Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Life in the Fastlane

Hello all, you’d be forgiven in thinking that I’d been washed away with the terrible weather we've had up until last week as the reason for my lack of blog posts of late! July is always a busy month for us, my husband works for the Royal Welsh Show, which took place last week – I rarely saw him in the few hectic weeks prior to the Show – lots of (very) early morning starts and overtime, which, combined with me now back at work 3 days a week and having to get Baby Boy up to the child minder by ten past eight in the morning (an hour round trip on foot very often) and then Mia off to school all before 9.am as been hectic to say the least! And as for the rain..well, you can imagine.

It is safe to say we have been living life very much in the “fast lane” at the moment; Baby Boy is growing up so quickly, sometimes I think it would be nice just to press a “pause” button for a while! Still, life is good, and now that school has broken up, I’m looking forward to lots of fun things with Mia and Baby Boy, and August should be a lot calmer.

Over the past couple of weeks we’ve been;

DONATING….LOTS of bin liners full of clothes and brick-a-brack to the local charity shops - I have to do this every now and again, if I didn’t, I’m sure our home would resemble that of the late Mr. Trebus, whom you may recall featured on the BBC1 series “A Life of Grime” some years ago. Mr. Trebus was an avid collector of, well, anything and everything, and threw absolutely nothing away;

(the late Mr. Trebus, image from Google)

I have to admit, seeing my poor husband trundling off to the charity shop with his car jammed to the rooftop with all my “Junk” - not what he wanted to be doing on a Saturday morning, but at the same time relieved that he’d actually got me to part with so much, is a rather liberating feeling – that said, I could never be minimalist, no matter how hard I tried!

SELLING…I’ve also been selling!! (Husband is even more thrilled about this!) – we have a fantastic local Facebook group with thousands of members, where you can buy and sell (or swap) practically anything. I’ve become addicted! Especially after listing various items from our outbuildings (now they really do resemble the house of the late Mr. Trebus!), not particularly convinced that someone would actually want to buy my old slightly rusting enamel bread-bin, a large beanbag and a box of paperbacks, but in fact, they sold within minutes! Encouraged, I added more, and within 24 hours I’d made £44! Whoopee I was ecstatic! And hence my addiction began - I’ve since made well over £100 and I’m adding more stuff daily. The foyer of our local Tesco appears to be the most favored place to meet to exchange goods and cash, arranged by messages such as “I’ll met you by the trolleys at 10.00 – I have a black pushchair” or (and this is real one I kid you not!) “I’ll wait by the cash point at 4pm, I will be wearing a green hoodie and dark glasses” Hmm, I wonder how long that particular person would have got away with loitering in that position and wearing that ensemble without arousing the suspicion of the Tesco security guard, but hey ho!

BUYING - though "thrifting" sounds much better doesn't it! - Now I know that this kind of counteracts the above, however I am trying to be frugal in my thirfting of late, and only buying what I need!

A bike! I've been after one for ages but haven't wanted to spend a great deal, in case, as Husband suspects, it will spend more time in the shed than my journey in to work, but at £15.00 and in fully working order, how could I not?! It also fulfills a little dream of mine since I was 8 years old; it was the late 1980’s and the craze in our school was to have a mountain bike – preferably in neon pink or fluorescent green!

Oh how I begged and begged my parents for such a bike, and I am ashamed to say that I was horrified when my dad proudly presented me with a vintage-style shopper-bike instead, complete with a wicker basket on the front (I would love that now!). So, albeit it some 23 years too late, I finally have my 1980’s shiny electric blue Raleigh mountain bike, and yes, although I would now prefer something more vintage, the 8-year-old girl inside me is thrilled!

Shelf units, ( I haven't had chance to photograph these) - ALWAYS a god-send in our house, I cannot get enough of these! Painted up these will look fantastic, especially in Mia's room and at £20 FOR THE LOT! BARGAIN!

A smaller, more compact pushchair for Baby boy, he loves this new sportier model! This compact 3-wheeler has only been used a handful of times by the previous owner, had cost her in excess of £250, but cost me just £80.00 - bargain! it's absolutely immaculate too.

We're still keeping our large travel-system, or "The Tank" as i've named it rather aptly, as it is literally impossible to get it around the tiny little shops of our Victorian town. I also bought this to save my dads' sanity after The Tank almost drove him to despair whilst trying (unsuccessfully) for 20 minutes to collapse it in order to get it in to his car! - He even tried to get it in WHOLE - which, despite having a large 4x4, this was still not possible and only helped to enhance his frustration in "prams these days!! - why do they have to make them SO complicated??!" Whilst Baby Boy, Mia and I looked on, me trying desperately to hide a smile at the whole scenario.

The "Sell/Swap" as it has become known, is somewhat of an online community for our small town, everybody appears to be getting in to the habit of buying, selling and generally "making do" with second-hand, and interestingly the site has become extremely popular in the last year or so, no doubt due to the recession. I'm ALL for this, I unfortunately dropped and smashed my mobile phone whilst walking home from the child-minder last Wednesday morning, and it was well beyond repair. When I got home at around 9.am I put up a WANTED post, asking if anyone had a cheap mobile phone with charger, etc, which they would like to sell for a reasonable price - I wasn't fussy as to what sort - I'm not in to phones and all of the fussy gadgets, etc, I only want one to send the odd text message and for emergencies. Anyway, I was inundated with responses and by 1.pm I was waiting outside our local Co-op to meet a trendy-looking girl in her late teens, who had recently discarded the said phone for, no doubt, an iphone/smartphone, or whatever is the "in" thing right now, who, i'm sure looked at pityingly as I handed over the twenty quid, as if trying to work out why on earth I would want her "soooo last year", uncool, quite frankly embarrassing old phone with which she would no longer be seen dead with, but still - she took the money gratefully!

Me however, I'm now the proud (because it's a second-hand bargain) owner of a fab pink touch-screen phone - which I can even access the Facebook site from! I might just change the leopard-print cover it came with for a Cath Kidston number and hey presto!

(OK, so i'm not in to gadgets, but I have to concede this is kind of fun!) And you must admit, a 4 hour turnover from smashed-on-the-ground phone to second-hand bargain phone isn't bad going! Even Mia thought this was "cool"!

Anyway, I'm going to finish this post here, thank you everyone as always for your lovely comments, I have truly missed "Blogland" lately! I am very pleased that life is slowing down a little now and we can get back to normality. I have lots of lovely posts planned during the next week or so, we had a great time at the Royal Welsh Show, and I must share with you some of the wonderful photographs of the craft and produce competitions - one cake in particular literally took my breath away!

Marina xx