Sunday, 26 June 2011

The Whisky Collector

Not much time for bloggage it seems these days. I just got back yesterday again from Fukushima with Team Heal Japan but I'll update that one later as I haven't talked about the trip we did a week ago yet.

These THJ trips are starting to gain a bit of momentum now. On June 18th, 27 of us went up by coach from Tokyo and hooked up with another 3 guys up there making 30 of us. The 3 extra guys included David Lee from the UK-based Helping Hands For Japan who were on their way further North. More about them in a later post I hope.

When we arrived at our designated clean-up site, as we were parking the bus, I could see the guy who's house we cleaned up last week. Classic guy, he must have contacted the volunteer centre, found out where we'd be today and turned up with his wife to say hello and thank us again.

The house we'd been assigned this time was a solidly-enough built brick house. Some houses nearby had disappeared but this one had also been hit hard.

The ground floor had all sorts of debris, rocks, papers, glass, furniture and tatami mats strewn throughout which needed to be cleared out, separated and dumped.

 Jospeh Tait from New Zealand, great guy, rugby fanatic and a quarter Maori. We told him this wardrobe was made in France. It didn't stand a chance.

As you get stuck into these mountains of rubbish you need to remember to keep an eye out for photos, letters, and other mementos that have been dragged through the dirt. We usually end up with quite a full box of this stuff which in some cases can be worth the world to the owners, or even more to the families of the owners. 

There was the usual pile at this house too but not only letters and photos, the tee-total owner turned out to have been an avid whisky collector. As we dug through all this stuff, we kept on turning up all sorts of miniatures, full-size rareties, gimmick bottles and one-off collector's items from all over the world. We must have found over a hundred bottles by the end of the day. Safely stored with all the other important things of course.

They said we could take some home with us but by the time we were heading home, we all must have thought someone else was taking care of it and came home with nothing. So much for teamwork!!

Anyway, met another great bunch of people, and hopefully there's some whisky waiting for us up there somewhere.

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