Nocturnal self-service

We had originally planned to spend two days exploring Westham and Pevensey but in view of the weather, decided that one day was enough for now, though we intend to return in the future. This left us with a question.

The question was: What shall we do on Bank Holiday Monday? It was Tigger who came up with a suggestion that neither of us liked very much but whose merit was indisputable. The suggestion was that we have a shot at tidying The Other Room.

The Other Room, also known as The Back Room, is the one we don’t live in. It is about 10 feet high and is lit by a window 7 feet square through which fresh air whistles on windy days. Without any built-in means of heating, it is as cold as a fridge in winter. We use it for storage and as a walk-in wardrobe. Despite its height, the room is quite small and so tidying involves a sort of game of chess in which items are moved to temporary locations in the bath and in the main room to make space in which to manœuvre.

I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice it to say that we got rid of a lot of stuff. There were four bin bags of things for Oxfam alone. In the garden are more bags which will be placed one by one next to the dustbins for the binmen to take away. Then there were the videos.

You may have twigged that Tigger likes her DVDs. Before the DVD there was the video. Tigger had three cabinets for storing videos. What were we to do with them? “Let’s put them next to the dustbins for now,” said Tigger. Right. Good plan.

I carried out the first cabinet, staggered along the path and placed it carefully near the bins. It was now raining. I went back in for the second, which I placed on top of the first, courageously braving the rain.

We also had an impressive collection of cardboard boxes. Big ones. The sort you receive appliances in and keep in case you have to send the appliances back. Those sort of boxes. We flattened them and I stacked them next to the bins. (You’re beginning to see a pattern, eh?).

Now it was time to take out the third and final video cabinet.. When I reached the other two, I was puzzled to see that one of the flattened cardboard boxes was now lying on top of them. Now, there is no way that this box could have fallen or been blown by the wind into that position. I removed it and dumped the third cabinet on top of the other two.

Back in the house I told Tigger about the cardboard box and said that I thought someone had put it there. Why would someone do that? Well, as I mentioned, it was raining and a cardboard box would afford the cabinets some protection from the rain. That in turn implied that someone wanted the cabinets and was sheltering them in the meantime. Does that sound far-fetched?

After all our hard work, we felt we deserved a good dinner. So after a rest we went out. We dined splendidly at one of the Thai Chinese Veg restaurants for the princely sum of £14.50 for both of us. We then returned home and watched Manon des Sources, having watched Jean de Florette the night before.

This morning, when I looked outside, I saw that the video cabinets had indeed disappeared. So had the flattened cardboard boxes. Those cabinets are pretty heavy and no one would take them on a whim. They must really want them. That’s fine by me. If the cabinets, with or without the video cassettes housed within, serve someone a useful purpose, that is much better than their being tossed on a dump somewhere. Good luck to whoever took them.

Our front garden has served as an unofficial recycling centre many times before: old television sets, broken computer printers, even small items of furniture, have found new owners. These modest folk work at night, unseen and in silence, bless ’em. When we can bear to do so, we’ll look out some more stuff for them.

About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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5 Responses to Nocturnal self-service

  1. We’ve had a variety of large-ish household items disappear to good homes in the night after putting them at the end of the driveway near the road. We live in a very lightly travelled neighborhood; whoever drives through in the wee hours must really want to come up here, and must have found that people leave things out often enough to make it worth their while. Like you, I’ve wondered about them — do they drive around every night? what sort of vehicle do they use? why don’t our dogs wake us, barking at them? Perhaps it’s the work of elves.

  2. SilverTiger says:

    We live on a main thoroughfare with many people passing the house on their way to and from work who could notice a particular item and come back for it later so I am interested to know that the same practice occurs also in quieter areas.

  3. emalyse says:

    The borrowers are real after all. Nice to know it gets taken anyway. I’ve had various bits and pieces up on Freecycle over the past week and soon got deluged with emails from those wanting such and such and then frequently, once allocated nobody bothers to turn up to collect. Almost makes me wish we lived on a major thoroughfare.

  4. SilverTiger says:

    Yes, our system involves very little “administration”. If all else fails, the council can be asked to remove the items. They are very good about this as they will remove 5 large items per year free of charge.

    I used to live in a close which would not be such a good place for unofficial recycling but even there things have been known to disappear, even things not immediately visible from the road.

  5. Pingback: Garden fairy « SilverTiger

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