Earlier this week I was passing by the house five doors down from me and noticed that beside the skip in their front garden (they moved in a couple of months ago and have been renovating the house) was a nice, clean looking pallet. On Thursday evening the pallet was on top of the now full skip. But the light in the house was also on. As the skip was in the front garden with the gate closed and as the pallet had been just beside, rather than on the skip I hadn't felt comfortable just helping myself earlier in the week. Now was my chance. I rang the bell and a very nice woman, about the same age I am I would say (and whose name I had forgotten before I even got home that evening!), came out. She was more than happy for me to take the pallet and delighted somebody would be using it rather than it just getting dumped. I now have a front for the composter I started making months ago and which has stayed just a heap between two pallets. However, coming into spring and knowing there'll be a lot of grass added to it over the coming months I really needed to get it finished. So this pallet came along at an ideal time. And, it fits perfectly lengthways across the front what I've already done - if I had tried to measure this on purpose I'm not sure I could have done it so well.
I just need to fashion some stakes to hold the front pallet in place and next week will get something to use as a "lid" and it'll be finished.
I'm very glad I stopped and introduced myself. Living in Dublin, people tend to keep themselves to themselves and, it seems to be even worse that I only rent - people assume you'll be moving on soon I think and so are less inclined to make an effort to get to know you. My immediate next door neighbours moved in a couple of months after I did and are very interested in the idea of getting to know their neighbours and made a big effort to introduce themselves when they moved in. I'm not sure we'll ever be very good friends but it's lovely to be able to chat over the garden fence occasionally. When my car was stolen the neighbours from a couple of houses down (both elderly couples) also came over to speak to me when they saw me outside and commiserate and assure me they'd never heard of anything like that happening on the road before. It is nice to at least know a few people well enough to pass the time of day when you meet on the road. I try to always say good morning/hello etc. if I bump into anyone coming out of their house - eventually maybe I'll get to know them too and if not, it's still nice to smile and say hello.