•             Welcome

    This is the personal site of Ted the serendipitist, who has interpreted the Wikipedia definition of 'Hunter-Gatherer' (see that page) as meaning someone who visits junk shops, charity shops, antique shops and hebdomadal matutinal car boot sales in order to acquire low-value objects, which no-one in their right minds would want, at low cost (well, apart from antique shops, that is).

    Deluded Ted believes that at some time in the future, some of his acquisitions will be highly desirable and worth a small fortune.

  •       Car Boot Sales


    There are two types of sellers at car boot sales, viz traders and ordinary people. Ted tends to avoid traders owing to the high chance of inadvertently purchasing inferior goods at high prices. However, Ted did recently manage to acquire a large number of pairs of everlasting socks at only 50p per pair.


    Buyers need to understand traders' language; on asked how much the French carriage clock is, the response might be "toonarf." This would be interpreted as £250. There is no first aid on site for buyers who faint.


    Ted has discovered that, 99% of the time, a strange-looking object is either a massager, a fitness device or a CD rack.


    When a husband and wife team are selling their unwanted items at a car boot stall, it is an interesting fact that, whatever position the husband holds at work, be it dogsbody, manager or chief executive, it is the wife who wears the trousers. If someone asks the wife how much the pretty mug is, she'll say, for example, "50p." However, if the husband were asked, he would turn to his wife and say, "Er... how much for this, dear?" - even if it belongs to him.

    At other times the wife can be heard saying, "No, not there - put it on the ground here...", "You need to turn those round", "You can empty this box now..." or "You can pour me a cup of tea now - you did pack the flask as I asked, didn't you?"

    The simple fact is that women are more suited to this activity than the average man is, and so they naturally take control.


    In the early days, Ted's wife would suddenly say, "Ooh, look! They've GOT one!!!" This somewhat weakened Ted's position when he started to haggle. A more appropriate method for achieving a minimal sale price is to pick up the piece unenthusiastically and give a look of horror on hearing the price.

    Some sellers dither when asked the price of an item. At the first sign of this, the buyer should offer a very low price; there is a high chance that it will be accepted, especially if a wife is not in sight.

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Car Boot Sale – 14th August 2011

Sixty Children’s Books:  £5

Children's BooksNo, this is not a mistake. Yes, sixty books for a fiver! Ted asked how much a pile of a few dozen were, and the seller said, “Ten pence each.”

“How much for the lot?” asked Ted. “Three quid to you,” he responded, “but I’ve got more in the van.”

Ted took these too and gave the seller £5 for the lot. It probably helped that Ted and the seller knew each other.

You may award yourself a prize if you can spot which two are the same.

Twelve 24-Volt Relays:  50p

24-Volt RelaysWhen Ted Googled these relays on eBay, the cheapest were direct from Hong Kong at £3.33 each post free. This purchase (from the same seller as above, who presumably appreciated the extra £2 for the books) worked out at just over 4p each, and they were made in the U.S. to boot.

These will be used for Ted’s Clickety-Clackety Sunlight Counter Mark III (details will appear in this blog in due course).

Smiths Photographic Timer:  £1

Smiths Photographic TimerTed spotted this shortly after he arrived at the car boot sale. He has an affection for Smiths clocks, because when he was about eight years old he regularly bought them at jumble sales, and this was how he got started on clock-repairing.

This is a beautiful example of a Smiths timer – beautiful not because of its tatty case but because, being a timer, it has had very little mechanical wear and has a perfect tick.

What a bargain! “I should probably have charged more for a vintage timer,” said the seller. “It’ll have a good home,” responded Ted. And it will.

Wooden Puzzle: 50p

Wooden Puzzle (Lines add up to 38)Not that Ted wants any more wooden puzzles, but this was only 50p. The object is to get lots of lines of numbers to add up to 38. Sounds impossible, doesn’t it? Where does one start with a puzzle like this?

Ted will give this puzzle to the next young know-it-all bighead he comes across…


One Response

  1. Spot the first Edition……………

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