Archive for ‘Freecycle’

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Freecycle Fail

Ahh, just had my little bit of amusement for the day…

Last night I posted an ‘Offer’ on Freecycle for some canvas boards for painting and a sketchpad. This is one of the replies:

Are you also the the lady with the lampshade, sorry i didn’t collect, couldn’t get to the net for few days. Anyway i would also love your canvas’ and sketchpad!! I can definately collect tomorrow between 5and 5;30.
Let me know if its convinient and if you have nobady else wanting them…..

Thanks and sorry!

This amuses me on so many levels:
1) I’m not the person with the lampshade, but why would I offer you something when you’ve just admitted you don’t bother showing up to collect? (or email to apologise promptly, by the looks of it).
2) If I *was* the person with the lampshade, would I really offer something to you again? When you’ve a) failed to show up and b) waited until you fancied something else I was offering to apologise?
3) Plenty of other people would ‘love’ the items too. Except they tried saying ‘please’.

Freecycle Fail.

*Disclaimer: Not that I would want to put anybody off Freecycle – if ignore the idiots it’s fantastic and I’ve had many a successful ‘transaction’.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Okay, I admit it, I didn’t post my photo-a-day yesterday. I had a friend over and we were busy crafting, watching Slumdog Millionaire (well, half of it), and cooking lasagne. Double post to come later ;)

I *did* however ‘service’ my sewing machine. I took the covers off, completely cleaned it out, oiled the relevant bits, fitted a new bulb, fitted a new spool holder (which involved carving one from plastic!), cleaned the outside thoroughly, and, a new one from me, wired on a new plug! The old one looked like it was about to cause a fire or something and must have been 20 years old. I am very satisfied with this and the machine, which cost me less than £20 from a carboot sale but is built to last, should keep going a while.

Last night I also attempted to crochet (not incredibly difficult, but my tendancy to pull my stitches tight makes it so), and learned the basic knitting.. stitch.. thing! I need to buy some needles for this as I just temporarily borrowed my friend’s last night.

I treated myself to some fabric today – a lovely pale green embroidered linen (I think), a heavy white polycotton with a tree silhouette pattern (much like the part in the top of the image on the right hand side of this blog!), and some pale green fleece – or rather a fleece blanket. Fleece off the role is £3.99 a metre, whereas the same thing with a simple blanket stitch round the edge is £3.99 for 2 metres. The tree print fabric might well turn into a bag, and I’m pondering making a light, machine quilted blanket.

And, finally, I freecycled 5 items today – 5 items less of ‘stuff’ in my house!

Time to get on with today’s photo!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I have to give my lottie up :( The previous occupant hadn’t given it up, and it’s his shed, and he’s creating hell over it. The council have offered me what they say is the only other plot – they now have a waiting list – but I think it’s full of weeds :( I’ve asked them to rotavate and it depends if they can get the machine up the narrow side path the new one is on. Sigh. Not happy. I have to go tomorrow with Chris and empty my stuff out of the shed :(

However, a couple of positives to prove I’m not letting it get me down:

~ I’ve just been offered some large pots on freecycle (collecting tomorrow). Hopefully theyll be suitable for my needs :)

~ My plants indoors are doing extremely well – the first lot of tomatoes have now gone into their final large pots before going out in may. I have far far more tomatoes and peppers than I can ever use – excess will be going to Chris’ mum and on freecycle. The peas outside are doing ok, if a little slug-bitten. I have tons of strawberry plants.. and the ones I thinned out at the allotment are looking really healthy but don’t know if previous occupant will want them back. I also sowed some salad bits in the bed the other day – radishes, mixed salad leaves, spinach, spring onions, rocket and spinach beet. Probably far too much of them too but I like baby leaves so have to use more ‘plants’ to make the same amount of grub!

