Monday, January 26, 2015

A Scavenger's Weekend

Earlier last week I had an annoying experience of spending a fair chunk of cash on taking kids to a rather disappointing waterslide on what was supposed to be a fun school holiday outing. Also, I think I managed to lose Charlie's good Akubra hat in my huffy state as I left, probably leaving it balanced on the front of the car as I drove off. Boo. Luckily, this weekend seemed intent on turning the tables.

I love a good roadside furniture freebie. I even scored a relatively aesthetically-pleasing doggie pooper-scooper (yes there is such a thing) from someone's hard rubbish recently. It has long, chromed handles that remove you from the 'business end' of the device, which is pleasantly rusted, blue-painted metal. Seriously. I barely even mind the chore when I'm using it.

What is it about the thrill of scavenging? I'll be the one running up the street with the wheelbarrow when there's a tree cut down, collecting firewood. I think fruit overhanging someone's fence is fair game. Andy's a bit dubious about it sometimes but hey, waste not, want not!

On Saturday, this desk presented itself with a 'FREE, PLEASE TAKE' sign just around the corner from our house. Don't mind if I do! My companion at the time was Clem, who has the treasure-hunter's instinct, and was very excited.

It's made of oak, entirely charming and just what Clem needed for his bedroom. Into the car boot it went - not easy with just Clem helping. I drove with the boot open, very carefully and slowly, around the corner back home while Clem ran along the footpath calling out to me that it was all going well and nothing was falling out.

We gave the whole desk a quick wipe-over and then a light polish with my trusty beeswax/linseed oil potion, I tightened up the screws on the drawer handles and it was good to go.

We had to do a fair bit of re-shuffling in his room to make it fit, and Clem (not for the first time) rejected my suggestion of getting rid of the doll's house you see upon it, which was my eventual solution. Fortunately, it's quite a deep desk.
 It even features this fabulous slide-out... slidey-outey-thing, to which I imagine Clem will add his own initials, compass-stabs and so forth as time passes.

On Sunday I took Clem and Jasper blackberry picking (Andy is overseas, actually on his way back right now, and Charlie was at a friend's house). The day was not too hot, and recent rains had plumped up the berries.

The boys and I have enjoyed blackberries and vanilla icecream for dessert two nights in a row and there are still more left. Mind you, I just extracted a lingering stray blackberry thorn from under my right big toe. But the scratches and prickles just kind of make it all the more satisfying. We fought for those berries! And won!

At any rate, I think the world has given at least as much as it has taken from me this week, and I am happy. And tomorrow, two of the boys are back to school and Andy comes home. And the next day, Charlie is off to high school. Yipes!

- Jane x


  1. Oh no, I hate it when you spend money on an 'experience' and then it is not worth it, ouch. Then losing the hat, double ouch.
    That desk is fab though, I love the slidy out secret table thing, very cool.

    Happy New Year!
    xx N

    1. Yes, sadly it was the 'new' waterslide at Marion, when the 'old' one had been very popular with the big boys, and Clem was finally tall enough to ride on his own. It was very, very slow and I paid up-front for way more rides than could possibly have happened. Anyway, looking at the positives now :)

  2. What a fabulous find. Fresh berries and ice-cream...doesn't get any better than that!

  3. Blackberries - my favourite free food.
    I wonder if people who throw out furniture would want it back if they saw it in someone else's home after a bit of TLC had been applied. Love the slide out - it's just the same as my father had in his desk and where his cup of tea always sat. That does bring back some good memories.

    1. Oh that's lovely - I will tell Clem about that, he loves a good cup of tea!

  4. Great desk. Our kids have a doll house, but it has never been used as a doll house. It has always been used as a bookcase or storage area for pens/pencils and paper. It's a shame about the water slide. Have you called them up to ask if your hat turned up in lost property? An Akubra is pretty special (not to mention expensive).

  5. Yes I did call about lost property but it hasn't turned up :( I guess it might have fallen off the car down the road a bit. I didn't realise until late the next day. And ditto about this doll house - it has a few random occupants but more often Clem's various 'collections'. Handy though!

  6. I love this post with its little ups and downs. Just like real life, I'm afraid. That is a fabulous, very old school desk. I have to say, I have put a lot of furniture on the curb this past year, as we slowly work on sprucing our house up, and I am always so glad when it's picked up! I tend to be a bit of a clutterer and I had pieces I picked up for free and never put any TLC into. My old housemate got our old kitchen table which was a hot MESS and I was so glad when she sent me a picture of her friend sanding it to refinish! As much as I have always enjoyed picking up freebies, I'm quite learning to give them away too!


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