Yet another busy week-end. We spent most of it with our good friends the Worthies at their lovely home in Oxfordshire. They treated us (and daughter S and husband I) to a great meal out at their local for C’s 60th. Grandson S came with us as he and Jack are close in age and they were keen to swap Match Attack cards and play some footie together – they’re both nuts about it. John and I took them on on Sunday reliving our days playing together at 5 a-side. We lost the old farts versus young bucks World Cup Final 13-12 after extra time. Mind you they played dirty football. This diappointment aside we had a great time – J and G are such great and generous hosts.
On the way home we stopped off in Oxford to collect the bike C had bought on Eba for a really decent price. The house we were looking for was on the Blackbird Leys estate. We’d checked the directions on Google maps’ new street view facility (which is amazing) and the place looked quite nice. When we got there I had a bit of a shock; the house was in a squalid condition. The guy invited me in and I can’t tell you how dirty the place was. The bloke didn’t look very old himself but there must have been 5 kids there. He brought the bike out and it seemed ok but to be honest I was just keen not to hang around and chit chat. He mentioned a sight problem with the rear wheel which I shrugged off as I wasn’t sure whether this had been described in the ad. I loaded it into the back of the car and set off. Then I asked C if she was aware of the problem but this hadn’t been mentioned in the ad. In fact it was described as in good order. This is a bit of a no-no on Ebay. C thought about it and suggested we take it back but I was down the road a bit by this stage and I thought that we’d probably want to get it checked over any way (especially as it hadn’t cost very much in the first place). Truth be told I didn’t really want to go back and have an argument over the money; it wasn’t just that the place was in a terrible state but I kind of felt sorry for them. Those kids’ dinners might have been paid for with the money C paid.
Anyway when we got back to London and had a good look at the bike it was apparent that there were more problems with the bike like the brakes not working etc. This was turning into one of those movies which starts with a wrong turning and rapidly goes downhill. I was thinking that we should maybe write the situation off – it definitely wasn’t worth another half tank of petrol to return the bike. But things took an unexpected turn. Firstly we realised that we had left grandson S’s bag with all his spare clothes and things at J and G’s – I’d have to go back and collect it; not necessarily immediately but almost certainly via Oxford….oh that’s handy. The second thing was that C got back onto Ebay and contacted the lady who sold the bike about its condition. Women are just so business-like aren’t they? The lady agreed immediately to refund the money upon return of the bike which was decent of her. She explained that her husband/partner had assured her it was all ok and apologised that they’d got it wrong. Whatever. So I’m heading back later this week to Mumbai-on-Thames for the second instalment in the Little House of Horrors. I’ll let you know how it works out.
The nice thing is that son-in-law S turned up to collect grandson S bringing with him second grandson G, so we had a really great hour or so with the boys before they headed home. It completely took my mind off Bike Wars.