Thursday, June 4, 2009

Scavengers


Icey shadows

Rex is a bit of a local character. I guess he has a title - garbologist perhaps - but I think of him as the happy caretaker at the dump. Taking rubbish to the dump isn't the most delightful of chores but it can be if you enter into a bit of banter with Rex. Sharpen your wit on the way, though, because he is quick.

Living out here in the sticks we don't have a garbage or recycle collection. I don't accumulate a lot of garbage but every month or so I need to sort the recylables, pack up the boot of the car and cart it off to the dump.

Rex is a true recycler. He retrieves items he thinks others might be able to use. He was mending a bicycle when I drove in on Tuesday. Of all the times I've visited, I've only once found him huddling over a heater in his crude shelter from the weather. He's always quick to assist and explain what goes where. He used to watch me like a hawk to make sure I'd removed the tops from plastic bottles but now seems to be satisfied that I am to be trusted in that department.

This week his display of retrieved treasures took my eye. Or rather I couldn't believe my eyes. A really solid camera tripod! Perfect condition! Why would anyone throw it out is beyond me. Surely they could have given it to someone. Anyway, Rex explained to me how I could buy a little attachment for my camera (which I had in the car), how it would screw into here and then this bit would slip into that bit and hey presto!

And what's the procedure to make one of these items my own? A gold coin donation to the local volunteer fire brigade. Sitting beside the tripod was an exercycle, then one of those flat bed walking machines. My house is quite small and I don't have space for stuff I don't use. The walking machine was too big but I've made space for the little bike. And if I don't use it I can put it in the garden and plant a vine over it. Rex even told me how to time biking sessions in with TV programs so I won't end up in the emergency department of the hospital.

My first scavenged booty!

Wednesday, after my friend finished work, she took me to a second hand shop in Ruakaka named Scavengers (Support your Community Avengers)! This is the mother of all second hand shops! The brainchild of semi-retired but working her butt off ex professional rock musician Yvonne Judge. Famous around Ruakaka for generating cash from trash and giving it all away.


Yvonne, Queen of Scavengers

It doesn't matter how old or in what condition your trash is, Yvonne will find a home for it. The staff are all volunteers and on Tuesday were all older ladies.

We were in search of old shirts or jeans we could use to make these quilts we've foolishly agreed to make. Didn't expect to find a material department, staffed by a senior quilter who had sorted all the material into shades. And of course one thing leads to another, I came away with 6 lengths of material for $6 and Chris scored two chenille bedspreads for $12.

I washed my lengths of material when I got home and hung them out on the front deck as I didn't want to go to the line outside in the cold and dark. This morning they were frozen solid. That's two cracker frosts in a row!

I love how the countryside looks after a frost. The air is different, has an unearthly clearness and the land just looks contented somehow. I don't know how else to describe it. Stock seems to luxuriate lazily in the sunshine that always follows a frost. Leaves on the trees seem to glisten more.

Hate the cold. Love the after effects!

And today I am giving thanks for the Rexs and Yvonne's of this world!

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