The skip

I am master of all I throw away

Throwing stuff away is a cleansing and cathartic process. I always feel considerably better when I build up the courage to tidy out my desk and chuck away the hundreds of scraps of paper I’ve collected, or jotted things down on, that have become totally irrelevant some months previously.

Well, if filling my waste paper bin makes me feel good, just imagine the state of pure elation I’m currently in after filling a skip this morning… I can barely type I’m so keyed up. I’ve just removed 10 cubic yards of my life that I no longer need – therapeutic to say the least.

Jessie and I decided a couple of weeks ago that we were going to have a blitz and make a concerted effort to reduce the amount of detritus around the place.

When we moved here we seemed to have endless room to keep things because, “you just never know.” It’s true that actually, you do never know – I might well have needed the parts from a broken hoover. And, how cross we’d have been if we’d had a sudden requirement for a mouldy and damp, horsehair mattress and we’d binned it!

Five years of throwing basically nothing away has led to rather an impressive selection of little junk mountains around the place – particularly in our garage – see below – It was the first area we tackled.

Admittedly, we'd let things get a little out of hand

Yes it was pretty incredible in there. I think I discovered a new life form in the corner where a pile of cardboard boxes and old bits of carpet had been left in a soaking heap after a flood a few winters back. I can’t be sure if it was alive or just a jellyish mass of rotting bits and pieces.

First I had to remove three dead birds in varying stages of decomposition and something I reckon that had once belonged to a rabbit. I managed that using a spade, but then I had to tackle an ominous looking pile of goo behind an old fridge. I went for my gardening gloves and, as I did, we chuckled as we re-enacted a favourite scene from Withnail and I

“Yes, put on the gloves,” Jessie said, “Don’t try anything without the gloves…. Now what? What have you found?”

“Matter,” I replied.

“Matter? Where’s it coming from?”

“Don’t look, don’t look,” I said. “I’m dealing with it.”

Anyway, we got through that little challenge and continued to rapidly fill our skip. I can’t quite believe how quickly we did actually. I was a little worried that we wouldn’t have enough trash to warrant the hire of a skip. As it turns out we probably needed two or three. I’ve got a huge pile of garden waste around the corner that I was planning to chuck in there (actually it’s two trees that I had great fun cutting down with an axe,) but it’s just going to have to wait.

So I’m feeling purified and new this afternoon and I’m contemplating my next move. Perhaps I should just throw everything away and we’ll start completely from scratch. We’ll only procure things we absolutely need. We’ll sleep on the floor in sleeping bags, we’ll cook potatoes over the fire in a cauldron, we’ll clean our teeth with sticks and grit, I’ll make my own booze using blackberries and other things I can find in the garden, the girls can go to work in the mill, we’ll worship the sun and make sacrifices accordingly…

OK, ok, well maybe I’ll try and throw out some of the old broken tools in my potting shed instead.


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