set the alarm for 5.45am to go to kempton park – robert actually cannot believe that people would want to go shopping at such ridiculous an early hour!! to be honest, by 10am, as i am fading and struggling to find a decent cup of tea there, i do wonder myself why i do this. its supposed to be a pleasure? kempton is really aimed at dealers, who buy their wares for their lovely shops and posh stalls in london – but increasingly people like myself go there to find a good deal on anything from storage boxes, fabric, vintage jewellery or chinawear. Think portobello market times by 30 times its size!!! it can be a bit daunting, a bit frustrating, a bit aladdins cave, but as this was my second time i arrived much more prepared. my girlfriend who accompanied me is a jewellery buyer, so sge headed straight to her usual dealers, whilst i strolled through the many open vans and stalls. literally, vans open their back doors and sell their wares!! i took a strict budget of cash – when this runs out, thats it, spending finished – its the only way to control your spending. make a short list of what you are actually looking for, so that you bypass the stalls that appear to not stock what you are looking for. i noted a couple of items that i was looking for, but quickly bought them – if you are not careful you can ponder, then lose your way trying to find the stall again, and then after all that, the item is gone!! i bought some of the galvanised containers for the garden – perfect for planting herbs or vegetables for £10, much less than what you pay in london shops, an old pair of step ladders for a photographic shoot and some old wooden fish containers from billingsgate to store and display my greetings cards. kempton is on the 2nd and 4th tuesday of the month.
there is only one van selling tea and not so healthy sandwiches, so its a good idea to bring a snack. then on your way home, make a diversion to maids of honour – we arrived before lunchtime, so had some of their brilliant homemade pies and pasties, followed by scones and cream and their tasty famous maid of honour cakes! i guess it was worth the early start!!