Cast Your Vote Here


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Mike’s been back to the reclamation yard again.

He was after a couple more of those old pine boards to make architrave for around the door. But whilst he was there he spotted something else..


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No, not the Russian tank.. least I hope not. It isn’t parked in the drive yet so I think we’re OK.


Although for a few weeks now we’ve been after a metal container in which to storeΒ the bird feed. The wretched mice have chewed through the heavy duty plastic bin we used to use and deposited the contents all over the outhouse floor.


Timing couldn’t have been better..


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String or ribbons would once have been tied around those little loops alongside the slot and around the lid and then a seal applied to prevent tampering..


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Two old ballot boxes!


That should do it.

It gives rise to an interesting thought though. I wonder what mice would vote for, if they could?


2017-10-24T19:32:47+00:00May 7th, 2015|Tags: , , |


  1. Piddlewick May 7, 2015 at 11:31 am - Reply

    What an absolutely stunning find! And perfect timing too.

    • Jessica May 7, 2015 at 9:06 pm - Reply

      I couldn’t believe it when he man handled them through the door…

  2. Rosie May 7, 2015 at 11:47 am - Reply

    Brilliant timing! They should keep the mice away from the bird food:)

    • Jessica May 7, 2015 at 9:07 pm - Reply

      I hope so Rosie. The mice make such a mess.

  3. Amy at love made my home May 7, 2015 at 11:58 am - Reply

    How good is that!! I reckon the mice will vote for an open bowl of birdfeed please!! xx

    • Jessica May 7, 2015 at 9:11 pm - Reply

      The mice have had it easy for too long.

  4. Marian St.Clair May 7, 2015 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    Mice would vote for those who promise free seed. Good luck with this new battle tactic.

    • Jessica May 7, 2015 at 9:22 pm - Reply

      Mike baits the traps with free seed..

  5. Rosemary May 7, 2015 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    A great idea for protecting your bird seed from the mice – at first I thought that you were going to show us an array of red, blue and yellow flowers!

    • Jessica May 7, 2015 at 9:26 pm - Reply

      Ha Ha! Wish I’d thought of that..!

  6. Mark and Gaz May 7, 2015 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    Oh my, very nice vintage finds! And they are rather decorative too!

    • Jessica May 7, 2015 at 9:28 pm - Reply

      They will certainly provide a talking point, that’s what I like about re-purposing.

  7. Christina May 7, 2015 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    Interesting, I have to admit I have never been curious about what happened to the ballot boxes once they’ve been used. Do you think they use them for many years? How do they decide when they need recycling, I wonder. Smaller version would be great for seeds, unless of course you have so many these are the right size?!

    • Jessica May 7, 2015 at 9:30 pm - Reply

      These have certainly been around a bit. There is a sticker on the back of one from a hire company. It has a fax number but no email or website address so I guess that dates them pretty accurately.

  8. Simone May 7, 2015 at 1:01 pm - Reply

    This is great and so timely! Mice would vote for the plastic bins so they could gnaw their way to the food inside! I wonder what votes have been cast in the boxes over the years? πŸ™‚

    • Jessica May 7, 2015 at 9:39 pm - Reply

      They have seen a bit of action if the state of them is anything to go by, but they are still sturdy enough to keep out the mice. The hire company they came from was Birmingham based, does that give us any clues?

  9. Colleen May 7, 2015 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    Perhaps they’d “Vote for Bob” – the RSPB campaign for nature and wildlife?

    • Jessica May 7, 2015 at 9:46 pm - Reply

      Awww.. he’s a sweetie, I’d vote for him. Perhaps I should have done. The world would be in a better place.

  10. Sol May 7, 2015 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    That is really cool! I love it. I would have them as end tables next to chairs!

    • Jessica May 7, 2015 at 9:48 pm - Reply

      That would work really well! If they don’t defeat the mice I might do just that.

  11. woolythymes May 7, 2015 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    You do understand, don’t you, that the mice will only be thwarted temporarily? (I can just see them pulling open the little slot , dropping the whole family into the boxes for a snack….then boosting everyone out again and carefully closing the ‘door’. You might as well set up the camera now.)

    • Jessica May 7, 2015 at 9:52 pm - Reply

      I can see them out there now.. sizing up the boxes and working out how they are going to get in. But if I were to tie those little slots closed with a metal chain.. so they can’t pull.. ?

  12. Sam Stanley May 7, 2015 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    Good find. I love rooting through reclamation yards. Hope they keep the mice out.

