Hubby is an ‘experienced and qualified’ Skip Diver. In other words, he cannot pass one without peering inside to see if there is anything of use to him/us that someone has discarded.
It was in a skip that we found our art deco standard lamp, an orange tube-shaded tripod that looked brilliant with our unmatched furniture from car boot sales in our first house.
He also found two matrix printers, which he retrieved, serviced and reconditioned, then sold on for twenty pounds each.
Several years ago the DJ on the radio was asking for listeners to call in with the most unusual thing they had either bought or had to offer for sale.
Ours has got to be a monkey puzzle tree (WIKI details).
When we bought our bungalow in Poole, the previous owner had been a keen gardener and bought just about everything available from all of the garden centres in the county.
We found overgrown biro shells everywhere with labels on and the back garden was home to a concrete fish pond (8 feet long by 6 feet wide by 4 feet high) with rock garden border, a mass of pampas grass along the fence and a monkey puzzle tree.
In the corner of the garden was a dilapidated shed, which on removal revealed mummified remains of 3 rats.
We demolished the fish pond……… with a hired kango drill and three heavy-duty bits …… evicting hundreds of frogs and discovering not only concrete, but breeze-blocks and cemented in bricks under the plants!
The tree stood about fourteen feet high and five feet across, and would give you a vicious stab every time you passed it to hang the washing out. Therefore it had to go.
We advertised it in the local paper for £60, with ‘buyer collects’ and ‘cash only’ in the narrative.
What we didn’t say was that the buyer would also have to dig it up.
We were in the throes of revamping our kitchen, but had hit a bit of a snag insomuch as our plans weren’t working, so rather than carry on and waste more money, we stopped mid vamp to rethink, and were in a bit of a DIY muddle.
A truck with a trailer pulled up outside, and two young people jumped out, retrieving shovels from the back before walking up our drive.
We showed them the tree (as if they couldn’t see it above our roof from the road) and they were thrilled. So much so that they immediately started digging.
The girl was in her twenties, and shorter than a grasshopper let alone her shovel. In fact, she had to jump on it to push it into the ground, but the pair of them set to work with enthusiastic gusto.
We provided them with cold drinks, and assisted when they had dug a six foot crater around the ball root to strap it up and the four of us carried it out to the trailer.
With eight bleeding arms between us, we loaded it into the back, the shovels were thrown in after it, and money exchanged hands.
The guy said he was only going to give us fifty quid as they’d cultivated our lawn for free, and they didn’t feel obliged to fill in the hole either.
None of that bothered us. We were shot of the damn thing, and our customers were over the moon as for £30, she had purchased one for his birthday which stood a mere 10 inches tall and had died within a month!
So, we were left with a damn big hole in the middle of our back lawn. Perfect!
Perfect for throwing in all of the rubbish from our failed DIY without the need to hire a skip!
See how this post has gone full circle?