Do you believe that an inanimate object can be jinxed, to the extent that it turns a normally sensible and rational person into a jibbering wreck, casting it’s dark shadow over their everyday life?  Well I do.

Here is the story of 2 footstools, I make no apology for the fact that it has absolutely nothing to do with gardening, but the truth is, if I don’t get it off my chest, I feel like my head will explode. It all started earlier this year.

In an attempt to rid myself of the winter blues, I embarked on a major redecorating programme.  When I’d  finished most of the downstairs rooms, it looked really nice but was let down by our 30 year old 3 piece suite which had  matching footstools, so  we decided to sell the lot and buy some new furniture.

After some searching we bought 2 really classy sofas on E Bay. “What we need now” said Peter “are a couple of nice footstools to finish things off”. To be honest I wasn’t that bothered, after all we each had our own 3 seater settee to lounge on, who needs a footstool? But Peter was adamant.

After more searching of the E bay listings he found some that he really liked. I wasn’t that keen on them but he was smitten. As well as not liking them much, I also thought they were too big for the space available.

We spent much time messing about with a tape measure, I was still convinced they were too big, Peter thought they’d be fine. In the end partly because he liked them so much and partly because he is usually right about such things, I agreed to buying them.

They were delivered on 11th March, 2 huge boxes, so big in fact that we unpacked them in the garden. On opening the first box, I could see by the look on Peter’s face that we had made a mistake.

Yes, they were beautiful, soft, burgundy leather, but they were HUGE, 94cm in diameter to be precise (just like the advert said). We carefully manhandled one into the sitting room. It looked more like a coffee table than a footstool, and we had two of them!

We both agreed quite quickly that the footstools were a mistake and if that wasn’t bad enough, one of them was damaged. Not seriously, but enough for us to contact the seller to get a partial refund. That was OK as far as it went, but it didn’t make them any smaller!

It was obvious we weren’t  going to use them ourselves, so it was important we kept them in good condition. They stayed piled on top of the dining table like some kind of ziggurat for a few days, but after I’d taken some photos of them, we put them back in their boxes, so they took up less room.

I say ‘less room’, I cannot begin to describe just how much room they still occupied. We kept them in the dining room at first, but I was still trying to finish decorating in there and with the 2 big boxes it was hard enough just walking around the table never mind trying to wield a paint roller and step ladder.

They couldn’t go in the garage, shed or conservatory due to damp issues. There was no way we were going to struggle to get them upstairs, after all we were selling them soon, weren’t we?!?! So in the end we put them in the hall.

I began my sales pitch by advertising them on a succession of postcards in the 3 major supermarkets that are near by. Weeks passed. Nothing.

I then tried a classified ad in the local paper. I got 1 phone call but as the lady lived in Skegness she decided it was too far to come to collect them. When all my local options had failed I returned to E bay and listed them there.

Weeks turned into months, still nobody wanted the footstools. The boxes in the hall were becoming a severe irritation to both of us. They were the first thing we saw as we got up in the morning and the last thing we saw at night. Not to mention all the bits in between.  We even discussed the possibility of just taking them outside and putting them on our next bonfire. Sadly we don’t have money to burn so the boxes remained.

Then  Peter had an idea.  Instead of trying to sell the two stools separately, why not offer the faulty one as a ‘Buy One, Get One (faulty) One Free’ , and so that is what we did. A new, very carefully worded advert was placed on E Bay.

Another month went by with no takers, then on Monday 18th October everything changed.

To be continued – – – – –