Gumtree is always something of an adventure.

With the move coming up, I’m trying to clear out as much as possible so we don’t have quite as many things to lift on the actual day. In addition to posting all of my old clothes on ebay*,  I added some furniture to Gumtree because I thought people who live locally would be more likely to see it there. To begin with, S- and I got rid of the three piece suite that was simply too big for the new house and our old fridge – complete with my “I ❤ tea” sticker.

The people who bought our settee were actually really nice, but when they came to collect it, the street’s resident drunk appreared at the door, barged into the house and demanded to know what I was selling,

“Just the suite,” said I, “and these people are here to pick it up.”

“Why didn’t you tell me you were selling it? I’d have bought it!” she replied, circling the room.

“Well, the add was posted online-”

“I don’t have the internet,” she replied accusingly, as if I should either grant her access to the web somehow, or come knocking on her door to tell her when something new is posted on the internet.

“I’ll give you twenty quid for the table,” she adds.

“Um… no…” The gorgeous Victorian dining table cost over two hundred. I asked her to leave shortly after for fear of things going missing. Whilst dropping off the fridge wasn’t quite so interesting, it did pose a number of unique problems. The lady S- had to deliver it to kept refusing to give her phone number, and when I finally did get one out of her, she didn’t answer it, leaving husband waiting outside of an all girls’ college in his hat and leather coat looking rather shady. Luckily, the woman was online so I managed to get in touch to tell her to go and answer the door, so all was well in the end.

Last night, I added a shelving unit to Gumtree’s lists. I’d purchased said shelves less than a year ago and wrote my ad accordingly, asking for £40 o.n.o. I woke to the following email:

“hello wud u exceptŁ20 for unit cud pick up asap ty” – This is exactly as it appears in my inbox. I replied:

“Hello. I’m afraid I wouldn’t be prepared to go as low as £20. The item is almost brand new and has been treated to help preserve the wood. Thanks for your interest.”

Five minutes later, I received this lovely response:

“hello wud u except Ł20 for unit ty”

I’m willing to accept (or possibly even “except”) that people are unable to spell. My own spelling is not overly fantastic but I think “wud” and “cud “reach beyond the threshold of inability into the realms of txt-spk. The “ty” in lieu of “thank you” supports this hideous theory.

That someone has addressed me in such a way makes me feel dirty – like I am an accessory to the ruin of the English language. In response to this second query, I simply said, “No.” As of yet, there have been no other replies.

* My ebay page is here if anyone is interested… there’s lots of vintage clothes for sale.