LAURA CARTLEDGE Life's like That...A bootiful way to pick up lots of bargains '“ and to earn a living?

Car boots are proof that '˜one man's trash is another man's treasure'.

And I suppose they often demonstrate the opposite can be true, too. They definitely require a good hunt, and there is no guarantee you will strike gold.

With rows upon rows of stalls stacked with surprises, chances are you will see things you never knew existed and some you wish didn’t.

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Personally I don’t enjoy stumbling upon stuffed things.

Deer heads, unidentifiable once-furry animals and the odd terrified turtle are all enough to send a shiver down my spine.

But the occasional scare is worth it for the weird and wonderful things you can find.

And for someone who has long been decorating the inside of a home that doesn’t exist yet, they are also a great source of inspiration.

From quirky wooden chairs covered in maps to unusual teapots, I have an ever-growing wish list of things that will hopefully feature in my future abode.

With money being tighter at the moment, car boots also make a lot of sense. And I wouldn’t be surprised if their popularity has soared as the health of our economy has plummeted.

Those selling can get a return from their unwanted belongings, while those buying can get some great items at bargain prices.

Plus it’s good fun. I have been both sides of the stall and can’t remember not enjoying it.

As a seller I was introduced to my inner trader, who, luckily for those involved didn’t quite go for the shouting ‘apples and pears’ approach.

But instead I heard myself drawing on my questionable sense of humour. Which, surprisingly, did pay off, as a question of ‘have you lost your marbles? Buy replacements here’, shifted a game of kerplunk on its first attempt.

For some it is a hobby, but for others it is far more serious than that. To the point, it seems, that car-booting is their profession.

And I can’t help thinking it would be a fun occupation to have. You are outdoors, fuelled by food from the burger vans and a trusty flask of tea. Combining a clear-out with meeting new people and exchanging a good barter and some banter.

But I think my favourite part of the process is the randomness of it all. Something my most recent visit demonstrates, as I came away with the unlikely loot of a plant, a board game and a cuckoo clock.

* Zumbathon effort

A CHICHESTER College employee is hoping to get people dancing to raise funds for a charity work trip to Kenya.

Georgie Smith has organised a three-hour Zumbathon at the college’s sports hall on September 25 to raise funds to help pay for the trip.

She and 17 colleagues from the college will be going to the village of Nakuru to carry out repairs and to work with the schoolchildren.

The trip is costing £1,300 each, and any spare money will go towards items such as educational material.

Two instructors will be leading the Zumbathon, doing 30-minute sessions each from 1.30pm until 4.30pm.

There will be other activities taking place on the day, with a bouncy castle for children. Tickets are £5 and are only available in advance by calling the sports centre on 01243 812936.