Friday, 12 July 2013

Driving around south London with a bit of the Sistine Chapel.

All this week I've been driving around with a piece of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel in the back of my car. Adam, to be precise. A large framed print, you understand, not the actual fella off the ceiling. I've nearly been decapitated by him on more than one occasion when braking suddenly at lights.

When I collected three boys from the school playground on Tuesday after play rehearsals and before taking them to tennis, I had to remove Adam, with his teeny willy on show to all and sundry, and prop him up against our knackered old Vauxhall Zafira in order to rearrange the rest of the contents back there so I could squeeze in the boys. 

The contents included (and at time of writing still include, because I haven't got round to taking them to a charity shop yet): a rusty Gaggia coffee machine, a tiny portable non-digital TV and a bag of lacy old bras (now too small for me, ha!). 

This is not how I saw my life panning out, I thought, as I tried to reach into the back of the car and cover the bras with an old Ikea car blanket, while strategically placing my leg in front of poor Adam's privates, or maybe I should call them his 'gentleman's ends'? as a small child famously once described them in front of us in the queue for the bungee jump at Legoland (he was worried about what the harness was going to do to his bits). 

By now I should be driving brand new red soft top mini round south London, or even Wiltshire, having just sold novel, or even second novel, about to buy villa in Italy, or even second villa, where I will overwinter in order to write newly snapped-up-by-Hollywood screenplay...

I didn't envisage driving around south London in knackered old Zafira with unsold remnants of mildly successful car boot sale in the back (it was in Battersea, Sunday afternoon, we forgot the Wimbledon mens' single finals would be on when we booked it).

On the upside we're not so broke that we have to buy all our clothes - and our children's clothes - from a car boot sale in a car park in Battersea, as many of those poor sods we were selling to apparently did. 

They really were walking away from a pair of jolly nice only-slightly-out-of-fashion-trousers because they were 50p over budget, and didn't come back when we called out we were willing to haggle. (Come to think of it, maybe that large man with the acne didn't really like my discarded purple GAP bootlegs in the first place, and was only feigning interest out of politeness?) 

Mind you, he/they could have got the whole bally lot for free if they'd just hung about in our street for a day or so longer. When I got back from delivering the boys to tennis, I failed to realise all the back windows were down - and left them like that all night.

Strangely, not a single hard-up person, strolling down our street over the next 24 hours (and believe me there are many) was minded to reach in and relieve me of Michelangelo's Adam... or a rusty Gaggia machine... or a battered TV set... or even some sexy old bras. And they didn't want to relieve us of the knackered old Zafira either. Funny that. 

And quite a big shame.

Here's all the tat we were trying to sell in preparation for kitchen clear out. Builder coming a week on Monday! Yikes.



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