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STORIES  AND EBAY SALES

1     AN OLD LAND ROVER
2     EBAY
3     SELLING AN OLD LAND ROVER  
4     SELLING WHEELS AND TYRES
5     A NEW JOB AT THE FUNERAL PARLOUR
6     SELLING VIDEO CAMERA
7     MY BIRTHDAY TODAY
8     WITCHERY PART ONE
9     SELLING CANVAS HOOD
10   WITCHERY PART TWO
11   SELLING CARAVAN HITCHDRIVE 
12   WITCHERY PART THREE
13   SELLING RATCHET STRAPS  
14   WITCHERY PART FOUR
15   SELLING GOAL POSTS  
16   WITCHERY PART FIVE
17   SELLING A HI VIZ COAT
18   WITCHERY PART SIX

19   SELLING 3 TONNES OF CLAY    
2O  WITCHERY PART SEVEN
21   SELLING A WHEEL CLAMP
22   SHOPPING AND THE HESITANT DOORS
23   SELLING AN OLD PAIR OF BOOTS

24   THE REAL DE VINCI CODE

25   MY GUITAR AND AMP

26   SELLING MOTORBIKE PANNIERS

27   HALLOWEEN

28 SELLING A HIGHWAY CODE

29 ZEN AND THE ART OF  LAND ROVER MAINTENANCE

30  SELLING A CIGARETTE LIGHTER AND A TRIP TO SCOTLAND

31  CHRISTMAS LIGHT RAGE

32  METAMORPHOSIS

33 SELLING AN AMBER BEACON

34 THE UNIVERSE IS A  BIG PLACE

35 SELLING A  BLOW LAMP

36 SELLING BOOTS UPDATE

37 SELLING A  TORCH

38 SELLING A MOTORBIKE JACKET

39 SELLING A POWER JUICER

40 SELLING A HORSE WHIP

41 THE BOAT

42 SELLING LAND ROVER SIDE STEPS

43 SELLING A  TOW / RECOVERY CHAIN

44 SELLING LAND ROVER BULL BARS

45 SELLING THE FOGGYDAVE CARRIER BAG

46 CARAVAN RAGE OR AGINCOURT DEUXIEME PARTIE

 

 

 

STORY 30 SELLING A CIGARETTE LIGHTER

Where I go searching for my roots and my wife meets the Queen

 

 PDF file of original Ebay advert          

 

Below is a transcript of the description on the original Ebay advert

 

The reason I am selling this item is told below

For the past year I have been delving into my family history, tracing my families travels from Leicester to Shrewsbury where I found that I have Scottish blood running through my veins.
It seems that I am of the Clan Mclean and my fore fathers and possibly four mothers came down to the Midlands with Bonny Prince Charlie to fight the cause, thought better of it, deserted, and settled in Shropshire.

 

I made the fatal mistake of telling my wife the Walter Mitty of Glenfield. I have spoken before of her split personalities most of which are drawn from the many films she has seen. Well I say ‘seen’ she very rarely sees a film all the way through because her attention span is short and she cannot stay quiet long enough. So the characters get awfully muddled in her brain. Therefore it was no surprise when once I had told my Bagpipish one she started to daydream and very quickly took on the persona of a Scottish highlander. Due to her befuddled brain she somehow mixed up Arnie in Predator, Sean Connery as James Bond and Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music. Sean I can understand, Julie I think was because of the mountains. Arnie though defies logic, although it may be to do with the muscle flexing and his catchphrase “I vill be bark”

 

 In a normal household this split personality only affects the one person, not so in ours. My wife takes the family approach of ‘one in all in’. The low spot came when my gravely voiced dearest started singing Climb Every Mountain, much like Paul Robeson on drugs with a hang over.  She desisted only after the police had been round saying the noise was setting off car alarms for a radius of half a mile.

As I say my dearest has the habit of involving everyone, therefore since she found out about the Scots connection we have worn the kilt, been on a diet of porridge and haggis, and talk in the Robbie Burns style with lots of “oche eye the noo,s”. Everything is “wee”. “A wee wait”, “a wee while”, “a wee wee”, etc. with copius amounts of “I will be back oche eye punk, make my day the noo, cuff him Mcdanno etc etc.

