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


  1. Hoorah (trumpety sounds)you are back!!!
    Wow it sounds like you are very very busy indeed. You must be exhausted!
    How is it being back at work? What do you do?
    Loving the sound of your Facebook group. What a great thing to do. I like the sound of Ebay but simply can't be jiggered to post stuff off to people. Your group sounds brill.
    Hope the show was a big success for your hubby.
    x x x x

  2. Yaaaaay you're back! I kept checking on your blog incase posts weren't showing on my homepage!! You've been missed.
    How I'd love a vintage bike! I had to reread the sentence where you said you were horrified to receive one, I thought I'd read it wrong! I understand why though, you need 'cool' bikes when you're young haha! When I was 6 I got this purple bike with crazy stuff all over it and a fluorescent pink plastic basket! I was in love! I love the colour bike you've got now :)
    I'm obsessed with charity shops lately, spend more in there than high street shops! I've seen some of those facebook things before, but all to do with baby stuff which I definitely have no need for!
    & I used to have that phone! One of my favourite phone's by far (I broke it by peeling off the screen and then dropping it, I have no idea why or how that happened).
    Good to have you back, look forward to your posts!xxx

  3. Phew! You HAVE been busy! Good for you having a clear out.The facebook selling/buying sounds a great idea!As a fellow hoarder I find it really hard to part with things,but recently I've decided to sell some of my china and raise a bit of holiday spending money.
    I'm after a bike too,now I've lost weight I need to up the exercise,but I haven't been on one for years,although they do say you never forget don't they?
    I hope things will slow down a bit for you now the holidays are here,have fun!
    Love Bellaboo X

  4. hi there
    i need you to send me your address so i can send your all things british swap parcel xx

  5. Helloooo Marina,
    so lovely to have a post from you!
    My goodness you have been busy of late....
    I love that you have been selling and thrifting and moving things along (always good to pass on what has been hanging around)as you almost always receive again by doing this!!
    Have posted again on mine about your give away, as
    I have just received the wonderful Nostalgic Home book sighed of course by the authors!!
    Am a hoping August brings you warmer days of fun with your locely little ones....
    Love Mariax

  6. OOps should wear my glasses when typing Marina,of course it should read LOVELY LITTLE ONES.....
    Have fun!!

  7. Hi Marina,
    Lovely to see you stop by this morning.

    You buy/sell/swap sounds brilliant. Really possible in a smaller town, don't think it would work too well in a city, people are too greedy. You have acquired some great stuff Mr. Trebus :-)

    I have been to the Royal Welsh a few times, so huge and great food. Terrible traffic jams though as the roads leading to from the south are narrow country lanes.

    Great to see you.

  8. Oh my goodness you are such a girl after my own heart! I too have been having a big clean out and you are so right - it is totally therapeutic!! I adore some of the bargains you have purchased too - especially your lovely pink phone. The bike made me laugh - I have a similar story and am now on the look out for a very vintage, girly type with a basket...that isnt too expensive, lol! Take care lovely, Becks xxx

  9. Where is the Royal Welsh Show this year? When I lived in Cardiff/worked at St. Donat's, it was at Fonmon Castle, where one of our co-worker's families lived. It was such fun to attend.


  10. My goodness, Marina, you have been a busy little bee. But it all sounds like such fun and you have survived. Baby Boy must feel quite proud, riding around in his new wheels. I'm glad you are back and thank you for your very sweet message to me. I'm so behind also. My computer was in the shop for awhile and, as you know, one day off can put you so far behind but at least I'm trying to keep up with my thank you's but alot of the prettiness I'm not getting around to yet and I hate to miss anything!!..Happy Wednesday..Judy

  11. good for you! good to be busy!

  12. Isn't it fab when you have a clearout. I feel like the whole house heaves a sigh of relief when I give it a good tidy and clear! The whole donating and the selling and swapping in particular sound like they have been a huge success for all concerned. Hope you are enjoying your bike, maybe you'll be able to get out on it in the school hols with the little ones. Hope you are all having a great summer holiday so far.
    Lisa x


Thank you for your lovely messages! They really do brighten up my day xx