Bea, like everyone else in the village, attended the local car boot sale. It ran every Sunday (unless the weather was poor) in the carpark across from the covered market. It was not organised by anyone in particular, you just turned up with things to sell and small change to buy odds and ends. Over the years Bea had done both, delighting in kitchenware bargains, and hawking repurposed old clothes as tea
cosies and quilts. When she and Tom bought their house, they used part of their remaining, and severely depleted, funds, to furnish their entire home from the master bedroom to the garden shed. But the car boot was not just a place for simple commerce, no, it was the trading floor for gossip and community news. There was old Mr Jamal, reminding anyone who would
listen how much better things used to be next to his box of Elvis Presley C.D.s, over in the corner was the Newton family bickering over who would buy the Kings' old settee, and hiding behind a battered yellow Renault was Poppy Ingle and her new and inappropriate beaux. Everyone went to the local car boot, everyone had grown up and old together, and every life was connected and bound to the tight-knit
community. Which is why, one cold Sunday morning in March, when Bea was standing by her car with a table of items, Jane and Hettie came over. Without saying anything, they led their friend to a small coffee shop at the edge of the market while Hettie's husband managed Bea's sales. There was not much - piles of clothes, toys, and books, and other miscellaneous things.
And in front of them all was a handwritten sign, on which was scrawled; "Infant clothes, never worn."