Thursday, 11 September 2008

Waste not, Want not.

We have been moving since Saturday 26th July; day after day after day after day. Friends have helped on occasion for which I am eternally grateful. But in the main it has been Paulette and myself. I can remember only two days that we have not made the trip between the two houses. My motorhome of six months is now filthy, scratched and sadly dented. The bill apparently estimated at £440.
Today meant another trip to the local tip. I find myself going through black bin bags just to check exactly what my wife has bagged up whilst I was out of sight. I retrieve several items. I am one of many who throws little away. Is it a remnant of a poor childhood? Is it reminiscent of my age group? You tell me.
I find myself taking the wheels off a bed prior to its disposal: don't ask why. I take a portable clothesline to our new home. I check in at the local B and Q and, horror of horrors, a new insert into the ground to support it is nearly £8. I hastily return to the old house complete with chisels and with some difficulty prise the old one, concreted in out of the ground. Who wouldn't have done the same!
My grandmother never threw away sour milk. Instead it was forced through a gauze cloth (or a stocking) to make cottage cheese. The first milk from a cow after it had calved (called beastings), normally thrown away was a favourite of hers. (She died six months short of her hundredth birthday.) Peg rugs covered the floor and mould on food was carefully scraped off and the rest retained. It was only penicillin after all, was it not. My butcher friend never ever threw away meat that had gone black; the public would not accept it but he maintained it never did him any harm. Who has never collected bits of string or rubber bands until you had the largest of balls? More important I suppose, who ever found a use for such treasures. My aunt never threw away the last of the soap, instead placing it in a jam jar in the kitchen. Where it stood right through my formative years, an horrific, gooey mess, enough to give one nightmares. Mind you, my aunt was especially eccentric. She even turned the refrigerator off when she went out. She refused to have carpets on the floor, maintaining that 'people only walked on them' whatever that meant!
Her husband Roland, a favourite of mine had the largest contact lens I ever saw, not many years after the war. He cleaned it with Brasso an astounding choice but not medically proven!
I covered my kitchen floor with carpet tiles of varying colours, no choice available but enterprisingly matched in an ingenious pattern unique to my abode. And making briquettes from concrete and coal dust was both satisfying and cheap.
I hope the word 'tight' refers to others. We all know the type who is always last in the pub so he doesn't have to buy the first (and most expensive) round. I knew a couple who could make a small chicken last all week. (Dinner, sandwiches, stock, soup.) Which begs the question, when does thrift become meanness. Or are they one and the same?


VioletSky said...

I'm afraid my brother and I both inherited that "never throw anything away" gene. The image that helps me fight it is my parents' house that had to be cleaned out after my father moved into hospital and my mother was moving into sheltered housing.
Now I understand why it is taking you so long to get settled!!
You've been tagged, stop by.

Mad Asthmatic said...

My grandfather always used to say Money doesn't grow on trees and that was his reasoning for being thrifty and recycling everything possible. He was never mean though, he was generous with friends in the pub, in the club house etc but he couldn't see the point of spending money on buying things when he already had the said item, as long as it served its purpose it didn't matter how old it was. I think I have inherited some of his thriftiness, certainly I don't like throwing things out.


Anonymous said...

The answer is obvious: I am thrifty; he/she is mean.

Mad Asthmatic said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog. I noticed you mentioned about leaving comments in the right place. I tend to comment mostly on others blogs but occasionally a question will be posted in my comments and I will generally then answer it there. .
There is no right or wrong really,that is one of the reasons I love blogging, the freedom of it all.


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