Saturday, March 26, 2011

Eyes on the road!

Today my morning walk slowed to a dawdle.  The first reason was because I was procrastinating over taking my still-busted computer back to the fixit shop. The second reason was because Mandurah has a junk and metals verge collection and it is on right now in my lively hood. 

For the purposes of this collection the city is divided into eleven areas and each area has a week during which all the tat is put out then collected.  Our suburb, Halls Head (which the NZ IRD rather fabulously calls Horsehead), is area seven so for the past six weeks I've had to concentrate extremely hard and remind myself "eyes on the road!" as I drive past enormous piles of tat heaped on verges all over town. 

The roads here are perplexingly narrow so it is tricky to pull over to investigate a tasty looking heap.  The only way to stop is to gut the underside of your car by driving up onto the kerb and verge - risking the wrath of the homeowner as they yell "Get your flipping car off my flipping retic!" (OK, lie.  "Flipping" isn't used much here.) - or pull into some stranger's driveway.  I've done a bit of both.  I don't recommend either, though last week I did get myself invited in to a lovely elderly couple's house, who were possibly a bit lonely.

So today I walked to investigate the junk and these pictures show what it looks like in my neighbourhood this week.

Sadly the pickings aren't anywhere near as rich as in Auckland's fantastic inorganic collections where I sourced many a mid-century delight.  Here it is mostly grim sofas, diseased-looking mattresses, collapsed three-year-old kitset furniture, deceased five-year-old whiteware and televisions so enormous that they cause my children to have laughing fits. 

Apparently you aren't allowed to actually take stuff from these piles and are up for a hefty fine if caught doing so.  I'm treating that piece of information as urban myth as I just can't believe anything so daft can be true in a city that doesn't have a dump shop (though they are working on it), where the opportunities for buying and selling secondhand stuff are seriously limited and that prides itself of being pretty with-it on sustainability issues. 

Obviously plenty of other people don't take the fine seriously either as there have been convoys of cars - some with trailers - cruising slowly around our neighbourhood all week.  Go them I say.

I have actually scored some stuff from the junk collection but I did it months ago by having a cup of tea with a textile artist then rummaging through the verge collection stockpile in her carport.  See those tiles I've tiled my blog with?  I've got box loads of those plus several hundred sixties and seventies numbers stockpiled in my garage.  They are waiting for when I finally find dream-home, which I'll "renovate" and probably make totally unsaleable.

By 10am it was too hot to be out dawdling around in the great outdoors so after having tea and cake in the home of some elderly strangers (true) I finally stopped procrastinating and went to the computer fixit shop.  As a result I now have one lonely piece of junk out on the roadside: my flipping deceased three-year-old computer monitor.

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