Just outside the butterfly house at the edge of the Old Walled Town there is a skip. Or as She Of The Town House prefers to think of it, ‘a low tech shop’.
We passed by a couple of days ago while they were getting some new furbish in to the place and trashing the old stuff.
It did occur to me afterwards just how bad it must have looked. Me in my best ratting jacket, She Of The Town House in her scruffs, Asbo jumping around the skip excited as only a dog knows how, and two cans of beer perched on the rim. We must have looked like a couple of desperate refugees who had turned to drink as we rifled the stuff that others were throwing away. Coincidentally just behind the council offices that send me the big fat cheque every month.
Still there were nuggets of good fortune in the chaff.
The ariel (aerial) had fallen off the phone in the townhouse a couple of years ago and it has crackled away for months getting progressively worse. The phone has also been the point of more than a little contention as either The Boy or Axeman has been using it to phone his mates (to be fair I think The Boy’s disregard for this particular aspect of modern communication makes him an unlikely culprit).
The apparently broken and discarded apparatus that we salvaged then was indeed fortuitous. Its inability to make any outgoing calls dependant on the numbers 2, 5, or 8, pretty well solve the problem. Also, knowing it was rescued from a smelly skip means it may harbour all kinds of communicable diseases. Certainly not the kind of thing that a teenager would squirrel away in their bedroom.
Plus it is a small digital unit with an inbuilt ariel (aerial) so the crackling problem has stopped as well.
An unexpected bonus has been the fact that the answerphone message (which She Of The Town House can’t be arsed to change even if we had a manual) leads the uninformed caller to think that they have dialled the wrong number. After a couple of replies from the butterfly house they give up.
All in all a bit of a result.
Finally :-) Thanks to the anonymous (but probably Mike) person who reminded me how you actually do spell aerial in the context of something useful for extracting a radio signal from the ether rather than a mischief making fairy. Doh!