Monday, April 11, 2016

Finding Clothes in the Woods

Last week, all I heard from people at work, from about Wednesday forward, was how horrible the weather was going to be over the weekend. I assume this came from the forecast, though I never looked it up myself. I'm happy to report that instead, it was sunny and beautiful both days!

The sun created some interesting patterns in our back garden, and it provided the perfect atmosphere for walking on the Heath with Olga. I took her back yesterday and we had a bit of excitement.

(Let me just say in advance that I realize this post will make me seem completely insane, but, well, it is what it is.)

When I walked Olga on Sandy Heath on Saturday, I found some discarded plastic bags that had been recently thrown from the roadside into the woods. You know how fascinated I am by rubbish, so of course the dog and I had a closer look.

They turned out to be mostly empty, but some had been torn open to reveal clothing -- two pairs of shoes, three shirts, some gloves, a winter coat and several sweaters (or "jumpers," as they say in England), among other things. The sweaters were still folded, as if they'd been taken straight from someone's drawer.

Well, I left everything there and kept walking the dog. But during the night on Saturday I kept thinking what a shame it was that those perfectly good clothes, which had obviously been there just a day or two, were left to rot in the woods. So yesterday, I took a bag with me, and Olga and I revisited the same spot. I decided to collect anything that seemed useful and take it to charity.

I didn't take everything, because some items really were trash -- old and worn, or stretched out. (And nobody wants used socks, after all -- ugh.) But I took two perfectly good dress shirts and a white printed t-shirt. I brought them home, washed and dried them, and I'll take them up to Oxfam later this week.

I also salvaged these very bizarre shoes -- Reeboks, as it turns out. Size 11 1/2. They've seen some wear but they're so unusual, they might be thrift store gold!

So yes, I'm crazy. I just can't stand waste, not to mention fly-tipping. If there were a public trash receptacle somewhere nearby I'd have picked up the rest, put it in a garbage bag and left it for collection. In fact, that might be a future project...


  1. No. Not crazy Steve. I applaud you for this action. Any extra pounds for Oxfam will benefit unfortunate people's lives.

  2. I love it when people show their crazy. Makes me feel less alone. Love the shoes!

  3. i love to recycle stuff, mine or others. Good job.
    On a side note, I read your blog every truly brings me joy. the pictures the stories are a welcome to start my day! thank you xoxo

  4. I always wonder about the backstory, especially when I see abandoned stuff that still has good use in it.
    I don't think you're crazy at all.

  5. sweet kicks (for someone). i say let the crazy out if the end result is usable donations. maybe you can get on the david sedaris bandwagon and go trash hunting every day!

  6. I'm sure there's a good story behind the bags of clothes. More people should pick things up so that areas are not littered.

  7. I think that's very good of you to pick up those things and then wash them before taking them to the thrift shop. You are a good citizen of the world. And I agree, those shoes are very different. I've never seen anything like them.

  8. Well, if you're crazy, so am I. This is the kind of thing I would do. I've never found a bag with usuable anything in it, but if I did ...

    Like Ms Moon, I wonder about the stories behind odd-seeming events. I wonder if someone was asked (or told) to take these things to a charity shop and decided that was too much trouble and hiffed them into the woods instead!

  9. sounds like somebody kicked somebody out of the house. but good for you. perfectly good stuff should not be thrown away.

  10. I'm starting to think Steve, that you might do very well running your own thrift store. You have the eye and the instinct for sure. And what a beautifully lit corner of your back garden.

  11. You are not crazy...You are responsible and forward thinking...We need more people like you in the world.

  12. Far from nuts, you are a stellar resident of planet earth.
    Few things more telling than those automatic impulses.