Writing 101: Day 16: Third Time’s the Charm


(Prompt: Imagine you had a job in which you had to sift through forgotten or lost belongings.  Describe a day in which you came upon something peculiar, or tell a story about something interesting you find in a pile.)

You’d be surprised what people bring in here.  January of course is the busiest time.  We’re up to our eye-balls in unwanted presents and New Year clear-outs.  Round here you can pick up some good quality stuff; name brands and the like.  The local well-to-do ladies shed their clothes every season like skin.  Of course, you sometimes get the other type of donation, when someone’s passed on.  It’s hard for the relatives.  One young girl came in the other week.  I say young girl, she was to me, but I guess she was about 30; had a load of men’s clothes and shoes.  Lost her dad, she had.  Not fair on someone so young.  Still, working here, I’ve realised how loss is often tied up with gain, for someone, and many people will benefit from her donation.

At the moment, we’ve got a lot of video cassettes; can’t shift ‘em.  Mind you, I read the other day that some might be worth quite a bit; people looking for old films or something.  No-one listens to CDs either.  It’s all downloading and the like nowadays, so we’ve got piles of them, almost up to the ceiling.

Books?  Yes, loads.  Naturally, they’re a good seller for us.  We had a load of Penguin classics in the other day.  They’ll go well.  Oh, yes, and that 50 Shades book; we’ve had quite a few of those in too.  But we do get some interesting books, like a curious one I found a few weeks ago in a big box.  As good as new it was; a travel book, with lots of lovely photos in.  It must have been a present and they didn’t want it, which was a shame.  There was a message inside.

To a friend who has yet to see all the pictures of the world, but one day undoubtedly will.  Love Nick x

I thought, I wonder if they’d donated it because they’d gone off travelling.  It got me thinking too, and that’s when I made my decision.  Yes, it was the book that finally made me do it.  It was something we should have done together after retirement, but when I lost him I sort of went off the idea.  Didn’t fancy going alone, so I stopped work and started volunteering here three days a week, but I always thought about it and watched lots of those travel programmes on TV.  So, when I came across that book it felt like a message, something telling me ‘now or never,’ you know?  So, tomorrow is my last day.  I’ve sold the house and I leave from London on Friday.  My first stop is Paris.  We went there for our honeymoon, so it seemed right.  Then I’ll just keep going until the money, or my body runs out, whichever happens first!

(This was inspired by a Lonely Planet photography book I bought in a charity shop  six years ago, which had the message below in it.)  




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