Tag Archives: eBay

Cycling Diva

16 Jul

Getting a bike today – at last!

I have been after a bike for the past twenty years.  Not enough to demand one for Christmas, or to steal one hanging around outside the corner shop, but I’ve always fancied another go.  However, circumstances have now made getting a bike an imperative:

  • We have been putting £5 a week of petrol in the car for about ten years, but it has become so expensive, that barely gets us to the end of the road.  The bike will pay for itself in unused petrol and/or bus fares within a couple of months.
  • The Hub is finding it more and more difficult to do things, and can’t be wasting his energy in running me about.
  • I’ve become aware of diabetes.  I may not have mentioned that I like to eat and I have a sweet tooth.  Several of my friends of a similar age and approach to chocolate have come down with Type-2.  Plus, I’m at an age where I need to be wary of developing heart disease.  If I ride a bike I can keep eating and my body won’t know.*

* Just had a cryptic message from my arteries, telling me I’m an idiot.  I wonder what that’s about?

I almost had a bike last year: a free one was offered to me but it was about the size of a penny farthing and I couldn’t get on it.  The new bike cost £25 but it should fit, if we’ve measured correctly.  We bought it online so I haven’t tried it out yet.

I ordered the Hub to trawl the internet for a secondhand bike.  It had to be cheap and old: there’s a good chance I will decide that cycling is not for such as the likes of I, just like swimming, rowing, running and aerobics.  Plus, it is less likely to be stolen; and the damage won’t matter when I fall off.  It took months to find one because my demands were many: I am the J-Lo of the Stockport Cycling Community, and I have the backside to prove it.  As well as cheap and old, it had to be a proper girl’s bike with no crossbar, and a basket.  The basket was a must, a deal breaker.  My new bike has almost everything I demanded.  The Hub is going to buy a basket for me on eBay.

After what’s been going on in the Tour de France this week, I have to say I am a little relieved not to be a cyclist just yet.  I haven’t ridden a bike for over thirty years; I hope I remember how to do it.  I can just see the Hub holding onto the saddle and running alongside me; and then the boys holding onto the Hub’s coffin and me cycling alongside it. 

He says I don’t have to worry about not knowing what to do; it will be just like riding a bike.

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I Like Not That

18 May

Image by debaird™ via Flickr

Some news items that caught my eye:

A father gave his child the name ‘Like’.  

Even though – get this – ‘he actually has fewer than 120 friends on Facebook and doesn’t really care for the social networking site.’

Well that’s alright then, as long as he doesn’t want to profit from it or get his name in the media…oh, oh, wait a minute…

It’s not as if he has the excuse of being famous; we all know how stupid that makes a parent at baby-naming time: Fifi Trixiebelle, Peaches Honeyblossom, Pixie, anyone?  What were you thinking, Mr Geldof?

Maybe I’m not such a bad mother after all: ‘Tory Boy’ and ‘Spud Bud’ have a nice ring to them in comparison, don’t they?

Over in Michigan – which I have always considered to be a sensible State – a woman sold a two-year-old child on eBay. 

It appears she did it to ‘see how eBay works.’  Wouldn’t a used DVD have sufficed?  I’ve often wanted to give my children away but it never occurred to me to make a profit from them.

In case you’re worried but too lazy to click on the link, the child was removed from the woman’s care and ‘is in her mother’s custody.’ 

I must confess I’m still worried: why wasn’t she with her mother in the first place?  When I said I’ve often wanted to give my children away, what I meant was, over my dead body, rigor mortised hands clenched round their pudgy little wrists and a ‘Noooooo’ scream etched on my blue yet still attractive face.

Have sex to save the rainforests

It’s a thing, apparently.  An article in the Metro discusses ‘Eco-porn organisation F*** For Forest,’ an ‘erotic, non-profit group.’  They have 1300 members.

There is going to be a ball of some sort, at which ‘a small space where people can be exhibitionists’ will be provided.

I got this last bit from Wikipedia but you’ll have to find the link yourself because this is a family blog: In their first six months of existence the group received seed funding from the government of Norway.

You couldn’t make it up.



If The Tree’s Not Full, You’re Doing It Wrong

31 Dec

I decorate the tree using the above principle. I believe in moderation in everything except Christmas and Maltesers. Speaking of which, I still have seven of my nine boxes & bags left and it’s been five days; I’d better get myself to the doctor.

Here are a few of our tree decorations. We buy at least one new one every year. That was Tory Boy’s first question when he arrived home on Christmas Eve: ‘Where’s the new decoration?’

The mirrored bell you see below is the first decoration TB ever bought me, from St Matthew’s Christmas Fair, here in Edgeley about ten years ago.


This is a decoration from the White House, from 1995. It comes in its own specially marked box. The White House issues new ones each year for the public to buy, though this one was a gift from the Hub via eBay. It is a solid piece.

The candy cane is also from America, one of a box of ten sent by one of the Hub’s chat room friends. They are about ten years old, those that are left. We never took them out of their plastic wrappers but they are getting a bit soft now. Don’t think we are mean to our children: we can buy them here in the pound shop. We just appreciated Brenda’s kindness and didn’t have the heart to eat them



The white stocking was made by Spud in reception (kindergarten); the Christmas sock is one of a mis-matched pair given to me by my Mother-in-law when we brought her and the Hub’s Dad out to South Africa one Christmas. I think the funny basket rat thing held mini Easter eggs once; I bought it on a boot sale because I liked it so much. The glass bauble to the right is part of an expensive set of ten that the Hub got for a knock-down price on eBay. Each ball contains a different Christmas figure. They have their own specially designed wooden crate with an acetate showing which bauble goes where.

