The day starts in black and white, the first sale of the year and we’re up at 5am ready to leave on a buying trip. It’s pitch black and cold but thankfully not raining. Getting stuck in traffic is always a worry, so we leave earlier than needed.
We sit silently in the van, look at the clock and decide we haven’t got time to stop at Starbucks (a moan from the passenger seat). I guess we’ll regret that decision later!
It’s hard to explain the buzz and the sense of intrepedation you feel when you arrive at a sale. A bell rings marking the start, the banging of lorry doors begins (they have arrived from all over the UK and Europe), the open doors reveal they are literally fit to bursting with all sorts of unimaginables.
Our newly acquired torches swing into action, our eyes fly everywhere looking for that something special, but we are not the only ones – it’s buyer beware when you buy at dawn to make sure you haven’t bought a pup!
The banter flies around the market, different voices and languages, the clanging of metal on tarmac, the barking of dogs fills the air – the day has started and we love it. Jane always gets the unenviable task of ‘trolley dolly’, pulling it behind slowly filling it and recording our latest finds.
The sun finally appears at 7.30am and it feels like we’ve worked through the night, the mention of the need for a good coffee is raised!
Several of the regulars we buy from are missing which is disappointing but then there are a few new faces. Then what catches our eyes is quite a macabre site! In the back of a trailer from Hungary are Antlers of all sizes with the odd stuffed head!
We discover that many have come from old houses and hunting lodges that have either been pulled down or converted. Something catches our eyes, when it’s pulled out it’s the most beautiful Edwardian Antler chandelier. Age has turned them into a delightful bleached creamy colour. Made from Red and Fallow Deer antlers which are cast naturally after the winter months. It needs careful rewiring but it’s a beauty.
We do hate it when we find something that is a must have, that weighs a tonne. Next we find a great looking 1950’s concrete garden bowl. These look fantastic in the home filled with collections of Allium seed heads, large sea shells or we’ve even used old large light bulbs!
These bowls take on a different appearance indoors and start to look more sculptural and architectural when they meet you at eye level. We negotiate a price, the dealer jokes that he’ll only except it if we can carry it! We are not daft, we arrange to collect later, leaving them to their laughter about two weedy looking ‘girls ‘ taking this home. Our secret weapon is unleashed from the van, our trusty sack barrow, it carries everything we need and it does the job nicely – we won’t go into the strained backs and crushed fingers getting it into the van !
10am arrives our work her is done, time for home the M25 and to find that coffee!