David Needham

My mate Dave and his 'rusty relic'!

Everyone has a friend called Dave-if not everyone should have! I have many friends called Dave, but one in particular stands out, this Dave managed over me when I was a young trainee saleman in Currys Pwllheli (when Currys were a big electrical outlet who had branches in small Welsh towns like Pwllheli). Anyway, we hit it off and were friends as well as collegues. I moved on to another job after a few years but we still kept in touch, I moved town, but still we kept in touch. When he decided to move away I helped him load his van, and I almost bought a small cottage he was selling at the time (the fact that I didn't is still one of the biggest financial mistakes of my life). To cut a long story short, I lost touch with Dave, I kept receiving his Christmas cards every year, but there was no return address, and with no way of contacting him-we completely lost touch with each other. Now a few years down the line (and the invention of Facebook), I recive a lovely message out of the blue, it was Dave, he had now moved to France and was enjoying life over there. We got chatting and he tells me he has a house with a small piece of land which when he cut down the boundry hedges he found part of a car bonnet and bits of a rusty moped, which must have been there for many years. The magnitude of this didn't really sink in until a few weeks later, I was in the midst of swapping my items, and giving out eggs to random people in the street, when I remembered the rusty 'relic' as he called it. The more I thought about it the more I thought it was a good idea, I had nothing to lose-I quickly e mailed Dave with the words "Dave, that 'rusty' relic of yours-fancy swapping it for a first aid kit from 1959"??

"Hi Lester nice to hear from you,.....sure lets swap! " David.

The deal was on!

Dave sent me a photo of where the remains of the moped were resting, it was like a photo from a crime scene where you'd expect police tape and French detectives mulling around. This still didn't deter me, in fact it made me even more excited. I told Dave I'd get his package out to his ASAP, he was excited too- we were both excited-this was a very good sign!

In there there is a moped!

The First aid kit on a flamingo!

The parcel is packaged.

I'd carefully packaged the first aid kit, I used so much bubble wrap If I’d dropped it out of my top window it would probably have bounced over to France. I placed the package on an inflatable swan so Dave could judge the size of package to look out for........I hadn't figured out that Dave might not have a similar inflatable swan over in France for comparison.

The parcel is collected!

It arrives in France!

Its on the shed wall!

Its still in France!

Getting the first aid kit over to Dave in France had been relatively simple and pain free. Arranging collection of my rusty moped from France however, was proving more difficult. I had phoned French couriers for quotes and had got prices from £200-£500+, which considering the whole point of the project was to do it outside the realms of money, completely defeated the object. Out of the blue I get a call from 'cheapo couriers' (the names have been changed to protect the innocent) I give him the dimensions, weight etc etc and I get an e mail back to tell me he has a holiday home not far off and that he will collect and deliver for £70. (he certainly lived up to his name). At £70 all in I jumped at the chance, made arrangements with Dave for a convenient time for him to be in, and sure enough he turns up, in a car.....full of luggage.....with a dog in the back. It turns out 'cheapo couriers' may have been cheap, but he wasn't very good with maths, he failed to take my measurements nor did he measure up the available space left in his car after packing his luggage and dog. I was beginning to suspect 'cheapo couriers' had all the gear-but no idea, and considering the fact he turned up in a car not a van, I'm not confident he had the gear either. Needless to say the 'rusty relic' is still in Dave’s shed awaiting my collection.So if anyone is travelling back fro Limoges to the UK, get in touch I may have a job for you!

Its waiting to be picked up!