Ever been to a junkyard? I hadn't until this weekend. It's a crazy place...acres and acres of abandoned, slightly stripped vehicles. Sad and intriguing, and very dusty.

You see, about 3 weeks ago I ran an errand and left the car unlocked overnight. Someone took advantage of that and looted our car. Thankfully it had nothing in it but parking change and an old stereo so all they snatched was the spare change...and the ashtray. Yes. My ashtray. A new ashtray for my car is $40, so to try and get a cheaper one I headed out to the auto wrecker junkyard 10 minutes outside of the city to get a used one for $5. J had to work so I set out on my own adventure and it was one interesting day let me tell you.

I got there on a nice sunny day and after waiting in line with some other characters I talked to the corset lady and the snake arm tattoo guy and told them what I wanted and they grinned and said "well that should be easy - we'll get you fixed up". So they gave me a photo map of the junkyard telling me where the Mazdas were and I wandered off in to the wasteland and found a few Protege5 and luckily one of them had an unused matching ashtray I could take back and buy for $5. Yup - you needed a map for this place. It was HUGE. All was well and I put it in the car and left to go back to take a few pictures of the strangeness of it all and pet the 3 legged yard dog they had on the lot (you can't make this sh*t up...and he was a friendly little guy)...and realised shortly after I had locked my keys in the car.
Yes. Good one.
So the yard looked at it and after a bit of head scratching realized they couldn't help me because of a lack of proper tools ("generally when we unlock a car ma'am we don't try and keep it pretty") so I called CAA and hung out in the sunshine with the 3 legged dog, watching the scavengers and chatting with the local colour. Kind of absurd, but not a bad day for it. I had nowhere urgent to be and in about 40 minutes the tow truck came and freed me and I was sheepishly on my way, new ashtray installed. After a few errands I headed home and as an apology to the car washed it and cleaned it inside and out, touching up the trim and vacuuming the interior.
The rest of the weekend was much more mellow,  using a rainy day to start up some cider mini-batches and relaxing with J. My blueberry wine is bubbling along nicely and the cider (1gallon with white sugar, 1 with brown sugar, 1 with a star anise tossed in) was fizzing away this AM too, so the brewing is well underway. Still plan on rhubarb cider, a gallon of apricot wine and some strawberry beer by the end of the month...I have to juggle my brewing gear to stagger it all but we should be well n our way to a full wine cellar come Christmas. As it should be. :)

Hope your long weekend was equally exciting :)


I was going to ask if you or J needs an ashtray, but of course you do: it's where you keep the spare change before it gets stolen.

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