Friday, August 30, 2013

Trade Me is much more than just buying and selling.

A few days ago I won a lovely old Crown Lynn tea set. I knew the pattern well, having had countless cups of teas and instant coffee (obviously, well before the days of the new-age coffee machines I so love now) many years ago when Crown Lynn was a flourishing local industry. The tea pot however is a 'hard to find' item so I was quite happy to travel to Huntly (Huntly is a town about 50 minutes drive south of Auckland) to pick up the set. Once I had arranged the pick up I was surprised to see that being near Huntly was a fairly loose description. I received a detailed set of instructions as to how I could find the place of 'pick-up.' Some Trade Me fans would have thrown their hands up in horror at the prospect of having to endure such a journey, but not me. I decided to make the day one of adventure. I had never travelled down this particular road and the thought of 'new territory was enough to tempt me into my 'adventure.'
Saturday dawned bright and cool and after taking Perdy for a quick run in a park near the city, where I of course picked up all of her poos, I gathered together my usual travelling companions. Perdy was ensconced on her new favourite sleeping pad and seemed quite happy to be with us; much better than staying home alone.
As we travelled south down State Highway One, we read our instructions and made the necessary adjustment to the GPS on one of the cell phones. We were curious to see if the 'out of the way' destination would show up on the phone. Once we were told to turn left (by the GPS) at Ohinewai, we headed east, travelling through green and vibrant farmland. The distant hills beckoned, inspiring some slightly 'unPC' comments about going into 'deliverance' territory. My little Hyundai Gezt was a delight to drive down the country roads and even when we hit a metaled section (that out soon to be gracious hostess had told us about) there were no surprises.
We entered a wide valley, flanked by cows munching away on early spring grass and crops. Memories from my childhood on the farm in Taranaki flooded back and I am sure my sister felt the same. The GPS delivered us right to the gate which informed us that we were under video surveillance. Maybe they have a problem with undesirables stealing cows or sheep--who knows. At this stage the GPS became confused but our backup instructions that I had printed told us we were right on track.
My Gezt bounced along the long drive and I had visions of the low slung body grounding out so I drove slightly off centre. God knows where I got that little technique from; obviously a throwback to younger days! I pulled the car up to an old house and a mature looking gentleman waved us into the back yard.
We felt welcome immediately and once introductions were complete we were invited into the house for a cup of tea. We seemed to connect and time flashed by. I am not going to rave on about country folk welcoming city people into their hearts  but maybe I should. The lady of the house and then one to whom I was doing business with was in a wheel chair after an operation. That did nothing to impeded her looking after us. The conversations were those of people who love to 'look back' in time and the similarities were many, between our two worlds. The couple and their clever son were delightful company and I will be putting up on my website a link to the 'rustic recycled pallet wooden furniture he is making. He really deserves to get this product out there and I can't wait to assit him with this.
Not only did we leave with my intended purchase, but we also brought some little, what I wrongly called 'key bling bling.' I know not what they are really called but they are artistic and made with love. Once I get the furniture on my site, I shall also ask if I can show the little items as well.
 I didn't want to leave in a hurry, but other tasks beckoned. We waved goodbye, hoping  that we can meet these lovely people again. Yes, Trade Me is far more than buying and selling; it is a chance to meet people and what is more important than that!

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