The Freecycling Writer

I’ve been giving away  furniture on the Bristol freecycle site. Freecycling is great in all sorts of ways.  Everyone is pleased – people get things for free which would otherwise go to the dump and they come and take away stuff almost immediately, an amazing bonus. A lovely, cheerful guy spent ages dismantling a monster Ikea bed which a tenant had left in the house. A mother and daughter patiently took a sofa apart to get it through the door, two strong women hauled out a heavy washing machine. A woman whizzed in and filetted a battered leather sofa of its cushion stuffing. She’s making her own sofa from pallets and is going to send me a picture of her creation when it’s complete.

Freecycle is brilliant for writers who are looking for stories.  If you scan the daily digests of wants and offers, you get a window into people’s lives, those telling details that bring characters alive. Yesterday I saw a post from someone wanting a futon or old sofa. He said the sofa bed needed a firm mattress, enough to support a weight of ten stone.  Not really that heavy, you’d think. But in this case it was for his ten stone Great Dane who needed a comfortable new bed!  I do have a futon to shift, so maybe I will get to meet the man and his dog.

Last week there was a brilliant post from a man wanting to freecycle a surf board. I include it here with thanks to its author.

“Offer: One old and quite mangled green foam surfboard. It is approx 8ft, old school shape, single fin and made of soft foam, which is falling to bits. It’s probably just about surfable and guess it would be ok for messing about in the waves but not going to be great except for a laugh. Could possibly be repaired, but probably not worth it, unless you are desperate, or need a challenge. Would be good for fancy dress, or a theatrical prop, or some kind of strange project like some people seem to be doing.”

I like the idea of a story about a desperate surfer wanting a challenge, or a person involved in a strange project. I should write this story perhaps – a desperate older woman surfer in need of a new challenge in life…?

 

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About Jude

Published in New Flash Fiction Review, Flash Frontier, Great Jones Street, the Blue Fifth Review The Nottingham Review, NFFD Anthologies and other places. Debut Flash Fiction Pamphlet forthcoming from V. Press. Organises Bath Flash Fiction Award and the Flash Fiction Festival, Bath
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