Sunday, 7 June 2009

Crusty Visits Seaham Car Boot Fair

Crusty awoke this morning wondering what she could do to break the day up. One had planned to do very little but felt one needed to exercise oneself in some way.

Fortunately, Chu Me had been doing some research on his computer on, one presumes, the Navy; he had typed, what he thought was, "Seamen" but had actually typed "Seaham" and as a result of this error, he found there was a Car Boot Fair held every Sunday in Seaham. When I heard this information I decided it was a splendid answer to the question I had put to myself.

For those people fortunate enough not to have visited Seaham, it was once a small agricultural area which was made famous when one of its residents, Anne Isabella Millbanke, married Lord Byron in 1815. Evidently, Lord Byron found boredom a constant companion when he resided there - which, in fairness, doesn't say a lot for poor Anne, does it? - but found the sea enthralling and no doubt he felt the urge to walk into it on many occasions after returning home to his less than entertaining wife.

Later the port was built but was never considered big enough for the business it was to receive. Mining was also a source of income to the community until all three of its pits closed, including Seaham Colliery - known locally as "the Knacks". To this day it's as if the knackers are just hanging about, suspended in a state of limbo, waiting for a role to fill.

Anyhoo .... Chu Me and I took the Bentley to the event and one had a sashay around the stalls. As one entered the arena of tat I noticed a couple of stalls selling fresh fruit and vegetables. This confused Crusty somewhat, as the people visiting didn't appear to have consumed either for some considerable time; in fact, the children looked upon the plumbs, potatoes and oranges as exotic, priceless jewels beyond their reach and status.

As one wandered past stall after stall, one realised that one had never seen so much rubbish collated in one place and as one battled on, a young gentleman accompanied by his wife/girlfriend/sister - or all three -passed us and I overheard him say, " .. a lot of people like to buy shit." The grey sweatpant ensemble he had opted for and the sparkly top, headband and tatty extensions his lady friend were wearing certainly gave support to his argument.

It was not until I wondered past a lady selling make-up that I realised I had had enough. This poor individual - with a face like an Ordnance Survey map of the Lake District and chewing on her fingernails like they were her last meal - was not being in the slightest successful in selling her wares and though she had L'Oreal included in her merchandise, she clearly wasn't worth it!

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