Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Welcome to our (play) house

Invited in for a viewing of the new house
As you may know, I'm a bit of an advocate of eBay.  Oddly enough, I never used to be but over the past few years watching money slipping through my fingers buying clothes for myself that I rarely wore or those for the girls that they seemed to grow out of in seconds, I began to think of better ways of spending those pounds.

My friend is the charity shop queen. She finds the most amazing bargains but I find very little.  So, eBay is my 'shop' of choice now. Even hubby's jumped on the bandwagon - albeit from a distance as I do the bidding and buying for him.

Recently I thought it would be fun to have something new to trip over in the garden. Let's face it, it's not crowded enough yet with a trampoline, fairy castle tent, swings and slide, sand pit, ball pit and lots of smaller bits that get stuck under my instep or twist my ankle everywhere I walk, so I decided a play house would be fun.

Having a quick glance at shop/online prices, I realised we weren't about to spend upwards of £200 on the world's smallest piece of plastic.  So eBay was my best bet.

I put a bid on one that was ending soon. It was a tiny little 'circular' play house that the seller said had cost them £250.  Were they mad? I would pay £25 for that. It went for £45 to some nutter.  No worries, a bigger, nicer one had come up locally (clearly noone is mad enough to post these things to you) so I decided to bid a maximum of £50 on it.  I then went out for a few hours while it was finishing.  Yep, you guessed it. Some bastard lucky soul got it for £51.  I could have hunted them down and punched them was delighted for them.

Another came up and I bid £50 again.  I watched this one. No sniping sod was going to beat me this time. About an hour before the end a bid hit taking it to £55.  I bid £60.  Damn, still outbid.  5 minutes before the end I went for £70.  If I didn't win this I'd find another.  £68.80 was my bid - I had beaten the other person. Clearly they had been a lazy arse like me the first time and gone out/away from their PC as I won.

It then occurred to me I had to collect it and I only have a SAAB 9-5!  Umm...dimensions were important here then.  Thinking it would never go into my boot (no hatchback or estate in this house, oh no) I called up the outlaws to see if I could borrow their estate car the following day to collect it. Yep, no problem. I arranged this with the seller and asked for dimensions too.  While she was out with her tape measure, I found the same play house still advertised in Toys R US - complete with L/W/H figures.  Tape measure out to the car and I worked out it would fit - exactly - sideways with about 1-2 feet sticking out.  String - yep.  Cord - yep. Phone call to seller, girls bundled into the car and off we went.

Got to the seller's house and she looked at me. I'm sure she thought I was bonkers but I was here and not about to leave without the play house even if I balanced it on the roof all the way home!

It fitted into the boot - just.  I tied some cord around the latch and base and it snapped. Great.  String then.  That seemed to hold.  Ah, roof of the thing. No way would that fit into the boot.  Would it be a second journey tonight? Would it bugger! I got it in the car right in front of the girls car seats and they had to hold it steady all the way home. Well, it was for them so why shouldn't they do a bit of work too?

Home and my neighbour helped me get it out of the car and I put it together before hubby arrived home from work.  He was invited in for a viewing as you can see.  I'm delighted with my purchase and the girls love it to pieces.  Yep, it's got a few missing stickers and some dirt has managed to get inside the plastic bits but lets's face it, a year of a new one in our garden would look exactly the same.  The girls don't care so that's all that matters.

Right, what else can I buy to fill up the remaining 3 feet of garden I can see...?

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