on bargain hunt, but without the fleece. I stood dead still, afraid a twitch of the eye, a pick of the nose and I’m the proud owner of a set of place mats from circa 1987 depicting wheat in it’s many forms.
…. “fourteen, with you sir” [Jeff gives a confident nod] “fifteen, will you do sixteen?” [Jeff must have winked because I saw no movement but we were back on] “seventeen pounds over here” [Jeff stares at the notes he’s holding, I gasp in anticipation, a final nod] “eighteen pounds I have, any more? No? Sold to the man with the smug looking wife”
Jubilant in our success, we went on to buy a box of ‘old’ bottles and a ‘Lloyd Loom’ chair for eight quid.
I have no idea where I’m going to put the chair, or the sign for that matter, but it’s the bought that counts.