Almost Everything There Is To Know by Hunkin: £1
In pristine condition apart from the grubby edges and the inscription on the inside cover, this magnificent tome contains the complete collection of cartoons by Tim Hunkin. These cartoons appeared in The Sunday Observer between 1973 and 1987, and each one contains some useful facts followed by a ridiculous experiment (such as How to Hypnotise a Trout and How to Grow Salad on a Sponge).
Dinosaur Jigsaw Puzzle: 50p
This 100-piece puzzle was on the ground (which everyone seems to call the ‘floor’ nowadays – why is this???) and, like all the other items there, was just 50p. The sellers were a family who looked clean and respectable – a sign that the puzzle had been looked after and was therefore complete. It had been, and it was.
How Loud Can You Burp?: 20p
It was Ted’s lucky week for bargains; this wonderful book was only 20p, yet it cost £5.99 in 2008! Yes, 20p for gems like ‘Why does the sun darken your skin but lighten your hair?’ and ‘Which bit of your brain does your mind live in?’
In case you are wondering, the book says that the world-record burp measured 104.9 decibels (dB) – and that was from over 2.5m away! Close up, the world champion burper claims to be able to reach 118dB or more.
For comparison, the average motorbike roars away at around 90dB.
How Much Poo Does An Elephant Do?: 20p
Ignoring the fact that this cost four shillings in real money, Ted decided to splash out all the same.
If you want to know what people in various countries eat for Christmas dinner, or all sorts of facts about creepy-crawlies, this is the book for you.
And in case you’re wondering, it’s about 20 kilograms per day on average.
Magnetic Levitator: 50p
It contains various plasticky things, a ‘magnetic field unit’ which consists of a plastic base with four magnets embedded in it, eight strong disc magnets, some iron filing, a couple of ‘magnetic staffs’ and other things besides – and it’s all there!
This must be the best ten-shillings-worth for a long time.
Shark Attack Glow-in-the-Dark Jigsaw Puzzle: £1
On opening the box and counting the pieces (at home; 150 of them), Ted discovered that one of the pieces had actually been chewed by one of the sharks and had a limb missing, but it didn’t spoil the puzzle too much, and Ted’s grandson didn’t seem to mind.
After completing the puzzle, the curtains were drawn, the lights were turned off, and the door was closed, and the sharks did, indeed, glow.