Dot writes: today the Very Special Pushchair has gone to a new home, sold on to a Polish family for the use of their younger child (ironically, while we have replaced the Stokke with a Phil & Ted they are replacing a Phil & Ted with the Stokke). We feel quite sad to see it go and think of the many happy hours we have spent pushing it up Killiney Hill, sweating as we wrestled it into the car-boot or wincing as Hugh perilously climbed it. As is general with departed friends, its merits now seem very apparent: notably the ease of adjusting the angle of the seat when Hugh fell asleep, which is not a feature the Phil & Ted shares. But we will consider the delights of pneumatic tyres and be grateful for what we have.
Selling the Stokke was an oddly frustrating exercise. OK, we have cleared the space and got the money, and the Polish couple were very considerate about turning up on time, so we shouldn’t complain. But after they had rung up and reserved it I got a call from a Northern Irish lady who had been looking everywhere for a Stokke. She had obviously researched it really carefully as she knew about the characteristic fault that ours had developed where the seat-bracket starts to slide down the central pole, and she had even been looking for one in blue. I wanted so much to be able to sell it to her, but I had to tell her it was already promised to someone else. Furthermore, because the Polish couple’s daughter is already quite big (she looks about one) they don’t need the carrycot, though we sold it to them anyway as it’s part of the package. I found that quite disappointing. What all this goes to show is the extent to which the world of selling still partakes in the world of gift. Even if someone is paying me for something, I want to have the best relationship I can with them. I want the item to be just what they needed and I want to know they are happy with what I’ve provided. On the phone I felt I quite hit it off with the Northern Irish lady. But I’m sure the Polish couple can give our VSP a good home too.