Some people, in fact probably most people I know, say ‘Eeuw! How can you go to a jumble sale?’ They are thinking second-hand, thinking smelly and probably also being rather snobbish about the other people who go. I’m reminded of Tamzin’s mother in Wish for a Pony (1947). Tam wants to buy a pair of jodhpurs at a jumble sale. They cost 5/-, quite a lot in those days. Mrs Grey only agrees when she learns that the jodhs have come from ‘a good home’ and insists on dry-cleaning before her daughter is allowed to wear them.
I love the camaraderie of it all. The chatting in the queue, the general agreement that jumbles aren’t what they were, the heaving forward of the crowd as the doors open, then the dispersal as people head for their pet stalls. Bric-a-brac is always the most popular but I of course head straight for the books. Although folk are jammed up together they remain good humoured, agreeing to swap places as they make their way along the tables, looking out for things for each other. If you’re lucky someone behind the stall will have a good line in badinage and keep everyone laughing.
Yesterday I came away with such an enormous bag of books I could barely manage it. Sorry to disappoint but there were no great finds; my haul was mostly modern paperbacks in VG condition, just stuff to read by Joanna Trollope, John le Carré, Robert Goddard and so on. Oh, and a Harry Potter DVD. I got a nice Shirley Hughes to sell and a set of Norah Lofts to wonder about. Has anyone read the House Trilogy? I know some people love her and have always assumed that I wouldn’t.
Once I’d exhausted the book stall I squeezed my way around what was left. I’m always cheeky at the clothes stall, asking where the size eight designer clothes for ten pence have got to. It always gets results and this time I was offered an M & S top, new with tags. Win!