My wife the Haggis basher also insists we refer to the neighbours as “Sassenachs” and “Southern pansies”. This does not do a lot for neighborhood entente cordial, or for your health. We have enough problems with the weekly visits by villagers with burning brands and pitchforks waving crucifixes and chanting burn burn burn, apart from one dyslexic who shouts brun bnur runb, without having mobs waving the St Georges flag at us. Also to go into our local pub dressed in what most people would term a skirt and call THEM pansies would be to invite death and destruction. I am also made to go “commando” which can be a little embarrassing and draughty when climbing into my lorry, or cleaning the upstairs windows. I have not asked the wife if she goes commando, some things are best left in the dark, so to speak.

My caber tossing love then booked eight days holiday in Scotland so that we could tour the McLean lands, to possibly claim them as our own. She also wanted to stop by at Balmoral just on the off chance HRH would invite her to take tiffin and tea with the Corgies.
She spent a few weeks getting a  thorough grounding in Scottish culture, gleaned mainly from watching taped episodes of Rab C Nesbit and John, “We’re doomed all doomed” Laurie in Dads Army. She was going to use the comedian Billy Connelly but he swore too much. 

 We set off in the trusty Landover up the M1. I wanted to go in the Ford Focus to save on fuel costs and also to ensure we got there, but my wife insisted on the Landrover so that we may go stag and haggis hunting. In addition, should we be near Balmoral we may luckily be mistaken for one of the “Royals”.  I am sure that my dearest as she shaves in the morning does not see the same face in the mirror that we see. I think we all suffer this to some degree but in moderation. How on earth she would think that she would be mistaken for a royal is beyond me. Even a blind person from the most desolate reaches of the Patagonian outback would not make the connection. I suppose though we must all have our dreams.

As for the 4x4 I would have thought even the Royal cess pit cleaner would have had a newer motor than ours.

 

A word here about travelling in a very old Landrover.
It helps when travelling for a long period (more than an hour) in a 40-year-old Landover that the driver takes an holistic view. In modern cars, you decide where to go, get behind the wheel, turn the key, Sat Nav on, point the car and go, with climate, cruise, and other controls.  Not so an old Landrover. You are not just getting into a shell that quietly and rapidly will transport you. No, this is a whole of body and life experience, and I don’t think my Landrover has ever done ‘quiet’, or ‘rapid’ in its life.
The preparation of the motor starts weeks before the trip, by making sure all things mechanical are working to some degree, and that all the bits that may fall off are pop riveted, gaffer taped or tie wrapped on. There are always items that give cause for concern, but are not too far gone to replace. Like squeaky wheel bearings, rattley exhaust, noisy engine, rotten chassis. So many in fact that you tend to take the fatalist approach vis a vis “what will be will be” for should you mend one part its always the other one that goes wrong. (Landy Law 7).
I spoke earlier of the holistic approach; this also applies to the act of driving the motor. You do not just put your foot down and go. You drive the whole car, every nut, bolt and panel, you use all your senses to listen, see, and smell. Every noise be it a crunch or knock is analysed and questioned, every smell is thoughtfully inspected. You drive by the seat of your pants; you feel the motor, its vibrations and judders, its surges and steering. You constantly listen to the engine as it talks to you, hopefully in a soft purring voice and not one with a racking cough. This coupled with a top speed of 52mph and so much noise that it’s hard to hear yourself speak leads to a very stressful experience. It is not made any easier by the constant shouting and gesticulating from the wife, berating the other 99.99% of road users who have the effrontery to flash past at 70 mph.

After twelve hours and 350 nerve wracking miles we reached Loch Lomond. We did however on the way up stop off at Gretna Green, a quaint little tourist trap just across the border with the obligatory Scottish piper to welcome us, our first taste of all things tartan. My Mcsporraned one had insisted we travel up in full highland regalia to get into the “holiday spirit”. Not knowing what tartan to wear she had made up her own design in fluorescent yellows, greens and orange. Travelling in a very draughty land rover with a kilt on “commando” is a very cooling experience, and my first port of call at Gretna was the loos to check up on frost bite to the family jewels. A few minutes with the hand drier directed up the kilt bought some comfort and feeling back.

