Today, Brockley's Hilly Fields Fete, and a local primary school's giveaway bonanza – in essence a school boot fair where you paid £1 and could then take away as much of the school's cast-offs and clearings-out as you could carry.
Would you like a set of generic, faded green staff-room cups and saucers? An overhead projector? About 2,000 books remaindered from 20 years of PTA jumble sales? Assorted school chairs and desks? Props from a recent production of Oliver!? Old costumes from school plays (handmade)? Dozens of strip-light bulbs which you may use as imitation lightsabers or perhaps to construct an elaborate Jean-Michel Jarre-style son-et-lumiere in your own home? A rainbow-coloured mountain of ring binders? Various unwieldy language-laboratory-style cassette recorders on which hundreds of pupils were recorded passing or failing French and German GCSEs? Comedically jumbo headphones with curly, curly leads? All for your paltry £1 entrance fee? If you know me at all, you already know my answer is 'Yes, a thousand times yes.'
However, I am a victim of my own circumstances. You can't have everything you want. But if I had either a car, or a flat one could classify as anything more than 'smallish', these would most likely have been coming home with me...
Three books on dachsunds. If I ever had laser treatment on my dog allergy, and subsequently bought a dachshund, I would want a balance of information on how to bring him up responsibly. I would not care for a delinquent dachshund on my hands. Or my carpets.
Imitation lamppost for dancing around at home.
Informatively reassuring, yet at the same time slightly creepy/threatening poster.
Theatrical steps, on which to practise accepting awards, reach high shelves, perform step aerobics.
Woodwork bench, on which to work with wood. Also usual for ritual sacrifices, etc. Handy cubby hole below for storing heavy duty tools/children.
Intriguing, emotive tale of aquatic peril.
Finally, Baby Jesus crib, essential for home nativity or actual second coming etc.
Thank you, I graciously accept your compliments on my self-restraint.
Instead I bought home The Oxford Illustrated Dictionary, which is so good it deserves its own post. And an enormous padlock which I felt inexplicably drawn to. I picked it up and couldn't put it down. Which is weird because it is practically the size of a man. Only regression therapy could tell me if I was once responsible for locking away traitors in towers in a previous life. It may also be able to tell me who I lent my copy of The Sound And The Fury to, because it's totally disappeared. Till then, I present a scientific diagram depicting the vast scale of the enormo lock..