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Thursday, September 27, 2007

HairyWell, the naming, shaming and outing technique I used in yesterday's post has worked. By 11:06pm last night (dangerously close to the end of the day), I'd succeeded in attracting a further two (count them) donations. Unfortunately only one of them's from a sibling. Unless BS6 (whose real name is far more ridiculous) is my long lost brother. So thanks go to him for his frankly insane generosity in giving money to an unemployed stranger, and to Big Sis who forgot how much she'd pledged, and ended up donating twice as much as she'd promised. When scientists announce a cure for cancer at the beginning of October, I'll make sure you both get the credit you deserve.

In addition to her donation, Big Sis sent me an e-mail in which she stated a total of four times that she can't believe how silly I look, and then, without so much as a hint of irony, sent me a photo of herself in her Australian school uniform. I asked if I can publish it on my blog, but oddly she hasn't replied. Mind you, it's about as clear as a photo of Madeleine McCann in Morocco, and looks like it was taken on a mobile phone, in the dark, by somebody with Parkinsons Disease. So I might hold out for a better one.

As for my brother, he demanded further evidence of my facial hair, said I should be inhabiting the beer halls of Germany, and then promised to donate in the near future. Which is the electronic equivalent of saying the cheque's in the post.

Anyhoo, I don't know if I mentioned this before, but I was in Worthing on Tuesday. No, really. Lisa wasn't at work (I didn't ask why), so I took her out for the afternoon to some of the south coast's finest charity shops. At the time I think she'd rather have gone to a fancy restaurant, but that was before we arrived at charity shop number twelve: The Salvation Army. Where I found a very nice coffee table for £15. It just so happens that Lisa's mother has been after a new coffee table for quite some time. She doesn't drink coffee, but she does need somewhere to fill in her betting slips, and every time she comes around here she makes a point of admiring my coffee table, presumably hoping that I might cave in and give it to her.

So to cut a long story short, we (by which I mean Lisa) handed over £15 and bought it. I then spent 24 hours cleaning and polishing the thing, and having waited until Lisa's mother was out, we crept (ie. drove) up to her flat, let ourselves in, and left the table in her living room, in that playful, spontaneous way that people do when they don't want to talk to their parents.

Of course, the whole process would have been a lot quicker if Lisa hadn't forgotten her key the first time, meaning we had to drive all the way back to my flat, but other than that it all went swimmingly. Apart from when I carefully replaced the table's glass inlay, and managed to leave a big scratch right across the table-top. I was not a happy bunny. But I left a note blaming the previous owners.

We then returned to my flat to see how long it woud take Lisa's Mum to notice that we'd been there, and phone us up to say thank you. It wasn't long - it turned out we'd left a light on, so she thought she had burglars and almost phoned the police. But the good news is, she loves her new coffee table. If there's one thing I've always said, it's that you can tell how empty someone's life is by their reaction to a bit of second-hand furniture from a charity shop. And let me tell you, that woman's life was empty. But not any more. She said it's the nicest coffee table she's ever seen, and its presence has transformed her entire home. I feel like Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen. But with no hair and a moustache.