This is our most precious decoration.  The Hub bought it for his parents in 1970 and it went on the top of their tree every year until they died.  It went on the top of our tree after that until about five years ago, when Tory Boy bought us a new angel with his pocket money.  I forgot to take a close-up of his angel but if you look at my earlier posts you will see it.
The tatty silver and gold balls were once shiny and new gold balls, part of a set of six we bought for our first Christmas tree, twenty-five years ago.  These are the only two left.  The pink fairy was handmade by me under Flo’s tutelage; I also have a reindeer and a Christmas tree, all made from dolly pegs.  I also made the cross stitch snowman.



My friend Elone often buys me Christmas decorations when she goes on her travels; this one of Sponge Bob came from Disneyland.  I also have one of Mickey Mouse and a blue glass teardrop from Kusadasi which is my favourite of all she has bought me, mostly because I love saying ‘Kusadasi’.  The dog is an old Christmas tag made of foam.  The Hub bought a set for my presents one year, and I like them so much I use them as decorations.


The red and gold box top right first held a ring that the Hub bought me and hid on the tree long ago.  The gold bell next to it was our first top-of-the-tree decoration when we married in 1985.  The cloth bell came from a little shop in Jo’burg on Louis Botha Avenue in the early years of our marriage.  The shop sold all homemade/hand-made things, including cakes and clothes and Christmas decorations. 


Homemade and hand-made decorations are my favourite, but I love them all.  I overload the tree because I am seriously sentimental at times and when I decorate the tree, I’m bringing out happy memories.  Who wouldn’t want a treeful of those?

There Were Seven In The Bed And The Little One Said, ‘Stop Kicking Me And Give Me Some Covers, Will You?’

29 Jul

It feels like Christmas in South Africa in my house, bursting at the seams with people.  Just how I like it: I love a full house because it means people like me (or my offspring, in this case).  My niece and nephew arrived on Saturday and they bunked down in Spud’s room with him, as he has the largest bedroom and that’s how they all like it.  Spud finished school two weeks ago; the niece and nephew last week; Tory Boy is home from university; Tory Boy is in love and trading visits with Tory Girl and it was her turn to come here yesterday.  As far as the Hub and I are concerned another little one can be squeezed in no problem, but the house took the huff and refused to play along. 

Where to put everyone?  There are two couches downstairs so TB & TG could go on those but they felt they had been apart too long as it was (five whole days).  Two of the kids could go on them but they would have had to stay up late to use them.  TB & TG could go in our bed and the Hub and I go on the couches – yeah, right; like I’d give up my bed for anyone.  The couches were not an option.  TB & TG could stay in his tiny room if TG took the single bed and TB folded himself at right angles and slept like a Zed (‘Zee’ for my American friends) on the floor.  ZZZZZzzz…he wasn’t too keen on that idea for some reason.  TB & TG could take Spud’s three-quarter bed which is almost a double (they liked that one) and nephew sleep on floor of TB’s room on the airbed and niece sleep in the single bed.  No, niece on floor because she’s smallest and nephew in bed.  That left Spud who could sleep on the fold-out bed in our room.  Spud flat refused, preferring to slander his mother with scurrilous lies about her snoring proclivities and offering to sleep in the shed with the lawnmower and wallpaper stripper propping up the warped wallpaper table as a bed instead.  After briefly considering and discarding the bath for him, that left the Hub and I in our bed; TB & TG in Spud’s bed; Spud in TB’s bed because he is tallest of the three; and the nephew and niece on the floor in TB’s room.  Not as harsh as it sounds: with the door left open, we used the airbed and the mattress from the fold-out bed as a base; added four winter blankets; four winter and five summer duvets; seven pillows carefully placed to avoid bumps on the head from looming wardrobes and bookcases; and, as long as TB & TG were careful not to kick them in the heads sticking out into the upstairs hallway when they came out of Spud’s room – which they tend not to do for days on end except at feeding time – the nephew and niece slept like the princess after they removed the pea, not even noticing when Spud climbed over them with – and I quote – ‘a lot of ninja skills’ to get into Tory Boy’s bed, and accidentally flattened them.  Jolly japes!

I slept like a baby in my own bed but accidentally got up an hour early because I misread my watch.  When I came out of my room I saw that all the children were up but when I went downstairs it was just the nephew.  I went back upstairs to check on the other two and realised I wasn’t wearing my glasses and so hadn’t spotted Spud under his duvet and the niece buried like a gerbil in her nest on the floor.


I was surprised by a nice gesture yesterday: the Hub bought an airline pin from eBay; he has around seven thousand that he has accumulated over the years. 

The first 114 of seven thousand

He’s such a geek.  Him buying the pin wasn’t the nice gesture (I don’t want any of the seven thousand of them); it was the eBayer who sold it to him: he included a sachet containing an Earl Grey teabag and a bag of sugar, with a note explaining that he was encouraging the world to stop anytime for a nice cup of tea: ‘Tea-time, anytime can be just for make time for me-time too.  Pure Pleasure!‘  Isn’t that a lovely idea?


Yesterday was Three Word Wednesday and I thought I’d join in.  We are given three words as a prompt and they were: abuse-cramp-hatred.  I used a synonym for hatred because it reads better.

Advice For Catholic Boys

leads to
cramp.  Then
it drops
off.  Self-
loathing follows.
You’re left
with a
phallic thimble.
A sex education




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