The recycling centre near us is inappropriately named Chelson Meadow conjuring up flower strewn pastures and whilst it is situated on the outskirts of Saltram House the stately home, which was used during the filming of the 1995 Sense & Sensibility, there is nothing very beautiful or fragrant about an industrial yard surrounded by cars and enormous waste skips.
I’d loaded up the car one afternoon as my Dad had been instructed by my mother to have a clear out in the shed and I wasn’t totally surprised by the amount of junk he had stored waiting for a moment when it would all come in “useful”. As much as I admire his optimism there was never going to be an opportunity other than an apocalypse when we would have the need for so many useless items.
My Dad had insisted on carrying out the recovery mission himself and I could tell how reluctant he was to part with most of it and may well have snuck one or two items back in the shed whilst I wasn’t looking. Once all debris had been safely deposited in the trunk of the car, I drove off in the direction of the recycling depot.
As I checked in with the pleasant young man at the gate, he told me to look out for the skip manned by the “cowboy” and as I drove through I easily identified the man in the Stetson leaning up against this huge industrial skip. I backed my car up to enable me to open the boot and start removing all the junk.
I was disappointed that the labourers were too busy leaning against the skips and chatting to assist me with unloading lots of scrap metal but could still break off from their conversation to bark numbers at me to ensure that I dumped the right items in the appropriately numbered skips. Tired from another early morning and full work shift, I struggled to unload most of the scrap metal and as I dragged a large slightly water damaged mirror over to the skip, one of the older chaps, who’d watched my herculean efforts, put his hand up to prevent me from throwing it into the skip and told me to rest it safely against the side as it “looked interesting”. Being a shrewd girl, I realised at once that this canny old man was planning on reselling the item and had I not wanted to tempt the fates with seven years of bad luck, I would have let it slip from my fingers to the bottom of the dumpster with a sarcastic “oops”.
I jumped back into the car less than impressed with the whole experience and slamming the car door shut headed off home, stopping at the entrance gate to shout out to the young man who had greeted me earlier.
“Actually you got it wrong love; they’re all a bunch of cowboys”!
And as I drove off into the sunset I suddenly remembered how the mirror became water damaged recalling that it had been dispatched to the shed when Hobo had taken an instant dislike to his reflection and instantaneously decided to mark his territory as all good cats do. Needless to say I laughed all the way home and couldn’t help but think that in the end, we did indeed get our just rewards.