~ We are FINALLY managing to get the quantity of landfill-rubbish we produce down – collection day has snuck up on me (we have alternate weekly collections of plastic/card/compostables and waste/glass/tins/paper) and we’ve only filled about 1/3-1/2 of the bin! :)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

A mostly picture update today, as I can’t be bothered to write ;) Today we drove out to a freecycler’s farm, to pick up some bits and bobs for the lottie – came away with a stack of plant pots, big roll of UV (polytunnel type) polythene, loads of fleece, large sheet of enviromesh and a sheet of weed suppressing stuff. All for free! I do love freecycle as this stuff would have been landfilled eventually otherwise, as the pieces are too small for her large scale production, but loads for a lottie! We were also meant to pick up a compost bin from another freecycler and friend, but hit a slight snag in the form of not being able to get the f**king car seats to fold down at the back. So no compost bin :( Then we drove over to a huge carboot sale for a nosey round, didn’t really get anything in the end though, we got there a bit late and people were starting to go home.


After some lunch at home I nipped down to the lottie for a couple of hours as the weather was gorgeous. Got a few spuds (9x ‘Nicola’) planted, half a bed’s worth, went through all the plastic etc from earlier and folded it up, and dismantled the previous owner’s brassica protection. I started digging that bed over but just did it roughly as I was somewhat lagging in energy. I left the lotties at half five, still brilliant sunshine and wearing a tshirt it was that warm – everyone else had gone home!




The shed – rather messy, but useable til I have the free time to make it a bit more homely :)




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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I have to say, despite using computers and other digital stuff a lot (cameras, etc), I don’t really ‘do’ mobile phones. I got myself a new pay as you go phone today, complete with £10 of credit. Got home and ring Orange up to find out that they can’t transfer a contract/monthly phone number to the sim card that comes with the new phone. So I spent half an hour digging out the PAYG sim I got them to send me a while ago (I’ve been meaning to transfer to PAYG, this just accelerated it!). Rang them up and my old number should be transferred to the sim they sent me. So now I have 3 sim cards on the go – my old one (which still works to receive calls, but has lost its memory for phone numbers), new one (which I’ll be using), and the one that came with the phone (which I won’t, but should have £10 worth of credit on it that I’ll have to get transferred). Cue a very confused Sarah!

On the plus side – Orange customer service are excellent, friendly and helpful. It’s not often I have the pleasure of dealing with people that want to help you rather than push sales on you that you don’t want or need! The guy on the phone also managed to figure out my rather complicated story and give me a step by step idiots guide to what I need to do ;)

Another plus point – the 512mb M2 memory card I had in the old phone when it went in the washing machine works!!! I’m rather amazed by that. It still has my photos on it, and it means although I’ve downgraded to a phone with a rubbish camera (I very rarely used the excellent camera on the k8001), I can use the memory card to store music and thus can use my phone as an MP3 player.

… phone blurb over :)

Nothing especially interesting has happened today – we did however get a car! It’s a corsa (I think!), a very nice blue, and absolutely pristine inside and out. We think we got quite a good deal on it, time will tell :) I’ve also managed to get some free bits for the lottie off freecycle which we’ll collect this weekend:

– A ‘dalek’ compost bin which i ‘saved’ with a friend agggges ago before I got the lottie and the wooden compost bins – but I’m sure I’ll still find a use for it!
– Hopefully quite a large amount of fleece, enviromesh, netting, plastic pots etc from someone who runs a veg box scheme – the enviromesh etc are too small for her needs but plenty for an allotment. Should save me quite a bit!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Well, nothing particularly spectacular to report. I’m almost out of money til payday, and buying a new fridgefreezer has used most of Chris’, so we’re not going out or anything interesting. In some ways being short of cash is a good thing – starting me off on my resolution to stop spending! I’ve checked the money I have left, and what I need to pay for (a couple bills, driving lessons, and bus tickets) put money for those aside and withdrawn the last from my account. Using just cash definitely makes the money seem more ‘real’ when spending it, so I might try and stick to that. I’m also thinking about not keeping my debit or credit cards with me on a daily basis – I like the ‘safety net’, but it also encourages me to spend more.

The major event of the last few days is of course the death of the fridge/freezer. We ended up ordering one for £149.99 from Currys, who will also take away the old one. We managed to save and use about half of the contents of the freezer – the rest wasn’t expensive stuff luckily (some frozen homemade meals, some veggies). We have a second fridge (left behind by our housemate when he moved out, and generally used just to store drinks and whatnot as it doesn’t get as cold), so all the refridgerated stuff was fine (although I took the oppurtunity to clear out some stuff, ie condiments that while not out of date probably wouldn’t be used in time).

