Today I have been talking rubbish.
“What's new?” I hear someone joking. At least I assume it is a joke; as regular
readers know I believe in hearing compliments even when none are meant and refusing to accept otherwise. That way lies contentment. The other path leads to disillusionment. Never let me be disillusioned. You'll be telling me there are no such creatures as
The reason I have been talking rubbish is that most of the lovely people living in my immediate neighbourhood have no idea when their rubbish
will be collected next. This is because our Council, in its Wheelie Bin Wisdom, operates a roll-on system whereby our Collection Day rolls on by a day after every Bank Holiday. At Christmas and at Easter, when we are fortunate enough to enjoy more than one
Bank Holiday, our refuse bins remain undisturbed for even longer.
You are protesting already that we have only had the one Bank Holiday recently, as in, last Monday.
But, you see, our bins were previously being emptied on a Friday morning but, on account of an intervening weekend, will not now be emptied until Monday morning. If you are feeling a little confused, then I could show you the helpful calendar pushed through
my letter box many months ago, and which I keep in the front of our desk diary. Along with the Birthday Card List, the receipts from the current week’s shopping (clipped together in a fridge magnet which I can't affix to my fridge as it happens to be
encased in a cupboard. The fridge, not the magnet, for heaven’s sake!) and any number of letters, fliers, advertisements and newspaper cuttings which might be helpful one day. Or, more likely, might not.
Wandering around the neighbourhood today, I came across any number of people pushing wheelie bins into place or dragging green sacks full of garden rubbish along their drive-ways. Many is the conversation I enjoyed walking
round the block. Some people had forgotten and put their bins out for Friday collection as before, resulting in Great Disappointment. Others were waiting to see what their neighbours were doing before deciding what to do with their rubbish / recycling / green
waste. Still more were comforting themselves - and me, in passing - that we have no more Bank Holidays until Christmas. Life on the Bin Front will be less confusing at least for a few months.
We are lucky, we agree, that we still have weekly refuse collections. Nor has anybody that I spoke to noticed our refuse collectors carrying out any Sneaky Snooping on the contents of our bins as some of the national newspapers are
warning us is happening across the nation. “Hopefully, they'll take it all!” says the green-fingered woman who is piling up no fewer than six bags of garden rubbish at the front of her house as I pass. I tell her, confidently, that I am sure they
Everyone has something to say about rubbish. It's one of those topics, like the weather, on which we all have an opinion. When I worked as a local newspaper
reporter, many years ago, I used to cover Parish Council Meetings - and rare was the meeting when the subject of rubbish did not make it onto the agenda. Along with that other favourite topic - dog fouling. Enough said.
I report back, as always, to Mr B who likes to hear about the State of the Neighbourhood when I return from wherever I've been. I do my best to make my account rather more interesting than the reality.
It's called journalistic licence, I believe. Mr B reminds me that when he was In Charge Of Our Bins he never, ever forgot a collection day on account of his judicious use of yellow post it notes stuck on the kitchen work-top proclaiming in capital letters:
“Put Rubbish Out.” Mr B has always been a man of few, carefully chosen, words.
“What’s your blog about today?” he asks me,
as I settle down in the armchair wth the Us-Pad at my fingertips. Rubbish, I tell him, truthfully.
“What’s new?” he sighs.