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Campervan thrifting and the inauguration of Betty

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We always owned a VW camper when I was a kid, we’d scamp off from school a bit early and spend the whole summer trekking around Europe, hitting up spots as distant and exotic as Hungry, the Czech Republic and Berlin just after the Wall came down.

Those were the days of seatbelt ambivalence so my sister and I would often stay in bed while my parents drove, or we’d sit around the table in the back threading friendship bracelets or brushing the bright neon locks of our Trolls.

It was also the early days of video cameras and one holiday we borrowed a friend’s and my parents spent every journey  filming straight out of the window in front of them, no speaking, or even people really, just endless scenery.  One memorable clip involves the cap being pushed onto the camera lens and one family member (let’s call him, for the sake of the story, “Dad”) calling out “You have turned that off, yeah?” and the one who put the lens cap on (again, just for the story’s sake, let’s go with “Mum”) saying “Of COURSE, darling!” in a tone that really meant I’m not a complete idiot. The rest of the film is total darkness, the muffled sounds of life happening around it.

Me in my snazzy early 90’s gear. We have either broken down or having a cheap night’s sleep in a European layby

Since arriving in London Tim and I have taken all our holidays by train, with our camping gear and bikes in tow. This got a little bit harder with Ramona but we still enjoyed it. The prospect of doing it with two kids though kind of freaked us out a bit, and we began dreaming of getting back on the camper bandwagon.

Fortunately my folks were up for it too and after several weeks of arduous hunting we found ourselves co-owners of a brilliant 1991 VW Vanagon Westfalia. Although we love the look of a classic bay or splitty, we know the blood, sweat and tears  you have to pour into them so went for a newer and undoubtedly more reliable option. We call her Betty.

Betty at Bognor Regis

We took Betty out for a spin the first weekend we owned her but only got as far as Eltham where we slept in my friend’s driveway on the A21 – it wasn’t exactly fulfilling her potential. This weekend we managed to get to West Sussex where we frolicked in the autumnal vibe. WHAT A DELIGHT! We roamed around Chichester cathedral, slept over on the South Downs, and our Betty even bought the best out of Bognor as we parked up for a spot of lunch. What an incongruous place, a breathtaking, windswept, almost wild beach, and then these humongous eye-sore bouncy castles plopped left right and centre.

Ramona checking out the beautiful view (or wishing she was bouncing on an eye-sore) with her mucky chops and mucky top *wishes I’d photoshopped*

I’m not gonna lie to you, the primary reason we hiked all the way down there for one night  was because of the notoriously amazing car boot sales. So you can only imagine our disappointment when, one after the other, the car boots failed to exist! I had even googled in advance! But we turned up to THREE only to find soggy, empty fields. *sob*

Fortunately we found an afternoon one that redeemed the trip. We managed to spend a tenner and pretty much fill Betty up.

We picked up this set of mustard teacups for £2.50 – I thought they’ be perfect to keep in Betty. We also got a pair of these dining chairs. (Despite already actually being an Official Dining Chair Hospice.) We have about a billion, more than any amount of visitors could ever sit on. And they have a way of finally carking it in crashingly big public moments, providing the unfortunate party-goer with a bit of shame and a sore bum. BUT they were only a POUND and helped us really feel that owning a van was a Good Thing, collaborating with us to get items like this back home.

We got lots of other little things, handy items we needed and bits of gorgeousness we really didn’t but the batch I had to show you was this, from the “Three for £1 table”. I kid you not. . .

Gorgeous china teacups, a vintage set of dominoes and a cut glass vase, 33.3p EACH!

The weekend totally heralded good thrifty times for us and the Betty bomb. Did you have a good one? Thrifted anything amazing lately?

Linking up with Missie Lizzie and those marvelous Magpie Mondays.

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Car Boot Sale: Vintage plates, lace and carpet skates

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You know how you tend to hang around with people who like doing similar things to you? As EIGHT of us hopped off the bus into the bustle of a South London car boot sale I wondered if this was a good thing. Will they get to the bargains before me? Will they naysay at my visionary nana jumper purchase?

As the bedelve (you didn’t know there was a collective noun for bargain hunters?) disbanded amongst the tables I forgot my fears and got foraging. And really, I needn’t have worried. The joy I felt at one friend’s incredible find of carpet skates (you slip them underneath your shoes for a good old inside slide around) totally outweighed the tiny pang of envy at another friend’s beautiful vintage royal memorobilia mug. I got enough Total Bargs to rate this up there with one of the most successful carboots I’ve ever shopped at (and you know what a fan I am)  – including that one I drove 12 hours too.

So here it is, my Sunday swag.

This ream of lace was £1 (I KNOW!!!!)

These plates were 30p each (I KNOOOWW!!)

These glass bottles were 50p ( I KNOOOWWWWWWW!!!!!!!) (Okay, this can’t go on, just imagine I KNOW next to each item.)
Roses from the garden- how beauty and mad is that.

This gorgeus knitted jumper for Ramona was actually, for real, 25p.

This true vintage navy one for me was £1.50.

There was an article in the Guardian this week about how vintage clothing is seriously hard to come by these days, I was totally agreeing at the time, but clearly people haven’t been to this car boot. The folk of Rotherhite were BRINGING IT today.

I also got this:

For 50p

And finally…

This plate was also 30p

Sunnies 50p each (I am always picking up old school sunnies which is good as I leave one pair on a bus everytime I leave the house)

Found any steals lately?

Linking up with the marvellous Lizzie for  Magpie Monday aaaaannndddd Apron Thrift Girl for Thrift Share Monday– packed with gazilllions of finds.