Project Fifty Five: Oh How I Love Other People’s Rubbish
Cycling home along Riverside, enjoying the sunshine and watching the rowers, I was about to go over the bridge when something caught my eye. A pile of timber leaning against the river railings, about 20 metres past the bridge, along with a black rubbish bag. Nothing out of the ordinary really, the riverboat dwellers regularly collect timber to heat their little water homes, but something made me look twice. This wasn’t just any old pile of timber, this was actually two old boat shelves, beautiful despite their yellowing varnish. I swerved past the bridge and continued on to the beckoning pile. I was in luck. There was a man on the boat on the other side of the railings, busy with some power tools, top off in the sunshine, dust and vibrations filling the air. He straightened up when he saw me, raising an eyebrow on his weather-beaten face. Inquisitive.
“is that your rubbish?” I asked him, pointing.
“Rubbish sounds so negative, it’s not rubbish if you want it!” he replied, laughing. “Though God knows how you’re going to make those ugly things look nice!” he added, watching me as I balanced a shelf on each handlebar. “Nothing a good sanding and a lick of paint won’t sort out” I replied, as I slowly made my way back to the bridge with my precious cargo, his laughter filling the air behind me.
Once I got home it was hard to contain my excitement, much to the amusement of the boy and Mr. B. I had been after some thin shelves for the kitchen for ages, and finally I had them, for free! God how I love other people’s rubbish.
Here is what the shelves looked like originally:
Somehow in my excitement I only ever photographed the smaller of the two shelves before I started painting them, but they were in pretty much the same condition. The larger one I painted white and mounted above my cooker, and the smaller one I painted shocking pink (just because I could) and mounted on the wall to the right of the cooker. As I have mentioned numerous times before, my kitchen is tiny, so these two shelves bring us some much-needed shelf space and work really well in the tiny space.