Sunday, 16 September 2007

Selling stuff

I am doing research. Down at the local car boot sale with Squirrel.

In the cupboard under the stairs, on the shelves in the schoolroom, and in the falling down garage, we have lots of stuff. For a start we have lots of baby Thomas plastic. Clarabell and Diesel, Percy and Bertie, Gordon, George and Henry are all waiting somewhere, plus five of Thomas himself, one with teeth marks from a dog that's not ours, and one that's painted pink.

And of course that's not all. There's bags of clothes, DVDs, toys, bric-a-brac from the Northumberland pile and mummy Grit's posh clothes in black sacks stored under the eaves.

It can be a particular problem storing anything in black bin bags, actually. Foolishly, I once stashed away a black woollen coat bought in a sale from the old Dickins & Jones when it was on Regent Street. A snip at £125 down from £250, with velvet lining on cuffs, front and hood. I put it in the hall, knowing that I always put out rubbish on a Thursday night and would be sure not to throw away the black bin bag containing my woollen coat, waiting to go upstairs for summer storage. And Dig of course never put out the rubbish on a Thursday night since the day I moved in here in 1988. Except, of course, the night I incidentally store an expensive woollen coat in a black bin bag and put it at the foot of the stairs. Now, as autumn strikes, I often think of my velvet lined woollen coat somewhere right at this moment, rotting in a landfill.

Anyway, apart from chucking Thomas and his friends in the landfill, I could of course give it all away. Well, in truth, sometimes I do give it to a worthy cause, although with less regularity now, thanks to Sally. I gave a Max Mara jacket to Sally. She looks after cats and was in need of items of value to sell for a poor puss in distress. Without a second glance of reverance, Sally stuffed my Max Mara jacket into a Netto carrier bag and proclaimed, 'That'll do for the car boot'. Sorrowfully I decided then and there the cats can get stuffed and so began to horde the Max Mara jackets until the day they can go to a worthy cause. Unfortunately I've never found a cause quite as worthy as Grit, so any other item of diminishing value is stored in black bins under the eaves, out of sight of Dig.

There's ebay of course. I could sell things on ebay. Apart from the fact that I am possibly the only woman in England who cannot manage to get a PayPal account for herself. So potential buyers take note. There's no effing point offering Pay Pal because Grit is too dense to make the thing work. I won't bore you with the details. Suffice to say I send out a lot of cheques for small amounts.

Freecycle has been good. I've exchanged rubbish for treasure, time and time again. But as far as Thomas and Percy go I have a sneaky suspicion that the Thomas I'm giving away will end up at the car boot I'm looking at, which makes me think I may as well do it myself.

Only I'm quickly realising the shortcomings of the local car boot. I have to get up at 4.00 am to be down there for 5.00 am, which is when it opens to traders. Then I set up my wallpaper pasting table, and I stay there. Until 3.00 pm. And I'd better not drink coffee to stop myself falling asleep over Thomas. Because if I'm there alone, with no-one else to mind the wallpaper table, I cannot protect lovely Thomas and all his little friends from being nicked. Actually, by about 7.00 am, I might prefer Thomas and his friends to be nicked so I can wee in one of the four stinking and overflowing portaloos located round the back of the kebab van.

And so my research is currently stalled. Worse, at the car boot I end up spending 2.50 on a ballerina jewellery box for Squirrel and six books on the Romans for me.

Any ideas for selling Thomas and a select amount of upmarket clothing gratefully received.

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