It is undeniably sad the amount of rubbish that finds its way into the river and onto the beaches and I invariably return to the car with at least a few items but sometimes a bag full. Bottles, cans, disposable bar-b-cues and endless plastic wrappers. Toothbrushes, why so many toothbrushes? Into the bin it goes. However, amongst the rubbish there are worthwhile finds too and each year about this time I sum up in my head the previous year’s finds. This has in the past included a GoPro camera, and wonder what the new year will bring?
Last year was undoubtedly the year of the shoe, including though not limited to: trainers, flip-flops, wellington boots, Crocs, beach shoes, wetsuit boots and even a single high heel. The mind boggles as to what Cinderella was up to that evening.
Along the local coast the wind usually turns easterly in January or February and whereas the normal passage of items is out to sea, for a few days or even weeks a variety of flotsam and jetsam is swept into the confines of the bay and is thrown onto the beach.
As if by magic all the tennis balls left unretrieved by distracted dogs wash in to be collected and redistributed. About the only item more prolific are fishing floats of the rod and line variety, though trawler floats are also numerous and I have boxes of both sorts waiting to be given away. There are also usually a few of the heavy duty plastic crates of the type used on trawlers for keeping the catch in and, depending on the level of damage, they can be pressure washed and used for storage or simply used as handy planters in the garden or greenhouse. Over the years I have even collected a few lobster pots and I have several hidden along the coast which get used for maybe a week or two in summer and have produced some fine suppers.
Most fun however are items that can be adapted to a new purpose. After several years of collecting the pink buoys used for marking pots or mooring yachts I found that by taking out the valve and threading the flex from a broken electrical appliance through and fitting a light bulb holder they make interesting all weather garden lights. Driftwood can of course be used for crafting and even bigger projects like a garden hammock or the deck around our garden fire pit.
The variety of rubbish can be bewildering but in amongst it there can be treasures so I don’t mind the bags of stuff I put in the bin because you just never know what might turn up tomorrow.