Tuesday, 13 May 2014

The Price of Charity

I went to Leighton Buzzard yesterday in my quest to find some books that would allow me to continue with a series or two that I'm half way through. It was almost a complete waste of time as I returned with just one book but at least having that one will allow me to read two others.

Today I woke up to, yep, you guessed it, rain. However I am not as downhearted about this as maybe I should be. It was raining right up until we left the house yesterday and it was glorious sunshine right through our afternoon out.

It was wonderful just to be out in the sunshine and breath in the fresh air. Being LB there was very little traffic about and very few shoppers so I had no problems getting around and no one walked into me, yay! However my trike did have to be lifted into a couple of shops because they had steps instead of slopes. Apart from that I really enjoyed browsing the shelves and once again was amazed at the things people give to charity. In one shop there was a box full of used knickers and odd socks. Ewww! However I was fascinated in another shop by a load of really ancient camera equipment. The were a couple of cameras of the type where you turn a type of starting handle to open the shutter, and at least five lenses of various sizes. I was so tempted to buy them, and would have done if they were in better condition, as collectors pieces. However they all looked as though they'd been kicked around the floor a few times and all the lenses had at least one visible scratch. In the end, with great reluctance I left them. At one or two pounds I would still be tempted but certainly not at ten pound a piece. No way!

I have to say I find charity shops getting a bit greedy these days. I have come across instances where I could actually get a new copy of a book I want from Amazon, with free postage, for half the price a charity shop wants for a battered used copy. Oxfam are the worst for this, followed by the British Heart Foundation. I know they need to make money but they don't seem to realise they will sell more with reasonable prices. If I wanted to spend ten pound on a book I'd go to Waterman's and buy a spanking brand new copy.

My trike drew quite a bit of interest with one man wanting to know absolutely everything about it as his wife was recovering from a stroke and, although perfectly able to walk, got tired very quickly. He said they'd hired regular scooters before but wanted something they could take on holiday with them. After Peter gave a quick demonstration of how it folded down I gave him one of the cards I carry with me with the website on it. He was immensely grateful. Unfortunately I also attracted some interest of a different type and was followed down the high street for a short while with a group of braying teenagers. They found my scooter hilarious and hurled a variety of obscenities at me for no other reason than I was different. Fortunately my discomfort was short lived as Peter appeared from a nearby shop and they legged it. How brave were they? All I can say is Karma.

This afternoon we are braving the streets of Bedford, or possibly Hitchin, we haven't decided yet, to continue with the quest for reading material.

There may not be a blog tomorrow as I'm off to Papworth in the morning to have a scan of my plumbing. As I could now end up with just a lung transplant it means that different machines will be used to keep me alive during the operation. This means they will be attached to different parts of the body and so the arteries in my groin and neck need to be checked out as a precaution. I'm told I should be in and out in under an hour but being a long standing hospital patient I have learned the hard way that one hour usually means two, or in some cases, three. I will be taking a book, some nibbles and change for the coffee machine and bedding in for a long wait. If we get out in time we are going into Cambridge itself for a tour of the colleges. Last time we went, we only looked from the outside as we were time limited. I've checked out the times they are open to the public and hopefully will be able to get around at least two.

There may also not be a blog on Thursday as my car is being taken in for servicing and we are going to be stuck in Watford for the day. Oh well, there are a lot of charity shops in Watford.

So next definite blog will be on Friday, wow! I can't believe my week off is going so quickly.