18 February 2008

The possibilities are endless

I'm a member of our local Freecycle group, and it never ceases to amaze me what people will (a) ask for and (b) give away.

This week, for example, I've seen pleas for ladies pants (size 14), a widescreen tv (yeah, I'd probably like one of those as well), a gazebo, and a sandwich toaster. On offer has been a knitting machine, the Encyclopedia Britannica, an array of computer parts and a huge soft toy unicorn. The mind really boggles.

It's a great idea. We've recycled all sorts of stuff (an old electric oven which was left in the garage by the previous owners, acres of magazines which were cluttering up the house and even a massive 2m-long pond liner), and were lucky enough to bag a slide for M, which has saved endless trips down to the park.

I know heading park-wards means more exercise, but Saltwell Park, though wonderful, is decidedly on the nippy side at this time of year, and comes complete with attack formations of geese. Woe betide those who rustle a plastic bag - the geese have learned that this means sliced white, and arrive en masse within 2.56 seconds. I swear they can hear the rumble of a pushchair a mile off.

If you've ever been confronted by a goose (or, even worse, by a swan), they're much bigger than you think. And have very sharp beaks. I can confirm that it doesn't do much for your street cred with your two-year-old when you start to panic that they're coming too close, turn tail and flee for the hills, but trust me, it's the only option.


Semaphore said...

We were confronted by two swans while punting on the Cam. They reach eye level when you're in a punt. We did 0-complete hysteria in approximately 5 seconds. They're also unwieldy sods, did I mention that? Punts, I mean, not swans.

rach said...

Hello semaphore and welcome!

I agree on the punts - I've only ever done it once, years ago when I was a student in Cambridge, and I failed miserably. I couldn't get the damn thing to go anywhere apart from into the riverbank...