We think the most likely reason for the death of the fridge is that it blocks the entrance to a small cupboard/pantry that contains the gas meter, and as we’re on a token/pre payment system we have to move the fridge about once a week. We’ve decided to put the new one in the only other space in the (poorly designed) kitchen – in front of the back/side door, blocking it completely. It will be irritating, but probably less so than the current situation of moving it regularly (we have patio style doors in the living room). Plus it means I get some extra storage space! (though what it’s like in there after being closed and unused for about 10 years I don’t know)

We also found out today that some lovely people have stolen the leading (the stuff the seals the ‘joints’ of tiles etc from the weather!) from above the bay windows at the front of the house. We didn’t even notice as we get home after dark, luckily the landlord noticed it and did a temporary cover as we had solid rain for a day shortly afterwards – he’s sending round a repairman next week. Apparently this is happening a lot locally – someone saw 3 lads on his neighbours roof ripping it off (in broad daylight!). He called the police but unfortunatly they didn’t manage to catch them.

Over the last few days I’ve started decluttering and simplifying some of my ‘stuff’. So far I’ve given several items away on freecycle (an old mobile phone, a bag of empty cd cases, those multiple packs of tampons and towels that I wasn’t going to use, and a skype phone I originally got from freecycle anyway!). There’s a few more items to go – such as my old scanner, once I find the leads, and then I’ll start sorting through my cds and dvds and seeing what I can sell. To be honest most of them I haven’t watched or listened to in months? years? so even a couple of quid for most of them would be fine. We’re hopefully getting a car soon, once Chris gets his bonus, so I might ask him if we can do a carboot sale or something. The ultimate goal is to really work towards clearing some debt this year – I currently have £1229 on the credit card, £300 overdraft (always used), £1575 loan – plus my student loan. Ugh. Thats a lot of debt :(

Finally, today I tried ‘old fashioned’ cleaning for the first time – I used the rough salt and bicarb scrub method on the kitchen sink, and I must say it worked well :) It’ll be good to get away from nasty chemicals – although I did purchase a bottle of bleach today for use in SMALL quantities now and then – ie today I soaked all our cloths, washing up brush etc in a basin of water with a splash of bleach added to kill any nasties. I need to research how to get rid of limescale (toilet/kettle) without using nasties, but apart from that I think it’ll be easy to switch over.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

General Musings…


Today was a bit of an experiment, I got left in charge at work (boss on hol, asst boss day off) for the first time … It went okay, despite a slight hitch in the form of the-person-with-the-safe-keys getting screwed over by cancelled trains. We opened and shut on time, I didn’t cock up the cashing up, everything that needed to be done got done, and I coped with a couple of tricky till issues etc.. So all good really. It’s good to know I’m expanding my repetoir, so to speak, this sort of thing will be a real plus for the CV.


Luckily, with the aid of some plastic bottle windbreaks and fleece, my peas all seem to have survived the cold snap. We’ve had 2 or 3 bouts of snow but they seem fine. The seedlings inside are also doing fine… one of my basils FINALLY has its second leaves, the chillis are growing, all the rest of the herbs are healthy and growing, albeit slowly… all good really.

I got a new batch of seeds in the post today from Alan Roman’s; ‘The Prince’ french bean, ‘Spinnaker’ spinach, ‘Longstander’ coriander, Oregano, Rocket, two lots of ‘Gartenperle’ tumbling tomatoes, cress, and a round variety of courgettes. That, plus a couple packs of aubergine and one of flowers for kethry came to the measly sum of £6.80, including P+P. I’m very impressed :)

(of course, I may run out of space for all this stuff… )


Slight issue with freecycle, in that they found out about my new site, ReGive, and don’t think I can run the two ‘without competition’.. so I may be shortly losing my ‘ownership’ of the group. Hrm. I’m mostly worried about the effect of this on Scunny Freecycle’s 900+ members.. but not much I can do about it except state my case and let them decide. We’ll see.

(Bit of a bummer tho, Scunny Freecycle is ‘my baby’)

That’s about it really. Tomorrow’s my day off, so I’ll be planting some seeds, popping out to the shops for some food (local veg, not the supermarket!), and having a driving lesson. I’ve managed *not* to use my entire £300 overdraft this month (given my financial situation, thats the first time in months), so I might use the extra to pay of a bit of my credit card.