Avatar Free to a good home

As you probably know, for the time being I am shacked up in a different flat a long way from home. There are many things about these temporary arrangements that are new and different, but probably the newest and differentest is the windowsill by the front door.

In this little block of flats, you see, there’s a windowsill next to the main door leading out to the car park, and the residents here seem to use it as a kind of informal swap shop. Unwanted items occasionally appear here, with no indication of their origin, and disappear a day or two later.

In the past week, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of items up for grabs, including a whole host of cook books, a coffee table book of photographs of chocolate, and one of those books that only really existed in the late 1980s and early 1990s that had a beige front cover and was specifically about microwaving things.

Here’s the current offer as I write this.

  • Four dishwasher tablets
  • Three potatoes in a basket
  • Three packs of lard, one of which is in a sandwich bag
  • A small Breville slow cooker
  • A CD compilation of traditional Christmas songs

The bad news, though, is that this week’s real bounty has already been taken. Here is what the windowsill held yesterday.

Yes, it’s hard to hear, I know, but the Ricky Martin album has already gone. I’ve missed my chance. Someone else in another flat is now Livin’ the Vida Loca, and I’m left slow-cooking my lard and potatoes in silence.

20 comments on “Free to a good home

  • I… I can’t even begin to wonder who decided that they’d had enough of potatoes, and clean dishes (?), so cast these treasures aside.

  • More bad news. The slow cooker vanished last night, and then during the day today all the dishwasher tablets and the potato basket went. There’s now just two blocks of lard and a Christmas CD left. On the bright side, though, I expect some more random shite will turn up before long.

  • Wow, mix those remaining ingredients together and you’ve got yourself a lovely stew. A lovely, lardy Christmas stew.

    Romantic dinner for two, anyone?

  • “Adding a Christmas CD to two blocks of lard seasons and adds some punchy flavour to what was already a hearty meal.” – Jamie Oliver

  • Oh yes, he did say that, didn’t he?

    A box has appeared outside the building next door labelled “help yourself”. It contains a DVD of Gone With the Wind and a baby’s abacus toy.

  • It’s almost as if someone is pretending to be that old BBC kid’s TV programme ‘Bitsa’ where you had two travellers gluing together whatever nonsense they found in people’s bins and turning it into something slightly less useful than the raw materials they started with.

    Come on Chris, combine that DVD and abacus into a matchbox with a worm in, will you?

  • I loved Bitsa. I once sent off for the Bitsa factsheet, or funbook, or whatever it was called. I had to phone 0181 811 8181 to get it. When it arrived it was a hugely disappointing stack of photocopied paper that contained nothing I could actually make.

    But I still liked watching Bitsa.

  • Is that a true story?

    I would expect a Bitsa factsheet / funbook would have come in several pieces of different material and you’d have to glue or sew them together, and then you’d have to copy the words onto the mesh of things yourself. And not once would you question what you were doing.

  • Younger me so had a crush on the female presenter. I believe I was drawn to just about every woman on TV when I was a kid, including the lovely Sophie Aldred from ‘Words and Pictures’ and Sarah Greene from ‘Going Live’.

  • I was. Young me was such a man whore it’s proper disgusting. I was raging for all the TV ladies. I couldn’t just settle on one, I wanted them all. I should point out I was never enamoured with the lady with the dog on ‘Come Outside’. Besides, she was Arkwright’s on/off girlfriend so it would never have worked out.

  • I’ve literally never heard of it. The article you linked to suggests it’s one of the most popular children’s programmes of all time, but I remain convinced that you made it up.

  • I did. I played both the dog and the lady.

    Do you remember that era-defining moment when Kev changed Wikipedia to confirm that pop star Jay Kay wasn’t a swift? It’s that but knocked into health gear.

  • I don’t remember that either.

    Either you’re making a lot of stuff up or I have some kind of long term memory problem that has so far gone undiagnosed.

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