My Week: Sam Booth, ice-cream vendor

Every ice-cream vendor looks to the sky in the hope of a profitable summer. So what's life like when it never stops raining?


Monday


It's pretty wet here in Salisbury so I plan to take my ice-cream van out later on in the day. I spend the day playing with my kids which is nice because, being an ice-cream man, you don't get to spend much time with them in the summertime.

I go out in the van for a few hours but it rains so unreasonably hard that I give up and go home. You just have to cut your losses when it's like that. It's been tough this summer. Business has been badly affected by the dismal weather.

Tuesday

I take the day off today because it is my son's eighth birthday and we all go to Thorpe Park to celebrate. I own four ice-cream vans so I send out a driver in one of the vans as I can't be there. There are a few scary-looking clouds around but it's beautiful weather all day. I still can't help thinking that I should be at work. It's frustrating. I have to try not to think about it. We're shattered on our return so we all fall into bed.

Wednesday

I send one driver out but he takes about only half the money I would hope to get. I go down to my yard and work on a new van that I'm building up. I bought this new van last Christmas and I've been converting it ever since. I had wanted it ready for what was supposed to be a really hot summer, but as the weather's been so poor it's still sitting in the shed.

Thursday

I'm out in the van today and the weather is quite nice. Sales are all right but we're still affected by the recession too. I have a route I usually take so it's nice to catch up with the regulars I have built up over the past six years. I've seen lots of the kids on the estates be born and grow up, and I now see them standing in their doorways with their mum, and I'm serving the kids the ice cream now. I've seen youngsters grow up and get married. I even served ice cream at the wedding of one of the couples.

Friday

I go to the yard to interview a potential new driver. I go through drivers like other people go through tissues. People use it as a stop-gap so some people want a week's work, a month or so on. I would like to be out selling ice cream but I've lots of other stuff I need to do before the weekend – going to the bank and things – so I get all that done. I've got weddings, music festivals and a dog show all coming up this week, as well as the usual rounds. I began business this year in February and it was glorious, right the way through till about a month ago. And now it's a wash-out. It's hit takings at least 50 per cent. I started this job in 2003 when I bought a van. That was a glorious year, then the past six years have been terrible. I really thought that I was going to make a few quid this summer. I've still got hope, though, that the weather will pick up. That's the ice-cream man's philosophy.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant - Immediate Start - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant - Immediate ...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Human Resource Officer and Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Recruitment Genius: Project Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders