How to…..accidentally buy your husband a kayak for Christmas.

Day 1:

  • Feel marginally irritated at the prospect of buying husband a ‘rare and obscure record off his present list that he will never actually play because ‘it’s collectable’.

Day 2:

  • Wonder idly if it might be a good idea to buy him a sea kayak on the basis that:
    (a) some of his friends have one and he’s had a go and enjoyed it.
    (b) we live near the sea.
    (c) he did a triathlon in September and has done no exercise since so might fancy a spot of paddling.
    (d) if he got a tandem kayak it might be ideal for a bit of father/daughter bonding as he could take the girls out with him.

Days 3-5

  • Have a little browse on eBay just to see how much a second hand kayak might cost.
  • Baulk slightly at the price which seems to spiral up to around £400.
  • Check new prices and realise that this is probably about right.
  • Wonder if this might not have been such a great idea and park it for the time being.

Day 8:

  • Having done very little in the way of research and being decidedly unprepared to actually try to purchase a kayak, get a message from eBay at 8.30am informing you that the auction for a kayak you are watching ends in 10 hours.
  • Chat to some of your students currently in the room and ask their advice about whether to bid.
  • Enthused by their cries of ‘Yes! Go for it!’, bid at the starting price and assume this will soon be overtaken and the kayak will find a new, more prepared owner.
  • Stealthily sneak glances at phone during break and lunch and realise you are actually still winning and no other bids appear to be forthcoming.
  • Quickly start googling the merits of this kayak (recognising that this might have been wise to do BEFORE bidding).
  • Note with satisfaction that it is reviewed as being ‘great for beginners’ and actually has 3 seats rather than 2 meaning husband can go out with both girls together.
  • Congratulate self on such excellent bidding; anyone would think it had taken months of careful research!
  • Realise with a shock that if you actually win the auction you will need to go and collect the kayak from Weymouth, which is quite far…and (despite having a sturdy, sensible estate car clearly capable of kayak transportation) you don’t actually own a roof rack or any kind of attachment device to keep a boat on the roof. In fact – you wonder in panic – if it’s a 3 person kayak, is it too long to go on the roof?
  • Frantically Google ‘how to transport a kayak’ and read up about cradle roof carriers before giving up in confusion and assuming you will never win the auction.
  • Check again and find you are still winning the auction.
  • Post a Facebook status advising your friends about your imminent accidental purchase and discover that – aside from the general hilarity at your situation – you clearly have lots of fabulous friends as offers come flooding in to lend roof bars, straps, vans and muscle power to help transport the kayak behemoth.
  • Pop to Lidl on the way home when there are only 8 minutes left of the auction and check phone every aisle to see if any last minute bids are coming in.
  • Watch the final seconds tick by, see the screen change to ‘CONGRAULATIONS, you’ve won!’ and realise that you have accidentally become the owner of a giant, heavy kayak that is currently over 80 miles away.
  • Congratulate self and smile wryly.
  • Chuckle at own foolishness whilst simultaneously wondering if other 40 year old woman are this incompetent.

Day 9:

  • Awake to the knowledge that you own a kayak and mentally count the associated purchases that will need to be made if this plan is to be a success.
  • Realise that the bargain present – already way over the standard Xmas budget – may prove to be quite costly when factoring in transport equipment and life jackets.
  • Spend the evening searching on eBay for children’s life jackets and learn a surprising amount about the buoyancy in newtons of life jackets and the difference between them and a buoyancy aid (FYI: life jackets can float with an unconscious body whereas a buoyancy aid only helps if you can swim, apparently).
  • Spend some considerable time stressing about whether to buy life jackets or buoyancy aids for your emergent swimmer children and watch a few of each on ebay before ditching it for the night and resolving to try again when your brain works better.
  • Congratulate self on having learnt a lesson from your cavalier purchase of a kayak. Never let it be said that you make poorly thought-out purchases in haste!

Day 11:

  • Start planning the collection trip and desperately source roof bars and straps on loan until you can fathom what exactly it is that you need to buy.

Day 12:

  • List all the other slightly foolish purchases you could have made and decide that this might actually have been an excellent idea.
  • Resolve to make more spontaneous eBay purchases.
  • Idly wonder if your 9 year old might like a pet tarantula…

Tags: , , , ,

  1. Helen says:

    Brilliant Helena, as usual! x x

Have a comment? Leave a reply