Easter Sunday, then, dawned way too early so that we could get up and try to flog off some of the junk that had been sorted out over the previous few weeks. Why is it that car boot sales have to start so early? Is it actually something relating to legislation?
The big one I'd planned to do turned out to be Easter Monday rather than Easter Sunday, which was annoying since I already had plans for the Monday (of which more below). Luckily there was another sale taking place relatively nearby, so we rose at six, packed the car, and got to the site around 0710 (it opened to sellers at 0700 and to the public at 0800, finishing at noon).
I am evidently more of an ex-market-trader's daughter than I realise, since I couldn't resist the urge to talk to some of the potential customers (which seems to be unusual). I persuaded rotwang that the Lock,Stockism "It's a deal, it's a steal, it's Sale of the F**king Century; in fact, f**k it, I think I'll keep it myself" was unlikely to work on most punters, especially since we really wanted rid of this crap. With hindsight I suspect it might have worked better on some of them than I was giving it credit for, but I digress. "Every home should have one; we're only selling it so that we can spread the good fortune" worked remarkably well when used in connection with a plastic fish. Well, that and the 5p price tag. I wish I could remember why we had a plastic fish in the first pla(i)ce... If someone wandered past carrying a single book, I found that "Your book looks lonely, (sir/madam), why don't you buy another one to keep it company?" at least raised a smile.
I was mildly amused to watch the evident book-dealers swoop in on our boxes of junk, pick over it, realise that no, there really aren't any nice first editions in there, it is almost all book club editions, and wander off again at a rate of knots. Sorry, guys, I took the stuff I thought might be worth actual money out of there already!
It's amazing what people will buy. Within the first few minutes we sold a couple of little boxes of drawers (about six inches high) covered in Japanese paper, and a horribly faded Japanese hanging ornament. The boxes of drawers I could perhaps understand, the faded thing I'd only priced up with thoughts of selling it to a small child (remarkably undiscriminating beasts when it comes to parting with 10p, usually). More to the point, the chap who bought those three items offered me a pound for them when the total as I'd priced them was only 85p. Who am I to argue? I also fear the chap who bought the aged Java books, including one which said on the cover "Beta 2.0" -- and we're talking about the original beta version from years back, not any recent 2.0 version -- may be hoping for more than he's going to get ;)
We netted a bit over 20 quid after paying for the space (eight pounds for a car). Not huge money by any means but one can't really complain since it really was just stuff we had hanging around. I'll probably try to do another one in the next few weeks to thin the books down further; any left after that may well wind up at a charity shop.
I spent Easter Monday pottering around various bits of London with another friend.
Lunch at Wagamamas in Camden; nice as ever. We came to the conclusion that Camden Market didn't really have anything worth spending money on, which either reflects the amount of time I've spent lately trying to get stuff out of the house, or alternatively proves once and for all that I am getting old. Sadly I suspect it's the latter; there were several odds and sods there that I'm sure I'd've bought ten or fifteen years ago. I bought one book, and that was it.
The British Museum was much the same as it was when we were there a week or two previously (hm, a weekend I've left out; I'll catch up on that below), though since not all of the rooms are open all of the time at the moment, I couldn't show my friend my favourite item in the museum (the picture on that page really doesn't do it justice, but it's the only one I could find online). We admired some Japanese drawings and some very impressive Central American carvings, before heading out to the new Forbidden Planet shop on Shaftesbury Avenue.
I initially thought I was going to manage to get away from the shop without buying a single book. (I was also looking for the DVD of the sequel to Read or Die; couldn't find it, though. Do any of my more manga-aware friends know if it's out yet?) Unfortunately I then stumbled across the New Arrivals section and found that this was where all the cool stuff had been hiding. I picked up Glide Path by Arthur C. Clarke on the grounds that it sounded like Nevil Shute (and I wasn't wrong), White Apples by Jonathan Carroll (halfway through and enjoying it a lot; this is the first thing I've read by Carroll), I'll Be Watching You by Charles de Lint (writing originally as Samuel Key), disturbing but seemed to get to the end more quickly than I was expecting, and Jennifer Government by Max Barry which I've been intending to read for a while.
Oh yeah. And then I happened to look on the signed books shelf, in fact in the locked cabinet where they keep the expensive stuff, and I saw a copy of Keep Out The Night, which I'd completely failed to order a copy of when it first came out, and it accidentally seemed to end up at the till with me. Well, "accidentally" in the sense of "I had to find an assistant to open the locked cabinet first and then she needed to go and find me the slipcase", but you know what I mean.
A very average steak dinner at the Aberdeen Steak House, and then home.