With our first 800 days charity partner project secured, our adventure has now taken on an altruistic slant, one which we hope to build upon with the introduction of more charities worldwide to which we can donate our time and resources. To the outsider, this makes our 800 days expedition less of an extended, work-avoiding ‘jolly’ and allows us the chance to give something back to many of the countries and local communities that we will be visiting.
We’re not trying to make out we’re following in the footsteps of Mother Theresa or anything, but what we do want to achieve will require some financial backing for basic materials and for this we feel justified in asking for a little help from our friends.
Father Harry Clarke, a Catholic priest from Stockport first introduced the car boot sale to the UK after seeing a similar event being held in Canada while on holiday in the early 1970s. There are now over 2,000 car boot sales happening across the UK every weekend. One of these can be found every Saturday at Le Mare de Carteret School on our home island of Guernsey and it is to this temporary tarmac shopping paradise that we planned to take a Bee-Bee full of goodies to try and make our fortune.
The idea is a winner on several counts; firstly, people get to carry out what is now fashionably termed ‘life laundry’... the de-cluttering of one’s possessions which according to ‘life coaches’ can have a serious emotional impact on our lives. Win. Secondly, these possessions consequently avoid the dustbin; re-using items is even better than recycling in planet-saving terms so our endeavour is also ecologically aware. Win. Thirdly, complete strangers will acquire something they more-than-likely don’t need for a vastly, knocked-down price; the psychology of getting a bargain includes a rush of dopamine (happy chemical) in the brain which elicits a feeling of pleasure and general well-being. Win. Finally, we get to raise some much-needed monies to help us reach our adventuring goal which has now taken on a slightly less selfish aspect. WIN.
It took a few rounds of house-to-house collections to acquire our second-hand treasure trove, then several hours of sorting, organising and pricing everything we had managed to pillage. We bartered our wares over two weekends; the period in-between Bee-Bee was loaded from floor to ceiling as we drove our mobile swag shop around the island with strings of beads and jewellery swinging from makeshift rails hanging on suit hooks and a poker game board threatening to decapitate either one of us every time we braked sharply. With 7am starts this was never going to be an easy money-making scheme; in addition to a cold, grey, drizzly Saturday and an army of punters resembling junk-starved vultures. Driven by our mission (and bacon sandwiches) we haggled, negotiated, traded and sold until the car park emptied and our money boxed rattled and bulged. In total we raised just over £300, a princely sum when you consider this will fund all the materials we need to run month-long workshops and courses at an orphanage in South India.
Of course none of this would have been possible without the extremely generous donations from family and friends, for which we are enormously grateful. Alongside the car boot staples of clothes, cuddly toys, books and board games, contributions ranged from DJ Turntables and mixers to horse riding gloves, rotating dip bowls and a Skim Board. From costume jewellery and handbags to a cut glass fruit bowl and a snowboard jacket. Not forgetting Big Daddy’s underpants and autograph in a huge (obviously) frame... sold for a respectable £4 to a woman whose husband is not going to know what hit him on Christmas morning.