 

On hearing the sound of a dozen cats being sexually abused I walked outside to find my wife highland dancing over crossed swords. Well I say dancing, if you can imagine an amalgam of Saturday Night Fever meets Hoola Hoola meets Comanche war dance, with a bit of mad camel thrown in you have the picture. Most ladies of the larger persuasion are imbued with a certain grace, their speed governed by agility and size. Not so my wife. Where there should have been smooth movement and gentle hops there were the frenzied leaps and passion of the demented punk fanatic and whirling Dervish. The piper caught up in the enthusiasm, cheeks puffing in a crimson face, sucked in great lungfuls of air to keep the pipes inflated. His fingers dancing like a concert pianists over the chanter holes making the sound I had heard. Faster and faster my wife danced, hobnail boot raising sparks and great flakes of concrete as it hammered with increasing force on the path. Onlookers ducked as the shards of stone shot into their midst. It all came to a sudden end when the bagpipes under great pressure were punctured by a sharp piece of stone, the resulting force of escaping gas propelled the piper into the air, to come crashing down through the roof of Ye Olde Scottish Candle Makers. The sudden silence that ensued was broken by thunderous applause from the crowd, who thought this Scottish dancing a fine spectacle. My wife not slow to take advantage of any pecuniary opportunity took off her sporran and passed it amongst the crowd, the monies raised paid for a slap up breakfast and fuel for the rest of the journey.
The piper forgotten now, emerged from the shop covered in quickly setting candle wax, he too seeing an opportunity, raised his claymore high in a fighting pose and setting solid remained immobile for the rest of the day, earning a great deal of money as a living statue.

We in the meantime had wended our way far north to the village of Craithie, the nearest village to Balmoral with a B&B. Immediately upon our arrival my wife started to question the locals as to the daily habits of the Queen. The locals used to such questions, but not normally from a woman dressed up like a Glaswegian tart on a rainy Hogmanay night down Gorbals street, willingly told her all she wished to know, and under the influence of each free whisky this Sassenach was plying them with the stories got taller, the truth shorter. They told her of the Queens daily visit to Tesco’s to buy the households victuals, of her Thursday visits to the Haggis markets, where live haggis were paraded around the ring and auctioned off before the ritual slaughter at the hands of the Duke wielding the sacred Claymore. My wife not willing to show her ignorance on such regal matters nodded her head knowingly, taking in each story as a black hole would suck in space matter. Normally she was an astute, cunning and knowing individual, but as a lot of women was blinded by thoughts of royal acceptance, photo’s in Country Life, or better still Hello Magazine.

 

The following morning my wife gave me lessons on bowing, scraping and the touching of the fore lock, (no different from living with the wife then). She also practiced her curtsying, not a pretty sight, imagine a camel or elephant coming to its knees to allow a rider on its back and then rising up and you have the idea.
So my wife staked out the local Tesco’s whilst I was dispatched to Honest Angus the local bookies, an establishment my wife had reliably been informed the Duke frequented, as he liked a flutter on the ponies. After six hours and a no show by the Duke I wended my way back to the B&B to find the room in darkness and my dearest peeking through closed curtains at the road below, a strange satisfied smile on her face. I had seen that smile many times before and it normally meant that someone had in some way crossed my wife and had been given a painful lesson in respect. My worry was that my wife made no distinction to whom she gave that lesson, be it yob or policeman, beggar or king. I had a sudden sinking feeling that maybe it had been a Queen or Duke. Suddenly the room phone rang, the message was that the local Laird was below and awaited my wife’s company. Intrigued I followed her downstairs to be met by a huge fully kilted Scot with red flowing beard and bushy eyebrows. He embraced my wife with a huge hug and she reciprocated cracking two of his ribs in the process. To my amazement he gave a mighty laugh and pushed a path to the bar ordering a triple whisky for as he put it, “My ticket to riches”, pointing to the wife.
I learned later that my dearest had staked out the gates to Balmoral along with the paparazzi and royal devotees. My dearest getting fed up with the wait made her way back. On the journey she came across the local team practicing for the highland games, soon to be held at Balmoral. Interested, she made to go through the gate, only to have her way barred by a burly Scot clad only in vest and kilt. One second he was going to push her back and the next he was sailing through the air, landing with a crash on the hard earth. Scotsmen are by nature very proud and to be laid low by a Sassenach was bad, but a woman in fluorescent tartan as well was beyond bearing. He arose and with a roar and lunged at my loved one, again he found himself flying through the air this time crashing to the ground unconscious. The other team members had seen what was going on and approached my wife with caution, marveling at her biceps and other muscley bits and that she could throw Big Hamish with such ease. My wife thinking that discretion was the better part of valour retyreated to the safety of the B&B.

