Our final full day. Glorious sunny weather. I'd brought sunscreen almost by accident (it's mixed into the fake tan), so we slathered it on before heading down to the Sunday Car Boot Sale. This time we drove. It's only metres from our cottage, but we knew today would be bedlam on the road because of the weather. Last weekend it was cold and wet most of the day, but today was one out of the box.
Hundreds of cars parked in the field and many more sellers this time = many more opportunities to purchase nice bits of china. I was strong, only bought another brass toasting fork and a small Wedgewood dish (.20p). Mum bought a couple of nice china jugs some coffee and a couple of hotdogs! No chips today sadly, sold out. Unfortunately I was a bit too strong. Spied a lovely Spode dish early on and convinced myself that I should check out the entire place before going back to get it. The whole stall had gone by then.
We are well rested and looking forward to coming home on Wednesday. Not particularly looking forward to a 21 hour flight, but nevermind! We are both packed and so far the luggage weight is okay. It will be that last tea towel that tips us over.
Again today many people commented on our accents and asked where we're from. Most of them have family somewhere in Australia, or have been themselves for holidays. People are very friendly and wish us a good trip home. But again we found today that even older folks are very negative about the state of this country. Scratch the surface and its usually racially based. There is a lot of resentment of Polish immigrants who come here and work for poor wages, do a second rate job but do the locals out of work. There is also anger towards "them", not sure who "they" are, coming over here and getting benefits including medical, straight away and then being able to bring their families over. People who dont know us have said that they dont feel comfortable in their own village or town any more because they are vastly outnumbered and here I believe they refer to the Muslims.
A lot of resentment about groups of youths congregating in public places and groups of burkah-wearing women with covered faces. All very interesting. I've been quite shocked at how everyone takes the same approach and many seem to blame the previous government. When we drove through the main street of Luton all the shops were for Muslim or Hindu shoppers and I found it colourful and exciting. However, maybe if I lived in Luton all my life I would feel differently. All the people on the street were of middle eastern or indian appearance and for me coming from a mostly anglo environment it seems stimulating and a breath of cultural fresh air.
But if I lived here and didnt hear my own language spoken on the street where I'd grown up, if I couldnt see the face of the women who lived next door, or if groups of unemployed young men hung around outside the shops, maybe I would view it differently. Local people say that they are expected to behave inclusively, but the newcomers do not reciprocate. They are expected to accept the construction of large islamic temples in their towns and to allow major roads to close for religious marches, but they are openly criticised for displaying the flag of St.George in preparation for the World Cup. Yet everywhere we've been in the last few weeks, people are flying the flag from windows, garden flag poles and cars. You can pretty much buy anything with the flag of St.George on it from drink bottles to underpants. And no, we didnt buy any...See you all in a few days xxxx