    • Jessica May 7, 2015 at 9:56 pm - Reply

      They are fascinating places aren’t they. You never know what you are going to find next.

  13. Linda from Each Little World May 7, 2015 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    Maybe the mice will vote with their feet and leave home since they can’t get at the food!

    • Jessica May 7, 2015 at 9:56 pm - Reply

      I’m banking on it!

  14. Pauline May 7, 2015 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    Fantastic, let’s hope they do the trick and keep the mice out, Which reminds me, I haven’t voted yet, must go to the village hall and do it now!

    • Jessica May 7, 2015 at 10:01 pm - Reply

      We went this evening. So different in a rural community, we were the only people there and it’s so laid back.

  15. Cheryl West May 7, 2015 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    They are much more stylish than my galvanized trash bin. Great recycling idea and I would think truly mouse proof unless they do manage to open the ballot slots.

    • Jessica May 7, 2015 at 10:03 pm - Reply

      I’m sure your galvanised trash bin works just as well, as long as they can’t chew through that’s the key. I’ll be keeping a close eye on the slots though, just in case..

  16. justjilluk May 7, 2015 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    I voted this morning. The ballot box looked exactly like a shredder.

    • Jessica May 7, 2015 at 11:22 pm - Reply

      It did! (Or did they just see you coming?) I had to smile, the design of the ballot box has changed very little from our old rusty ones. The edges have just rounded a bit.

  17. Jennifer May 7, 2015 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    Nice! Mice are tricky but I think it’s well worth a try. Maybe they could become planters otherwise.

    • Jessica May 7, 2015 at 11:24 pm - Reply

      I hope it will work. But planters would be a very good Plan B!

  18. Alison May 7, 2015 at 4:34 pm - Reply

    I love repurposing old stuff like this. Kudos to Mike for finding them.

    • Jessica May 8, 2015 at 6:48 pm - Reply

      Me too Alison. It gives the place character. And plenty of stories to tell.

  19. Amy May 7, 2015 at 5:51 pm - Reply

    The mice would vote for a return to the great tradition of plastic boxes – of course! What a fun (and useful) find… I can’t imagine mice will get through those very quickly (presumeably they had to keep mice out of the ballots too… oh my….)!

    • Jessica May 8, 2015 at 7:03 pm - Reply

      I’m hoping we’ll have far fewer mice in the outhouse when they find they can’t get at the food. Time will tell.

  20. Haggiz May 7, 2015 at 6:24 pm - Reply

    What a great find! All I’ve got in my head are mice in little stripey leotards lifting weights to get the strength to push the lever across and sneak in (please tell me that’s not just me!?) Julie x

    • Jessica May 8, 2015 at 7:07 pm - Reply

      Julie, I wouldn’t be in the least surprised. And we both watched too much Tom and Jerry. πŸ˜‰

  21. Kris P May 7, 2015 at 6:27 pm - Reply

    I like them! I use an old plastic cat litter container for my seed – that works too but it has much less character.

    • Jessica May 8, 2015 at 7:13 pm - Reply

      I thought the hard plastic containers we used would be strong enough, but not here. They were sold specifically for the purpose too. I’ve long believed ours must be next generation supermice. Watch out world..

  22. elaine May 7, 2015 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    Excellent – should do the job nicely.

    • Jessica May 8, 2015 at 7:14 pm - Reply

      If nothing else, they are a talking point! I did laugh though when the box I put my vote in was almost exactly the same. Less rusty..

  23. Karen at Lady of LaMancha May 7, 2015 at 6:49 pm - Reply

    Ha! They are quite a conversation piece! At first, the handle reminded me my grandfather’s WWII military trunk I’ve got sitting in my living room, waiting for someone to make a base with wheels for it.

    As for casting votes, I’ve lived in Spain for 25 years, but I am not allowed to vote, so I don’t pay much mind to politics (and I minored in politics in college!). For some curious reason, however, I AM allowed to pay taxes. Mighty kind of them.

    • Jessica May 8, 2015 at 7:41 pm - Reply

      That doesn’t seem very fair. Although not very surprising.

  24. Brian Skeys May 7, 2015 at 7:19 pm - Reply

    I think the mice would vote for easy access bird food free at the point of use!

    • Jessica May 8, 2015 at 7:57 pm - Reply

      Times are hard, that’s the trouble. Austerity and all that..

  25. Joanna @edinburghgardendiary May 7, 2015 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    1) reduced tax on cheese
    2) deport all cats
    3) decriminalise chewing through things

    • Jessica May 8, 2015 at 8:00 pm - Reply

      Lol, great answer!
      Sadly 3) is a capital offence and always will be.