So impressed were they that they followed her. Big Angus was in the bar offering my dearest a place on the team, and a chance to win at the games next week. The cherry on the cake for her was that the Queen and Royal family would be in attendance to hand out the prizes. For me it meant a week of peace and tranquillity whilst my Tartanned one practiced the finer points of the games. For example not throwing the caber like a javelin, and not using the “Glaswegian kiss” when wrestling. Also how to dispatch a Haggis humanely.
It was hinted by the wife that during this week I go up to the Mclean lands and claim them as my rightful inheritance. I thought it better to wait until I had my army, (the wife) present, possibly next year, so that I may put my case more forcibly. So a week of Salmon fishing and Land Rover maintenance awaited me.
I have spoken of the holistic approach to owning an old Land Rover (Or any old motor). The journey does not stop when you arrive because at some point you have to get back, and its “getting back” that consumes most of your thoughts when you are on holiday, as you go over in your mind all the bangs, whirrs, and smoke noticed on the journey up. As you did before the holidays, you agonise over whether to strip the noisy gearbox, change the wheel bearings, adjust tappets etc etc etc. The list is as long as there are parts on the car. If you wonder how you change a gearbox in the middle of nowhere it is simple, because when you own an old motor most of the space in the back is taken up with tools, jacks, blocks of wood, spare gearboxes, dynamos etc. This is why when you see an old Land Rover broken down on the motorway, another old Land Rover will have stopped in passing because it probably has the spare part needed to get the other going. If not it always has a tow rope. (The tow rope is a Land Rovers “Raison der”). So it’s a few days fishing and two days in the local garage with the old girl (I talk here of the motor) up on the ramps. If you choose a small garage this service is normally free. Mechanics when they see an old Land Rover recognize and appreciate the hard work put in to keep the thing on the road, and are only too willing to avail themselves and there facilities. Although it does help if you have liberally dosed them with whiskey in the bar the night before.
During this week my wife acquired a very thick Scots accent. With her broken nose and sinus problems she was hard to understand before. Now it was impossible, and painful as I received numerous cuffs about the head for not taking notice of her thick Scots ramblings. Also her body seemed to be getting more muscled if that was possible. Before she was built like a brick out house, but now she was taking on the appearance of a whole toilet block. I already had extra strong titanium leaf springs fitted to her side of the motor, and even then it sagged when she got in. If we were not careful the whole thing would tip up.

The day of the games came and the contestants paraded in their full Scots regalia. My wife looking resplendent in fluorescent pink and green tartan topped with a tamashanta hat a full two foot in diameter, to say she stood out was an understatement. The Queen and Duke were there waving to the crowd in a royal manner. Then the speech and those long awaited words “Let the Games begin”.

The Maori warrior does a war dance, a Haka in front of his enemies, a mixture of poses and postures that strike fear and awe into the opponent The games contestants just lifted their kilts hoping that their manhood was sufficiently scary enough to achieve the same as the Hookah, my wife left her kilt down and just flexed her biceps which was even scarier. The normal group hug was not practiced this year as the members of the team had learnt of my wife’s various skin complaints, and declined for hygienic reasons hoping though that some of these ailments may pass onto other contestants during the wrestling. Due to the sheer overwhelming weight of my loved ones team they came through the elimination rounds with ease, barely raising a sweat, (which in my wife’s case is a good thing with her perspiration problem). There was a moment during the caber tossing when young McTavish could not raise the log, but my wife’s snarling mottled face and blood shot eyes inches from his urging him on did the trick. By the afternoon there were only two teams left, each evenly matched in all the disciplines. the battle would be hard and bloody. So the games started in earnest.


The events held at a highland gathering vary from region to region. They all have. The Caber Weights and Hammer, some have Tug O War, and Haggis eating competitions. All have dancing to show off the pleats in the kilts, and piping to show just how far cheeks can be stretched when inflated at high pressure. My tartanned one was chosen for the tug O war team. She was going to be in the Caber tossing team but could not get the idea that a caber is tossed end over end and not hurled like a javelin. They wanted her in the wrestling team but the wooden leg disqualified her. Throughout the afternoon the games were played, both sides matched in the track and cultural events. It was a close call though as William Fitzpatrick and Patrick Fitzwilliam got entangled in an embarrassing situation in the wrestling match, and had to be forcibly parted with a bucket of cold water. Such was the seriousness of the act that the judges were considering disqualification on the grounds, “I quote”. “Men in kilts just should not do that sort of thing”. There had been a similar incident a few years ago between Ben Doon and Phil Mc Avity. The day was saved by the intervention of HRH the Duke, who on hearing of the problem said “That sort of thing went on all the time at my old school. What is all the fuss about?”

