Thursday, 9 November 2006


I bought a gadget the other day that recharges normal batteries up to 60 times, as well as rechargeable ones. However, being cheaply made, it broke after one day, which led me to mourn the demise of well-made things. One advantage of being relatively old is that I can impart such wisdom to my teenagers as, ‘It really does pay to buy things that last.’ To which I now add: ‘Only buy stuff if you REALLY need it.’

I discovered this summer that you can put almost anything outside your front door in Lewes and it’s guaranteed to disappear within a day. Once I hung a ‘please take’ sign on my railings over a box of clothes and some clever clogs left the clothes and took the sign. And now there’s Freecycle Lewes. It’s a free online service that is what my kids call funkadelic. It started earlier this year and already has 513 members in the area. You can get rid of what you don’t want and wish for things you want. The Freecycle network started in 2003 in Arizona, USA as a way to keep stuff out of landfill. It’s a grassroots and non-profit movement of now 2 million members in 50 countries. So far our family has got rid of some shelves, some books, some sheets and a minibus. We’ve acquired a saw, a lamp and a winter’s supply of cooking apples. Clutter clearing never felt so good.

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