The table was soon replaced as it was not weather friendly (eggs got wet in the rain, blown away in the wind, cooked in the sun) or crow / passing dog proof - a fact we learnt the hard way after crows pecked at the eggs from the bottom of the table up and an unidentified dog cleared a whole table full of eggs leaving only broken shells and muddy pawprints as evidence. The next incarnation was a brightly painted cast off bedside table from the castle hostel. We mounted it on the gate post and it stood up well for the whole of this years tourist season. But the Rum weather is not to be underestimated and underestimate it I did. The honesty bedside table fell to pieces having had it's colour washed off by rain, bleached off by sun and the door blown off by wind and rotted off by, well by exposure to all of the above really.
If our business is to work here we need to do a lot of low key unsupervised selling while we are busy getting on with getting the next lot of produce ready to sell and the honesty table / cupboard has proved itself as a winning way of selling our produce at retail prices without us having to walk down and deliver to the village. So the hunt was on for an alternative, more robust solution. Something sturdy enough to stand up to the wind, rain and sun, keep the produce safe from the elements and the predators, look appealing to potential customers and sum up all we are about.
Bring on the freezer!
I can't think of a more appropriate and suitable solution than what Ady came up with. Here on Rum when white goods are no longer any use they are heaped up in a corner of Rum and left to die. In theory once there is sufficient numbers to justify it a trip out will be made by the council to collect and recycle them. In practice I have no idea how frequently this happens but judging by the state of the appliances living in this electrical graveyard it is not often. To be honest shipping them off by sea, then transporting them by road to wherever the nearest recycling plant on the mainland may be and then trying to make the best of these big CFC boxes is still far from a green solution anyway. So Ady and took a trip to the white goods graveyard and selected an old freezer. A bit grubby, a little rusty but still with drawers and the perfect size and shape for our new honesty larder. We bought it back to the croft and I attacked it with hot soapy water until it was fit once more to put food items in. Fully insulated against hot and cold, secure and rodent and crow proof, ready to live on as a useful item rather than languish in the pit of rusty white goods nestled between a dead cooker and an expired washing machine. When we were WWOOFing we came across several hosts who used old fridges and freezers as animal feed storage containers for all the same reasons. So we can't claim full credit for the idea.
But for an off grid lifestyle treading lightly on the land, re-using and recycling whatever we can, being like modern day wombles making good use of the things everyday folk leave behind this seemed perfect.
It needed some beautification, a bit of Nic-love.
First of all I needed it to stop looking quite so much like a freezer. So I painted it black. Bear with me, I only had black, white or red paint at that stage. It was already white and Ady suggested if I painted it red people might try posting letters into it, so black was my only option.
I like to think of this as the upcycled freezers goth phase. A sort of uncomfortable teenage state in which is was reflecting on who it was, why it was here and what the end result of this chrysallis stage might be. A period of experimentation and self examination...
So we went green. Which felt far more appropriate!
It's still a work in progress but I can share what I've done so far with it between rain showers, making use of a jam jar of petrol to clean out my brushes when the brush cleaner failed once again to arrive on the ferry...
|with writing - white on green somehow so much more pleasing than white on black|
|Swirls and outlines complete the lettering. I am very happy with it, it looks exactly as I hoped it might.|