car-booting....in a school paddock

in australia we have two great institutions...if you are a bit of a bower bird & a junk lover...

the road side *council clean-up* & the australian version of the american yard sale- the *garage sale*...

having been reared on both....the closest fix i can get here is the british *car boot sale*...

some good old aussie etiquette is required with both the *clean-up* & *garage sale*....un-writen etiquette....

*council clean ups* work like this.....
those who have not taken their pre-loved junk to either the *red cross* store {oxfam} or to the tip {landfill!} basically lug it all out to the side of the road in front of their houses...

often whilst having a bbq & getting their *mates* round to help haul out the heavy stuff...
i'm talking entire sofas, cupboards, books....

now etiquette requires you to chat with the *haulers* about the stuff- even though for them it is now junk- & to also *ask* if you can take something....
as in theory it now belongs to the council who will eventually be 'round to pick it up...

as in..."g'day...lovely day...god you've been busy...do you mind if i take your lounge...& errrr you finished with that surfboard...?"

now, obviously they have *finished* with the surfboard- thats why they've hauled it out to the curb...
but it's still *nice* to ask....

*garage sale* etiquette is a little similar....

i mean your in someones garage people...there has to be some rules....!

one has to stick to whats been put out for sale...
ie: you can't rummage through tool kits or old trunks that are still *in the real garage...not hauled into the front of the garage* {no matter how tempting & loaded with hidden treasures they appear}...

that is poor garage sale etiquette!

i also do not haggle at garage sales if the seller is old, lovely...or cheap!
but i will not spend two minutes at a garage sale where you are watched like a hawk & followed...

this is not Marks & Spencers folks...it's unwanted stuff for sale...it should be relaxing...fun...done with a take-away coffee...a morning of exploration!

so...back to ol'blighty....& the closest experience i've had...the car boot sale...

simply...a paddock, a car & a boot of treasures...simple...fabulous & endlessly fun!

my b.b {british bestie} loves a good sunday-morning-boot-car-rummage & boy did she haul it in this weekend!
{yep...she bought the wicker basket above covered in linen roses- for a fiver- heaven!!}

i *pocketed* the gorgeous blue & white piece of china for £2 and this beautiful wooden box for a £1.50...amongst other things...

the lovely old man i bought the box from had made it 20 years ago for his nails...
i am going to re-paint & love it with china, cutlery & bits for the outside table...
this made him grin..."aye up love it's for nails..." he muttered...

he was a lovely old man...but it ain't for nails any more!
he didn't get it but he did share a story... so we both parted very happy!

the blue & white rose-filled vase is now in my bathroom...
alongside my favourite €2 french tin jug...

these are the *boot sale* treasures that i love...
i miss a good *council clean-up* but when something old comes with a story i'm pretty smitten...

& very happy....

all these photos are from the sunday morning car boot sale at the local school paddock...
ummm...except for the ones in my bathroom....!

hope your weekend involved some treasures & a story...


  1. I did a car boot sale yesterday - I can manage one every year or two as the early starts kill me! I didn't see anything like your lovely finds though. I did manage to sell (and give away at the end) a load of old clothes as my attic is bowing with the weight of all the crap up there and I desperately need a craft room. I may have to have a few more early mornings if I'm going to clear a space for myself up there.
    I really wish we did have yard sales over here - maybe we should start them!

  2. Lovely Melissa, your post just made me grin:) Firstly...LOVE your blue & white china and the wooden box (even more because you have the story of how it was made!!). I miss council clean up...one of life's true junking pleasures! Our country town doesn't have them....one of the things I miss about living in Sydney. Your car boot sale looks like it was LOTS of fun:) Enjoy your new treasures, lovely:) Huge hugs for a fabulous day ~ Txx

  3. Awww I miss a good old carboot sale. You can pick up some amazing things in Blighty... I've never been quite as lucky here in the States... That picnic hamper is gorgeous! Oohh .. that reminds me, when in Melbourne we used to drive to Geelong pass a huge sign for a weekly a 'Car Boot Sale'... I guess Boot sale is used there too? Anyhoo, the hubby said, "Do you think we can go to that one week and pick up some boots?"... Lx
    P.s I love getting glimpses of your house, I have a vision of a beautiful old cottage...

  4. what fun, and looks like the sun shined for you as well!

  5. er.....wheres the pic of you carrying all the hysterical plastic toys!!! gotta be one for this post.....!!! xxxxxxx

  6. Had to smile reading this - the first year of our marriage I furnished our Fairlight unit with council clean up and lots of calico from Spotlight.
    We have done a few garage sales in our time, on average one every two years. You are so right about the don't haggle part. I have actually taken items 'off the market' because I didn't want them to go to that particularly greedy person. I would rather given them away to someone nice.
    I am however still a fan of the British Car Boot Sale, and do like the fact that I don't have to bolt up the house and garage for fear of over excited garage sale prowler hauling something away.
    Re the 10 on 10 - would love to join you, in a couple of months. I am flying to London on Wednesday as my old Dad has been unwell. My lovely hubby has booked me a flight and is holding the fort for 3 weeks while I am away. My sister needs a hand and I just want to see my Dad. He is not so bad that I shan't be able to do a fun things while there and catch up with old friends. I will keep an eye on upcoming 10 on 10 the following time round.
    Have a super dooper week.

  7. my house would be an empty shell if it wasn't for council clear ups! my mum thinks they make the place look messy but finding cool junk far outweighs curbside aesthetics for me. will be on the hunt for a boot sale when i'm home though. just for old times sake.

    my email is georgelee25@yahoo.co.uk by the way.

    chat soon

  8. Yes. My weekend
    just oozed with
    great memories...
    old and new. Cries
    and {mostly} laughs.
    Food {for those who
    could eat} and wine
    and "chick-flick"
    movies. Missing it
    already, but must
    plow ahead with the
    new week! Loved your
    finds AND the descriptions
    of the different sales.
    You have the US garage
    sales down pat!! NO
    haggling with seniors
    in their garages! As
    always, I come away
    with a smile. Love that,
    and YOU : ) !
    xx Suzanne

  9. Hi Melissa,
    I love this comparison of the car boot sale to the 'hard rubbish/council pickup' in Oz! It makes me think of my mum walking in the house shaking her head in disbelief because she'd barely restled an old chair out the gate before a car came to a screeching halt at the front of their farm with the driver posing just the questions described in your post! :))
    I love doing the car boot sales over here in the UK, the treasures are somehow a bit different from Australia (or maybe I'm older and see things differently).
    Melissa xx
    PS. Will send you an email shortly x

  10. Love it love it. Too true etiquette too, especially the garage sale part!

  11. That car boot sale sounded wonderful and full of 'treasures'! I love to have a good old rummage at council clean up time, you just never know what you can find! Speaking of finding things...I found your blog via A Beach Cottage (on facebook of all places). I just like to follow comments sometimes to see what i find - you know when you think someone sounds a bit like they are on the same wave length as you. As it turns out you're an aussie! yay! (think it was the council clean up reference that gave you away!) So g'day! and i'm loving your blog, your photos are really lovely. Anyway...I reckon it's nice to just drop in say hi, well... you've let us in to have a sneak peek at your life, so its nice to know who's lurking out there!! So to speak ; ) Loved the 10 on 10 & looking forward to your next post. Alison

  12. ohhhhhh lovely! looks like a great sale, so many lovely things


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