There’s really nothing like a good bit of old-fashioned bartering

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I love a good barter. Or a swap. An exchange of services for goods, or goods for goods. Maybe it’s because a good swap almost feels like a freebie.

Recently, I picked up a roll-and-a-half of shed felt – very useful when you have numerous coops and sheds as we do in our wannabe shanty town – from the very lovely Robin, who happens to run a very lovely B&B with his very lovely family.

A few hundred years ago, I put out a plea on the wonderful local Freecycle website, appealing for shed felt. I love Freecycle. I think it’s the ‘free’ part of the word that makes it so appealing.

Anyhoo, no replies later, I bumped into the lovely Robin in the toon one evening.

I know the lovely Robin through a very complicated set of circumstances which I won’t bore you with. Lord knows, I need all the readers I can get.

The lovely Robin said he’d heard I was looking for shed felt. How? Through the Borders shed felt grapevine? Did such a wondrous thing exist? Telepathy? No, it was because he’d seen my ancient Freecycle request and sent a message to me, offering felt.

As I appear to have forgotten my password for Freecycle (which I joined when I had another email address, probably as a child), and clicking on the bit where they send you a password reminder to your email address is pretty useless. So being unable to receive messages, I hadn’t replied.

Not having found the time in about a year to properly do something about this (email their head office perhaps? Or open a new account and write the other one off?), I was unlikely to reply.

Profuse apologies for my non-reply done, Robin and I arranged the pick-up. It is one thing to ask the price of something, and then never get back to the vendor. That is pure bad manners.

But to be offered something for free and never get back to the offerer (if that is the correct term) is unforgiveable.

So, in return for being ignored when being kind enough to offer something for free, the odd box of eggs wings its way now and then to Robin’s B&B.

Eggs, I reckon, are a good barter when you own a B&B.

The lovely Yvette and I are constantly bartering.

Recently, we have swapped a potted conifer for some trays of lettuce and bedding seedlings, a pair of trainers for some home-made jam, and home-grown broccoli heads for some rhubarb.

Gamford and I have been to gather the sawdust that she makes sawing up logs for her holiday cottage guests, which makes excellent chook bedding, and in return we fired over a few bags of finest Shoogly Towers compost for a new flower bed she had dug out.

Perhaps the next time I go into Lidl I can take some jam, broccoli and eggs and get part of my week’s shopping.

The Glastonbury in me wishes that I actually could.