  26. AnnetteM May 7, 2015 at 8:51 pm - Reply

    Oops – I have just started keeping our bird food in the garage in a vintage plastic laundry bin. I guess that won’t do it then?

    • Jessica May 8, 2015 at 8:04 pm - Reply

      It depends. But you’re probably far enough away not to have to worry about the Devonian Supermouse.

  27. CJ May 7, 2015 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    They’re fantastic, what a brilliant (and timely) find. Mice would definitely be voting Green. Can I just say how extremely disappointed I am about the Russian armoured personnel carrier. I am almost certain you will both live to regret not snapping it up. Come the revolution you would have been unassailable. CJ xx

    • Jessica May 8, 2015 at 9:10 pm - Reply

      It’s the spare parts, that’s the problem. Getting them imported from Russia. And the shells.. where would I find those?

  28. Cathy May 7, 2015 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    You have some pretty determined critters where you live Jessica! My mum keeps her bird seed in small heavy-duty plastic rubbish bins outside the house with no problems. Her local mouse population is obviously more timid than yours. I missed the tank stuff … he does seem to have an eye for reclamation items and an enviable talent for lateral thinking!

    • Jessica May 8, 2015 at 9:15 pm - Reply

      You have not seen mice until you have encountered Devonian ones. They are seriously mean.
      I’m still worried about the tank. He keeps wanting to go back and see it..

  29. mattb325 May 7, 2015 at 10:02 pm - Reply

    That’s a great find – I doubt even the hungriest mice could get through that!

    • Jessica May 8, 2015 at 9:17 pm - Reply

      And if they try they will render themselves incapable of eating on account of having no teeth left.

  30. How interesting and how appropriate for this election day!

    • Jessica May 8, 2015 at 9:18 pm - Reply

      I couldn’t believe it when Mike turned up with those. Timing is everything.

  31. Beth @ PlantPostings May 8, 2015 at 4:52 am - Reply

    Great title! I thought you were going to ask us to vote for something. πŸ˜‰ Happy election day! I hope the ballot boxes work to keep the naughty mice away.

    • Jessica May 8, 2015 at 9:27 pm - Reply

      So far so good… πŸ™‚

  32. Anne Wheaton May 8, 2015 at 8:00 am - Reply

    Hope the ballot boxes work. Our ballot boxes have changed to fabric ones with a zip at the top that is particularly difficult to post through a folded allot paper. I wish we had old fashioned “proper” boxes like yours.

    • Jessica May 8, 2015 at 9:33 pm - Reply

      I wish it was all done online and immediate so I didn’t have to wait up until four in the morning and still not get a result. Perhaps the security isn’t good enough yet. Maybe next time I will just wait for the exit poll, go to bed and then get up at four in the morning when the fun starts!

  33. Sigrun May 8, 2015 at 8:11 am - Reply

    And – what have you voted? I vote for Holidays in Britain!


    • Jessica May 8, 2015 at 9:34 pm - Reply

      I vote for a beautiful warm and sunny summer, with just enough rain (always at night) to save me from watering the plants πŸ™‚

  34. Sue@GLAllotments May 8, 2015 at 9:09 am - Reply

    Very topical – I guess mice would vote to ban cats and mouse traps and of course metal bird seed containers

    • Jessica May 8, 2015 at 9:47 pm - Reply

      We haven’t managed to defeat them yet. A victory for the good guys is long overdue.

  35. Jo May 8, 2015 at 11:22 am - Reply

    What a great find, it should do the job nicely, or micely!

    • Jessica May 8, 2015 at 9:48 pm - Reply

      Very micely (I hope)!

  36. Donna@Gardens Eye View May 8, 2015 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    You find the best stuff…these are wonderful…

    • Jessica May 8, 2015 at 9:49 pm - Reply

      I enjoy the thrill of the chase and salvage yards are great hunting grounds. Thanks Donna.

  37. SeagullSuzie May 8, 2015 at 6:24 pm - Reply

    A brilliant find. Free cheese and cats shut in at night….I should think and constant re-runs of Stuart Little.

    • Jessica May 8, 2015 at 10:06 pm - Reply

      I had to look up Stuart Little. They would enjoy that I think.
      Don’t forget owls.. πŸ˜‰

  38. Linda aka Crafty Gardener May 8, 2015 at 6:56 pm - Reply

    That was a great find and if you couldn’t have the Russian tank this is the next best thing. I’m sure it will do the trick at keeping the mice out of the seed.