The Tug O War event was announced and the teams took to the field. “Pulling the rope” as it is locally known is not so much a test of pure strength but the technique of getting the other team on the “wrong foot” and “digging in the heels” The only pure strength bit is in the “Anchor” man who is the last person in the team, and who wraps the rope about his body using himself as a human tent peg, digging into the ground. On particularly soft fields it has been known for this person to be completely driven into the ground, and some like so many tent pegs lost and forgotten until caught in the mower or plough blades. The anchor man is also the “Sacrificial lamb”, when the opposing team have overwhelming strength and pull the rope quickly, the loosing team can let go and remain on their side of the line. The anchor man with rope wrapped around him is unable to break free, and is dragged kicking and screaming across the line to await the pleasures of the winning team. My stout love was chosen as this man, or in her case woman, (it’s difficult to tell sometimes as people in kilts all look the same to me). The call was given to “take the strain” as both teams leant back on the rope. Then “PULL” the opposing “red” team muscles and legs bulging pulled, heaved, and strained, but to no avail. The “blue” team, my wife’s, leaned nonchalantly on the rope some talking, others having a smoke, it was the anchor man, or in this case woman whom; assuming a near horizontal lean stayed immobile, her foot and wooden leg firmly implanted in the ground, her biceps and other ceps bulging. There was a moment of worry when a bead of perspiration appeared on her forehead five minutes into the pull, but a wipe with the back hand and all was ok. And so the two sides were stalemated, the reds nearly exhausted pulling for all their worth, and the blues most now playing a hand of whist staying very calm and collected as their anchor woman one hand on the rope had a cup of tea in the other. It could be argued that all spectator sport is just theatre. The sportsmen and women are there to pit their abilities against the other; the spectator is there not so much for the sport as the picture of the spectacle. He is not concerned that the sportsman has spent possibly two or three decades to reach the excellence, all the spectator is interested in is the here and now. This shows itself in the often unfair comments when an athlete is awarded a prize, the money may be a great sum, but if you take into account all the training it has taken to get this far, the athlete is probably getting far less than the minimum wage.


My wife knew all about theatre after all she is a witch, and that is ten percent witchery and ninety percent theatre. She could read people and moods. The crowds were getting bored and restless they wanted a different picture and would have swopped channels if they could. And so she gave way and let the reds team gain ground inch by inch two deep furrows marking my wife’s journey forward. The art of winning is not to let it look too easy, you must look as though you have worked hard and overcome many obstacles before you win. This is theatre, any other way would be to be seen to be just going through the motions. (In formula one car racing they may as well have given Michael Schumacher the prize before the race and saved petrol and global warming. If the winner is predictable why have the race?). The crowd were going wild as the reds pulled the rope to within a foot of winning, and then stopped, stalled at the last moment by my wife calling for assistance and the other team members dragging the rope slowly back. My dearest could have won easily on her own but the whole team had to be involved, it is the team that wins a game not one man. This too-ing and fro-ing went on for another half an hour until with a mighty heave the blues pulled the reds over the line. By this time the crowds were in a frenzy of excitement and came rushing over the field to carry the team shoulder high to the winner’s podium. My wife walked leaving six strong burly Scots men behind whom, having tried to lift the mass that is my beloved gave in on the second attempt with bad backs and leg strain. So my wife met the Queen and Duke who presented each with the winner’s medal and cheque. I was so proud of her as she chatted amiably with the HRH’s.

A day later it was homeward bound, my “tartanned one” asleep most of the way. As it was downhill the journey took far less time, though we did stop off at Gretna Green for a bite to eat. The piper is now doing a great trade as a living statue of a highland piper. He has a compressed air cylinder in his bagpipes, and every now and then, normally when old ladies or very young children are passing he opens the valve to give a very loud blast on the pipes. This causes much soiling of the pants in the young and heart attacks in the old. It’s also a good deterrent for the odd graffiti artist who starts to “tag” you.
It transpires that during the wife’s “amiable” chat with the queen she was trying to sell her services as royal scyer and rune reader, HRH said with a wry smile she would like that with the parting words “I will ring you don’t ring me”. My red eyed one took this as a yes and tells every one she is now “By royal appointment” and should be referred to as “Your Ladyship” I have already been using this term for many years as it saves a lot of pain and suffering.
We have been invited by the team to attend next years gathering of the clans, and so may yet get to claim the lands that my “Och eyed” one seems to think are ours, more by royal appointment than actual deeds and titles.

So there we are all I have to show for the trip is a bit of frostbite on the family jewels and a lighter I bought at the games as a souvenir. She is now back to her normal self, well a normal as she can be
 

 

Copyright © David B Forrester 2008

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