"It's car boot season!" came the inevitable words from my wife's lips. Words that strike fear into the heart of anyone looking forward to a relaxing break. Weekends spent pottering around a farmer's field or car park, haggling over other people's unwanted possessions - old VHS tapes, freezer bags filled with Happy Meal toys and half subscriptions to "Pipes of the World" magazine - I dutifully obliged. After many weeks sitting at the porta-café sipping a cup of Mellow Birds, looking after our bounty, I began to observe the colourful characters that inhabited this typically British pastime.