The Comedy Theatre was opposite our lunchtime pub. I noticed one day a disgustingly tatty chair in the skip outside, painted and peeling, upholstery in shreds. I had to have it. Just what I wanted.
I lifted it out and took it back to the office. No hint of shame. McB took the piss out of me mercilessly as I loaded it into his Saab for the journey home.
Determined to show him. I stripped, repolished and reupholstered it.
Two weeks later he saw it in our living room.
"Where did you get that? It's beautiful!"
With delight, I explained.
When McB couldn't give me a lift home, I would take the latest roll of discarded carpet from the skip outside my office home with me on the train. In my business suit no less; I knew no shame!
I have this quirk of nature of being able to switch off social conventions. The drive to recycle, or rather save a stack of cash, overrode feelings of embarrassment. Had Mrs H been travelling with me, overrode would've become overruled.
She claims to like me because I'm never boring... kind of wacky. But she's not (was pleased with the carpet though!).
Years ago when McB had that most prized of assets, a free company parking slot next to Westminster Abbey, he drove into London and would collect me from St James's on the way home. Very kind.
Extremely kind... when he realised I'd been on a skip raid! My company was replacing perfectly good Wilton carpets, putting them in a skip outside. Too much for me to take, or rather too much for me to take home!
McB's Saab was handly. Over a fortnight, I loaded it with more carpet than a carpet warehouse.
Over the years it carpeted two houses!