•             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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eBay – 16th August 2012

Veeder-Root Elm City Counter: $19.01 (+ $17.95 p&p)

Veeder-Root Elm City Counter (eBay photo 1)

From eBay Advert

Veeder-Root Elm City Counter (eBay photo 2)

From eBay Advert

Having been frightened off US eBay purchases by the imposition of an £8 processing fee on a £3.24 customs charge, Ted plucked up courage and bid for another counter – but this time he made sure that he wasn’t spending more than the £15 limit for importing items into the EU.

From the pictures on the eBay site, it was obvious that the counter had been neglected for many years, being very dirty and out of adjustment (the units digit was not even in the centre of the window). It was also obvious that no-one else in their right mind would want to bid for it (but they did, actually).

Veeder-Root Elm City Counter

Restored Counter

So Ted disassembled this once-beautiful solid brass and steel counter, undid the huge kink in the case, adjusted the units reel so that it showed its digits in the centre of the window, and cleaned, overhauled and polished it.

But why does Ted want yet another one?


One Response

  1. There are a lot of towns in the US of A called Bristol.

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