Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fruits of the diving season (dumpster, that is).

And a fine season it was too.  Here's the haul.

Trip 1
Steelcase office chair, washing-up basin, wooden rack, rug - all for the porch or potting bench

which brings me to Dumpster-Diver's Rule No.1: any fabric you can wash on a hot setting is fine.

On the second trip, I netted and landed . . .

Trip 2
Bathmat  (DDR1), plate, cutlery, two plant pots. 

This is a good time to mention DD Rule 2: if it looks like someone's grandma gave them something to take to college and now the ungrateful wretch has hoyed it into a skip, take it home for grandmas everywhere.  This pretty old plate with the parrot tulip on it fell under DDR2.

Trip 3
Bookcase (for use as shoerack in scullery), genuine ancient Roman column (wired for a lamp, but destined for the garden), garden table, garden bench, humungous plant pot, Bellotti coffee pot, oven mitt/flannel glass-cloth/paisley tablecloth (all DDR1), 2 glasses, ceramic pot, safety goggles.

Now, the safety goggles almost fall under DDR3: no hats, hairbands, combs, wigs or earrings.  But they looked brand-new and when you're wearing safety goggles you're usually more disgusting than anything I've ever found in a skip so . . .

Trip 4
(which lasted so long it was dark when we returned so the pic of the catch was taken in the garage)
2 chairs (possible DDR2), 2 cache-pots, 2 cushions (DDR1), 2 diner mugs, garden lantern, watering can, wrapping paper, scissors, t-shirt (DDR1) and Bill Clinton and his Family Dressing Dolls.

The t-shirt passed DDR1 and also came under DDR4: good clothes in bad places should be saved.  This top wasn't in the clothes donation box from where it might have gone to Goodwill.  It was in a dumpster with oleander clippings.  And I liked it.  And it fits me.  I don't care.  I do know; I just don't care.

Trip 5
Garden table, enamel frying pan with lid, colander, chip clip (for if I ever open a big bag of crisps and don't finish it (unlikely)), fly-swatter, knitted creature (DDR1 & DDR2) and . . . a green Toile de Jouy armchair.

Now this chair fails DDR1 (boilwash), clearly.  And it would be a stretch to say it qualifies under DDR2 (grandma).  And since you can rest your head against the high back, it probably fails under DDR3 (nits) but . . . it smelled okay, it was for the porch, I love Toile de Jouy, so home it came.  I'll happily tell fastidious friends to let me sit in it instead of them: it's quite incredibly comfy.

So, that's it for Davis Dumpster-Diving 2011.  Favourites?  In third place:

which matches the free-cycled chairs, which face west in the garden.  Somewhere to put feet and cocktails while the sun goes down.

The runner-up has to be (since I bent so many rules for it):

But the winner, by a clear margin, is:

No, I haven't forgotten that this isn't a garden blog.  And no, not the colander.  The winner of the "Great Free Stuff Stakes 2011 is a late entry, not actually out of a dumspter at all, nabbed on the way home yesterday. 

Now DDR5, which should possibly be DDR1, is NO FOOD.  But it doesn't cover road-kill tomatoes. Last night, a lorry took a corner too fast coming out of a field and suddenly the tarmac was a sea of red.  I hopped out with my Wigtown Book Festival book-bag and picked up four pounds; another woman pulled off going in the other direction and filled her boot.  When I passed again this morning there was nothing left but the squished ones.  I roasted them with garlic, chillies, basil and courgettes (of course) from the garden and they're in the freezer now, waiting for a winter's evening when pasta and spicy tomato sauce will remind us of summer and its dumpsters.

And if I see a lorry full of cantaloupes going along at a good lick, I'm following.


  1. You've always been my skip-surfing (yeah, we have a word for it over here too you know!) queen, but you've surpassed yourself here. Clearly the people of Davis are fussier than the residents of southern scotland: or is it that it all rots quicker in the damp air here?

    Anyway, dive-on sister!

  2. I'm stunned with how much you found. I feel lucky when I go to the tip and come back with plastic plantpots! We've had marvellous things through organised Freecycling though - a TV, BBQ, plastic greenhouse, old wardrobes that hubby made a bookcase from and loads of books to put on them!

  3. No, Catriona, no. Not spilled Roma tomatoes off the roadside. They're destined for ketchup!

  4. I enjoyed this post tremendously, Catriona! Great photos! I'm amazed. I love your sense of humor :-)
    So nice to meet you here at B-con!