Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Almost down in the dumps

Wednesdays are always an anticlimax here, but it's worse today because I've caught a cold. This is what happens when you mix with the hoi-palloi! So why are Wednesdays such a let-down? Because the highlight of the week, bin-emptying, happens on a Tuesday in these parts. I've been surprised to hear that in other part of the country this has not developed into the passion shown it in Cambridge. The activities begin the night before when you can hear every resident carefully aligning a large bin and the correctly coloured associated plastic container on the pavement. (Failure to do this can result in non-emptying!). We used to do this on Tuesday morning, but now we've been told we must have both bins ready for inspection at 7.00 am....even if they are not emptied until three in the afternoon. At around 5.30 pm on Tuesday you can hear everyone in the street, having returned from a hard day's work, collecting their bins, rolling them back to wherever they belong, and blessing the day when all these new regulations came into place. These collection activities can be most exciting if it has been a windy day. I once found my plastic container two streets away, and most of its contents (very light, empty plastic bottles), scattered haphazardly in neighbours' front gardens. This week's bin activities were more exciting than ever, as I noticed last week that my green bin was smelling something awful. I went out to clean it, and was just about to do so, when my neighbour warned me off. Several short people like myself, she said, had tried to clean their own bins, fallen in head first, being rescued only on their way to the dump! As luck would have it, I found an ad for a bin-cleaning service attached to the bin yesterday, so now I have signed up for a monthly, professional clean. I must say the errr...newcomers to the area round here are really finding those niche markets...

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