Until I met Mrs The Millbrooker the better part of ten years ago, I had no idea that the practice of checking through other peoples' skips actually had a name. I'm probably alone in learning this so late in life, but there you go.
The name that Mrs The Millbrooker gives to this pastime; a name she learned at her grandparents' knees, is "tatting"; the art of picking up other peoples' old tat.
There's a been a small skip at the back of Mark the ex-postie's house for quite a while now and he told us we could take anything we liked from it. (It's not only good etiquette, but a legal necessity to get permission before tatting, boys and girls.)
As we passed by a couple of days ago complete with shopping bags filled with goodies from the village, Mrs The Millbrooker spotted a rolled up carpet atop the skip. We unrolled it, had a look, found it to be all but perfect and absolutely clean, rolled it up again, took it home.
Millbrooker Towers' sitting room now has something to cover up the ancient, near-threadbare red thing that's covered the floor since we moved in and was probably laid sometime slightly before Noah took to the waters in his boat of gopher wood.
Thank you, Mark. Your largesse is appreciated. And never let it be said that we spend good money when tatting is a viable option.