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Saturday mornings.  The perfect day to get up bright and early, grab the local newspaper and plan your garage sale route.  I love garage sales.  I love auctions too.. online and off.  But there is nothing quite like spending a morning driving round, trying to find the next garage sale on your list, driving slowly past to see if there’s anything worth having then quickly grabbing a park to race in if you’ve seen something exciting or to walk in if nothing in particular caught your eye.  There is nothing more frustrating than walking in as someone else is walking out with exactly what you’ve been looking for.

It’s a great place for easy banter and camaraderie with other buyers and sellers.  Of course you have to deal with the painful dealers or the likes of the women I struck yesterday who was inspecting a $3 plate so hard for scratches, holding it up to the sunlight to check every mark, that she kept hitting people (namely me) with it.. Lady, it’s a $3 plate.. you want one without scratches, go to Myer. Most people however are great and Saturday mornings are spent with a smile on my face.

Generally, I’m not looking for anything…. I’m just looking!  Okay, I have a confession to make, my name is Livonne and I like to collect things.  I watch Hoarders to make myself feel better because those people have a problem. I don’t.. I’m a collector of good stuff.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I blame my parents (of course).   That depression era parent that taught you never to throw a single thing out.  You might need it someday.  I believed them and never threw anything out.  I’ve got stronger as the years have gone on and I’ve shifted from one house to another.  Suddenly when you are the person carrying all this stuff, it loses its appeal.  So I throw it all out, then start all over again.

This weeks search was for plants.  I need plants to complement my bird bath.  Where did the bird bath come into it you ask? Well, a few weeks ago, I was sitting outside watching beautiful parrots coming into the yard and decided I needed a birdbath and feeder for them.  So onto Ebay I went.  I found a gorgeous one, quite old and with lots of character.  The seller said that it needed to be dug out and it was heavy and would need two men to lift it.  Yes, no worries.  I have a strong son and a furniture trolley.. What more could a girl need?

I did what one does with ebay and waited till the last 10 seconds (actually it was 20 coz im always scared that my internet will stuff up in the last 10) and then put my bid on.  I put a maximum bid of $50 on it and won it at $15.50.  I was over the moon.  I paid immediately by Paypal just to make sure the seller couldn’t change his mind and then organised to go pick it up.

We’d seen the measurements and figured it would fit in the back of the station wagon, so off down the mountains we went, driving into the outer suburbs of Sydney.  I hate driving through the madness that is Sydney traffic but my bird visitors needed a drink so it was worth the effort.  We got to the place, turned the corner into the backyard and did a double take.   It was HUGE!

The biggest problem people have on Ebay is that they don’t photograph or describe stuff properly and while he had said it was big, the photos didnt show it’s actual size.  Had he stood next to it, I may have thought it was too big and not bid but here I was looking at something akin to the Trevi Fountain (okay thats a slight overexaggeration) wondering how the hell I was going to get it out of the ground, let alone home.  But we’d come this far and my son and I both being Leo’s weren’t about to be fazed by one birdbath, especially one with lions heads on it. It was an omen… It wanted to live with us.  So we began.

Out with the shovel and Lachlan dug around the base, all the time praying that it wasn’t concreted in, though we thought we were praying for a miracle.  A sort of miracle later,( it was concreted in but not too deep and easy to move in the ground), it was loose enough to push over… trouble was.. one person pushing left one person to guide it to the ground. Now this thing weighs a ton.. Well maybe not a ton, but I don’t think it would be far off.  Certainly quite a few hundred kilo of concrete.  We somehow managed to get it on the ground and the plan was to roll it on its side to the car.  Mmmmm. that was the plan.. But we couldn’t budge it at all. It just made an indent in the grass and stayed there.  Time for Plan B…

We didn’t actually have a Plan B but we’re both quick to think on our feet, so we decided to get it on the furniture trolley and wheel it out.. Only trouble with that is that we couldn’t pick it back up again to get it on the trolley.  So Plan C came into being and we managed to roll just the base onto the trolley and one of us could wheel the base while the other rolled the bowl end.. Sounded much better in theory than it worked in practise..  Sigh….

Finally, we decided to leave it right where it was on the trolley and enlist the help of other people the next day.  So drove back up the mountains and next day headed back down again with reinforcements and a trailer (having decided there was no way we could lift it into the car regardless of whether it would fit).  With 3 men and me supervising (there wasn’t room for me around it.. thats my story and I’m sticking to it), we managed to get the trolley to the trailer and somehow push the whole trolley up onto it.. Tied the birdbath down and hey presto.. we’re on our way again.

The reinforcements we had live down the mountains so when we got it home, we knew we weren’t going to be able to get it out of the trailer easily.  But my tetris playing strategic son decided that if we could back the trailer up to near where we wanted it, we could just push the birdbath straight out of the trailer.. So trailer in and off the car, but it wouldn’t move a millimetre, so he rigged a pulley system up over the tree in the backyard, tied one end of the rope to the car and the other to the birdbath and I drove the car out, finally pulling the birdbath out onto the ground.

Next step was to try to get it into the whole we’d dug.. so we waited till there were 3 strong looking guys over at the Community Gardens and went begging their assistance.  Thankfully, with them and Lachlan,  my 4 heroes managed to stand it up in its hole and get it filled in.  Wow.. standing back to admire it, I felt a sense of relief and happiness.  It looked gorgeous and the birds were going to love it.

Now of course, I’m scouring freecycle and other places for bricks so we can build a round paved area around it to set it off.  And of course I need lots of plants so I can make it look like its been there forever. Oh and I had to go get some concrete to fix a few little bits of it up and ended up reconcreting the whole bowl.  This birdbath is going to end up being the most expensive $15.50 I ever spent.. But what else do I have to do with my Saturdays except go scouring garage sales.

Yesterday I got a beautiful Japanese Maple for only $5.00… Now to grab some potting mix,  paint the pot I’m putting it in… sigh.. Maybe I should spend my Saturdays doing housework instead.. It’s a hell of a lot cheaper.   Anyway, must sign off.. something I’m watching on ebay is about to end.. wish me luck….

Happy Bidding…. Livvy 🙂