|A fish box ready to be claimed! What a wonderous sight!|
Fish boxes are like mana from heaven for a beach side gardener. These delightful finds are often spotted with a yelp and a mad scramble across the beach towards them ungracefully slipping and slithering along the way. If you can picture the scene similar somewhat to running towards a long long loved one - that about sums it up. Yes, I've been known to run, embrace and weep at the sight of them. I'm sure if I ever meet my demise on a slippery beach it will be due to having cracked my head open whilst sprinting towards a fish box. At least I'll die happy! I'm very lucky to live right by a beach - a 6 min walk from my back door..... bliss! I've been known to carry them home on my head, under an arm or with a reluctant child at the other side of one, thinking I am insane. I carry my treasure with pride when I find one, I'm seriously in love with fish boxes. Very sad I know, but there you are.
These boxes are like treasure sent down from the heavens. Why you may ask? Or even what is a fish box? Put very unromantically, they are plastic crates used to store fish when at sea. They arrive from all over the world - their town emblazened on their sides - they are very interesting to find, where they've come from and how they ended up on MY beach. I guess unfortunately for the fishermen sometimes they fall off the boat and plonk themselves on the beach. Unlucky for them, very lucky for me. Its funny how a lump of plastic can lighten your mood when you spy them, but they have so much potential!! From a gardening point of view they are mega handy - you can use them for storing things like pots etc - they are very easily stacked and they make amazing containers - they've already got the holes int he bottom, they are durable and quite frankly indestruictable. They can also be shallow or quite deep - which makes them very good for either an inpromptu cold frame or as a mini raised bed or vegetable container. They keep the wind off - perfect for my climate. They are generally in bright colours, which for some they might find them a bit garish, but to my mind their colourful nature makes them more ecclectic when stacked or nose to nose beside each other. OK I sound besotted don't I? I guess I am, these are mightly useful and free finds when you happen upon them.
|'Beach stack' - You can find more from the gallery here|
Today however, has not been a very lucky kind of a day and I am rather glum. Well, its been wonderfully lucky in some ways - today I spied two whole complete wonderful fish boxes on the beach (one red, one yellow). However, we have a bit of etiquette surrounding beach finds. First of all unless something is whole, we cannot take it home. After a lifetime of beach living, we needed at least that golden rule or the garden would be full of half wrecked lobster creels and bouys. That is therefore rule number one, if its not complete it can't come home. Rule number two is simple and today was my downfall, dratted rule number two. There is a whole etiquitte surrounding beach combing and finds, well there is here. If something is above the tide line, not tossed there, but placed, generally with a rock in it or a semblence of 'claim' surrounding the find then good manners and etiquette dictates that it's claimed and not for removal.http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3639/3660399025_9cc7aa4866.jpg
Just my luck - both the fish boxes we spied today where gorgeously whole, but above the tide line. In anticipation I hoped and prayed that they had just happily landed there above the tide line, by accident, innocently. However, each box had a rock placed in it - clearly above the tide line, clearly claimed. Blast and tarnation! Our beach is shared with a few local houses. No one would have seen me, however, thats not the point.Whilst I do love fish boxes, I couldnt' risk breaking one of the key rules of beach combing. You do not take another persons treasure. NO good will come of it. Ces't la vie I guess. Whilst I could have wept real big fat salty tears when I left them behind, with a heavy heart I wandered home. I wish their claimants well done them for finding them before me, I can wish them only happiness with thier fishboxes. I may be jealous, but I'm not about to break fish box etiquitte - no matter how lovely and bright the colours were or how wonderfully both boxes might crop in the garden. The worst thing is that I don't have a red one, oh well, my fishbox will come in another day. Just means another trip to the beach another day.
And, I'm not the only one - I found a great fish box lover in the fish box blog!