    • Jessica May 8, 2015 at 10:08 pm - Reply

      It needs to Linda. With the number of mice the shed was becoming a public health hazard. But it’s had a good clean out now and is looking spick and span. At least we’ll know if the mice return.

  39. Em May 8, 2015 at 7:15 pm - Reply

    Definitely green! x

    • Jessica May 8, 2015 at 10:10 pm - Reply

      Or Monster Raving Loony Party..

  40. Chloris May 8, 2015 at 7:50 pm - Reply

    Amazing what you find. They are great, just the thing to thwart the mice. I hope they have taken Mike’ s mind off the tank.

    • Jessica May 8, 2015 at 10:11 pm - Reply

      Not entirely. I just hope he has purchased enough wood and doesn’t need to go back again..

  41. threadspider May 8, 2015 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    What a brilliant find! I wonder if all the missing votes for the Lib Dems are in there?

    • Jessica May 8, 2015 at 10:13 pm - Reply

      Could be… do you think they would make it worth my while to go and look?

      • threadspider May 10, 2015 at 9:05 pm - Reply

        Without a doubt!

        • Jessica May 11, 2015 at 11:22 am - Reply

          Please Mr Returning Officer, I did have more votes but the mice ate them..

  42. Anna May 8, 2015 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    Oh what a prefect find Jessica but I imagine that the mice are not as happy about it as you and Mike are πŸ™‚ Watch out that they don’t treat themselves to a Russian tank to take their revenge.

    • Jessica May 8, 2015 at 10:16 pm - Reply

      They couldn’t, could they? No, they wouldn’t be able to reach the pedals. πŸ˜‰

      • Annie Cholewa May 11, 2015 at 10:44 am - Reply

        You’ve clearly never read Terry Pratchett’s ‘Truckers’!

        • Jessica May 11, 2015 at 11:43 am - Reply

          (consults google..)
          It sounds like a cross between ‘Are You Being Served’ and ‘Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’. Imagine that.
          I should have known about the truck driving dodge though. Being petite myself, when I learned to drive I had to sit on a cushion to see over the steering wheel and have blocks of wood on the pedals. Thank goodness modern cars have a bit more flexibility!

  43. I remember the problem I had (when I owned chickens) with mice getting into the chicken feed. Once I lifted the chicken feeder to find a family of nesting mice, complete with pink babies, underneath. The chickens made quick work of the mouse family. I could have used these. I wonder how many mice it takes to run a Russian tank?

    • Jessica May 11, 2015 at 11:24 am - Reply

      However many it takes, I believe we have enough.

  44. Cathy May 9, 2015 at 6:37 pm - Reply

    Having done polling duty every year bar two since 1977 I have to say you are very welcome to your bird food boxes – the new plastic ones are a vast improvement on these cumbersome monstrosities! Great buys for you though – and well done for thinking ‘out’ of the box!

    • Jessica May 11, 2015 at 11:26 am - Reply

      Quite a master stroke on the part of the salvage yard owner as well. I wonder how many he sold last week?

  45. Janet/Plantaliscious May 10, 2015 at 6:29 am - Reply

    What an excellent find! I an think of a few ballot papers I wish the mice had got to…

    • Jessica May 11, 2015 at 11:28 am - Reply


  46. Chel @ Sweetbriar Dreams May 10, 2015 at 7:54 am - Reply

    Fantastic find! Now, time to see who they voted for!

    • Jessica May 11, 2015 at 11:13 am - Reply

      The Mouse Nationalist Party, a landslide victory.

  47. debsgarden May 10, 2015 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    I love it! Re-purposing at its best. The mice would vote to do away with the ballot box and go to on-line voting.

    • Jessica May 11, 2015 at 11:20 am - Reply

      I hope these two boxes will last the distance then. Perhaps we’d better get another one while the going is good.

  48. Annie Cholewa May 11, 2015 at 10:43 am - Reply

    Having spent the last ten minutes trying to think of somethink clever to say about demicecracy I give up … daft anyway as I’m sure their’s is a one party politics centred on cheese.

    • Jessica May 11, 2015 at 11:30 am - Reply

      Cheese and world domination. Sadly, they may be making some ground on the latter.

  49. Alberto May 11, 2015 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    I guess your mice would certainly vote for plastic again!!! They can’t stand a chance against these metal boxes! They look great, it’s almost a pity not to use them as a coffe table or something like that after a good polished…

    • Jessica May 11, 2015 at 10:26 pm - Reply

      We are seriously tempted to go back and get a couple more..

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