Thursday, October 04, 2007

Can't give it away

Apparently the charity shops in Guildford are unable to accept donations at present.

This is clearly proof that I am not the only person who has at least one of everything.

Badger and I shall be moving on the 5th November up to Yorkshire, with exactly the contents of 2 luton vans, 1 dog bus (peugeot partner in the trade) and one mini. So, we are giving away, selling and donating a lot of Things. Today I filled the dog bus boot with 2 bin liners and six carrier bags full of stuff. And I drove it to oxfam, where they informed Dr But Why? that they don't need any Things right now thank you please.

Fortunately the recycling team at the local tip were quite happy to sort it into the back of their van. They told me that they sell books by the palate load (ok, they weren't that specific) to second hand book shops, the clothes will be donated, and the DVDs and videos and gorilla slippers will be resold and the money goes back into the running of the recycling center.

But. I found it really rather unsettling. There is something out of alignment in my world when I am no longer able to give Things to charity. I can't decide whether this means that the economy has slowed to such a rate that people aren't even buying second hand, or is so buoyant that we're all buying so much that we need to keep clearing out closets to make room for the shiny purchases.

I am amazed by the sheer quantity of Things I have. I am letting go of as much as possible ... books, sideboard, bread machine, ... and it feels good. I wrote last july about needing to lose about 2.5 metric tons ... and the cat needing to lose about half a kilo. I think she's just about got there ... fingers crossed this crash diet badger and I are on works in time!

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11 Comments:

Blogger That's so pants said...

Hi Stray

Do you have a Freecycle where you are? I've found that great for giving away things that charity shops can't or won't take - like naff old stereos.

xxx

Pants

04 October, 2007 20:25  
Blogger Stray said...

Ah yes! The lovely people of Guildford Freecycle have already been smilingly round to collect some assorted bits of Mac Equipment that I will never have time to play with ... and there will be plenty more going on the list before the month is out!

I LOVE freecycle - the warm fuzzies apart from anything else ... :)

There are a few things I will ebay to hopefully help with moving costs, but in time that if they don't sell then freecycle can whisk them away. Lovely lovely lovely ...

04 October, 2007 20:36  
Blogger Misssy M said...

I bought two white t-shirts for my son at Asda for £1.50. That's your reason, right there.

04 October, 2007 20:52  
Blogger Stray said...

You're spot on Misssy - and as a wee person I have to say that I benefit from those bargains sometimes myself.

I am weighing it all up a bit more though recently. Trying not to buy things which are so unfeasibly cheap that the people who made them can't have been paid ...

It's particularly relevant at the moment, trying to choose a moving company. I need 4 men for 2 days, and two big luton vans to do a 520 mile round trip, with insurance for 30k of contents and a secure overnight parking arrangement. I got a bunch of quotes online and discarded all the cheapest because I don't really want untrained people on minimum wage with no health and safety training and the wrong equipment. It's not that I'm precious about my stuff, or even my paint work, I just don't fancy watching someone who's already worked a 60 hour week slip a disk trying to get my sofa bed up a flight of stairs!

It's challenging stuff though. They are so clever ... these marketing people. And god, I just placed my online grocery order with Tesco ... the evil empire who I feel particularly torn about because they have such good policy on employment of people with disabilities and they don't strong arm folks into retirement. *sigh*

It's all too much of a minefield. I shall have to simply give up buying Things of any kind at all. And live on Badger's home grown veg. And take up darning. (that actually sounds quite fun, doesn't it?)

xx

05 October, 2007 01:50  
Blogger Böbø said...

Oh Stray, I threw out my bread maker when I left my ex and it still very much feels the right thing to do.

As for the Recycling Centre, I've had a sudden touch of nostalgia - having been a Technical Operative for Guildford Borough Council in an earlier ... OK, much earlier life (binman to you). Happy days.

05 October, 2007 12:24  
Blogger Jean said...

I have a feeling it may also be down to too few volunteer staff to sort through the vast quantities of horrible, dirty and unsuitable stuff that people dump on charity shops.

05 October, 2007 12:27  
Blogger Miss Tickle said...

It does feel good to let go of Things doesn't it? I think I would let go of all of mine if I could. Except my shiny Macbook. Obviously.

07 October, 2007 13:01  
Blogger John said...

I worked in a charity cancer shop for two years as a teenager. Based on my experience there, I think you may have foiled a tea break.

These are held at regular intervals ranging from between 30 and 60 minutes.

Maybe if you had tried back about 7 minutes later, you would have been greeted with open arms.

Obviously when I say tea, I actually mean Vodka...

07 October, 2007 17:18  
Blogger Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Dear Stray, I left congratulations and everything in a comment here recently but it has vanished. I give up.
But lots of love anyway.

07 October, 2007 20:11  
Blogger Stray said...

Bobo - it's gone ! It's gone! I had about 25 replies in half an hour, and a lovely nurse picked it up yesterday morning, along with all my bread machine recipe books. Phew!

Can't imagine uncle bobo as a Binman somehow ... :)

jean - I suspect you may be right, though I regularly find that there are way more staff than visitors in the charity shops in Guildford :) They all seem to be serving though, I can't imagine wading through bin bags full of stuff is their favourite bit.

Miss Tickle - oh yes! It's lovely. So many things are going and going and going ... but of course I would never, ever be without my mac book!

John - the idea of the surrey blue-rinsers on vodka made me choke on my tea. Do you think they take tonic? Or just straight up, right out the freezer?

Natalie - ah, yes, Blogger had a little german phase when it was extremely intolerant of certain opinions and deleted them immediately. Normal service seems to have resumed, but thank you thank you thank you for your lovely words :)

11 October, 2007 14:40  
Anonymous Hydrocodone said...

4hdmQW The best blog you have!

02 November, 2007 06:01  

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