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One Person's Junk is Another Person's Treasure


In preparation for the inevitable I’m beginning to sort out my accumulated junk / stuff / paraphernalia / rubbish / crap (call it what you like, the latter is probably the most correct). It’s a bit weird looking at stuff thinking I’ll never use that. Not long ago, if I could imagine a use, an item had some value. Now I think “Will Tricia want this?” Some stuff will find it’s way to the girls but a lot of stuff just needs to go.

I’ve successfully used eBay and Gumtree in the past but for this job I favour Farcebook Marketplace. So far I’ve only sold or given away a few things. A couple of car trolley jacks, a garden water butt, a large blue plastic drum, a winch, 2 kayak hoists and a load of shelf brackets. Some of this stuff I’ve been given, some I’ve salvaged from elsewhere, some I've reclaimed, some I’ve bought but all of it is going. My junk is treasure to others.

But there’s an issue, isn't there always? What if someone has given me stuff that I go on to sell. Will they be offended? Is it bad form? Well here’s fair warning, if it’s going, it's going. I think we all find stuff easier to give away than dump especially if we perceive it to have some kind of residual value but if I’ve been given something I consider it to be mine to do with whatever I choose. I remember being given some garden furniture which some years later I broke up and used in the fire pit. The person who gave it to me was most upset. “What have you done with my furniture?” Sorry but it was actually mine!

Take our accumulated golf clubs. Something I thought I’d like to try again in retirement...... they’re going. Have you seen the big, industrial lights we’ve got around the garden. I’ve got more..... they’re going. Platform trestle, going. Old lethal circular saw, going. A wobbly set of steps, going. A perfectly good petrol lawnmower, going. And so on and so forth. If I think too hard about how I’ve acquired some of these things I risk falling into a funk, so I don’t think too hard.

One thing I’ve got and will probably sell is a smoke machine. One day, in a previous job, I was, as I often was, having a root around the rubbish skips. Even the most environmental companies have rubbish to dispose of. If I could re-use, repair, re-purpose or recycle items I would. On this particular day I found a few old smoke machines in the WEEE bin. (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment). One looked in slightly better condition than the others so I yanked it out, all I needed to do was test it. So, first I disconnected my brain and waited until the end of the day. I found some essential smoke machine fluid, made a cup of tea, took it into the small crib room, shut the door and turned it on. It worked, it worked very well. OMG the rising smoke is about to reach the smoke alarm. Setting off the smoke alarm is a big deal! Security staff and management are alerted. Buildings are shut down, reports get written. I managed to turn off the machine (it slowly stops gurgling out smoke) and grab a cereal bowl from the draining board to hold over the smoke alarm sensor which I could easily reach. I averted the immediate problem but I was stuck holding this bowl. I couldn’t open the door or reach my phone without risking setting off the smoke alarm. Have you any idea how long it takes smoke to dissipate from a small closed room? I have. I can still feel the pain.


It may seem a bit morbid, unloading my junk, but I see it as a project. I’ll still leave enough stuff to cause Tricia a headache but at least I’ve started.

For my forthcoming summer birthday shenanigans I have a 4m square tent I plan to erect, a chandelier to light it, rope lights and festoon lights for the garden. All of which I’ll sell to anyone who’s prepared to dismantle it and take it away.


If you think I’ve got it and you think you might want it, don’t vacillate.


He who hesitates is lost.

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