Friday, 16 September 2011

On Wombling

'making good use of the things that we find...things that the everyday folk leave behind...'

I have been making like a Womble today. I almost feel inclined to don some dubious hedgear and wear tartan. On my way to work, I walk past a cottage which is being renovated. I couldn't help but notice that they had some tasty looking firewood mounting up - mostly blocks of softwood which are the sawn-off ends of ceiling joists. Our house is old and only has crappy Economy 7 storage heaters, so is usually so cold in winter that you can see your breath. But our wood burner, which we put in last year, keeps it toasty.

We had plans to sweep the chimney this weekend, and have been thinking about wood for a while. So, I flicked my hair and fluttered my eyelashes in a manner Miss Piggy be proud of, and asked the builders nicely if I could come back with the car later and raid the skip.

They said I could help myself - but when I came back later they had left all of the wood in boxes and bags for me, nice and dry. How nice is that?

It was obviously my day. The firm I work for is lovely, and buys lots of fruit for the staff to snack on. I spoke to the office manager and asked what happens to the leftovers at the end of the week. They get binned, apparently, much to her dismay - and she was only too happy to bag it up for me to feed to the pigs! Fantastic, as it means we get to reduce the amount of pig nuts we use every day (and the pigs much prefer it).

My luck continued. I went to check out the staff kennels (for when Libby is old enough) and what could I feel crunching underneath my feet? Hazelnuts! Millions of them! So, swallowing my pride and minding my high heels, I fished a carrier bag out of my desk draw and stocked up. Yes, my (newish) work colleagues probably already think I am eccentric. I am used to it.

Then, as I stood in the staff kitchen making tea, what do I find - three empty jam jars (my firm also buys bread and jam for it's employees. How good is that?) I was in need of a few - I have lots more jam to make, and they were destined for the recycling, so I washed them up and stuffed them in my (now bursting) handbag.

What a good haul. It feels nice to use things which were only heading for landfill, and one lesson I have learned is it never hurts to ask - everyone I asked was more than happy to see their 'rubbish' re-used, even if they were having a little snigger at the window watching the new girl scrabbling about in a pencil skirt on the car park floor.

Madame Cholet never had to put up with this!

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