|pic from http://www.bentleybrushware.co.uk|
Well, the story continues....
The Council obviously got fed up sending out letters requesting that people put their bins back behind the flats and on Wednesday morning, a Council lorry appeared with three gleaming communal 'treasure chest' type bins, like this lovely thing, pictured left.
I could hardly conceal my delight as the troublesome wheelie bins were rattled up the tail-plate and on to the lorry and stout bins with BRAKES squatted at the pavement edge in their place.
At last! No longer would I be compelled to haul my sorry carcass out of bed during storm-ravaged nights to drag fallen and sometimes mortally injured wheelie bins off the road.
Pride, they do say, cometh before a fall and so it was that at midnight last night as I was about to get my jammies on (blame Facebook and Twitter) I took a look out at the dark, tempestuous night and saw....three big fat empty bins in the middle of the road.
Now, the streetlight right above them is on some weird Australian time switch and doesn't run at night, only during the day, so the road where the bins lay was in darkness. I bit the inside of my lip. I didn't want to go out in the storm - but could I ever forgive myself if someone had an accident because of the bins?
Soon I was out in the street, manhandling the first big bin onto its wheels. A car drew up and out got a member of the local constabulary. He basically took over the job of hauling the bins off the road and we waved a friendly goodnight to each other.
Today was as wild as I've ever seen it and, as sure as eggs is eggs, there was the familiar booming of a bin falling over. This time it was daylight and I felt sure that someone else would see the bin and go out to move it.
After an hour, I realised that cars were simply slowing down and going around the obstacle, so I pulled on my coat and boots AGAIN and sallied forth into the black and foul day.
Of course, I rewarded myself with a Green and Blacks hot chocolate when I got in, so I didn't feel too grumpy about it.....but later in the evening, when ALL the bins had blown into the road again (now dark) I was starting to get a bit fed up with it. OK I was entirely fed up with it. But not fed up enough to let someone have an accident.
So, out I went, my troubles further compounded by the fact that I couldn't get the brakes off one of them. A car approached from the top of the hill and slowed down. 'Thank goodness, a bit of help,' I thought to myself. Not a bit of it. The driver watched me trying to man-handle the bin into the upright position and then drove off as soon as there was a clear bit of road.
The grass was sodden and my Fuggs have no sole on them (shhhhh - fake Uggs, don't tell anyone) and I quickly found myself with a soaking, mucky freezing arse. But at least the bin was now against a fence.
Again I went out into the road - another car approached. Again the driver just let me practically puke my guts up heaving the bin upright on my own before driving on. Again I slipped and stumbled trying to get the bin off the pavement and on to the grass.
One bin remained on the road and by this time my temper was at a rolling boil. Reader, I gave that bin such a kicking before I got it up off the road...... I am truly a psychiatrist's dream patient ('Kicking bins, Mrs Hestia. Did your mother make you take the bin out as a child?')
Once the third bin was secured behind the hedge, I stormed straight into the house and found the number for the local station. But you can't phone down to the station these days, you now have to phone a big switchboard somewhere in Central Scotland.
'Good evening, Highlands and Island Police. How may I help you,' a nice smiley lady's voice.
'Could you put me through to The Island's police station, please?'
'Can you tell me what it's in relation to?'
'Erm, possible road traffic safety?'
'Are you reporting an accident?'
'No, I' reporting bins in the road.'
Silence. I am hoping that the silence is just because she's typing slowly. But I suspect not.
I then blurt out the whole story - lazy neighbours, bins, wind, arse-hole drivers who don't help, broken street lights....' Even to my ears I sound like Dot Cotton. Only madder.
The lady officer at the other end of the phone says that she can do nothing about the street light, have I reported it to the Council? Reader, what do you think? Do you think I've let a street light on Australia time go unreported to the Council? You iz correct.
'I'm just asking for the patrol tonight to take a look up the road every now and again and move the bins if they blow back onto the road. I've done it 3 times in 24 hours and I'm getting embarrassed doing it, you know?'
'What road is this on?' She has resumed typing and is taking me seriously. I tell her. 'Oh yes, she says, we know that one well.' I am hoping just from the number of times I have had to phone them, but am suspecting that it might be something to do with drunks, drugs, teenage arsonists and child neglect. Thankfully, none of which I have anything to do with. Maybe the drunk bit. Just once. And it wasn't me (nor Tertarus!)
I have dashed off another e-mail to the local councillor requesting the timer/sensor be fixed in the lamp.
I wearily climbed the stairs to bed with my Ottolenghi cookbook under my arm and caught sight of myself in the reflection of a glazed painting in the hall (I know, it makes it sound like I live in a stately home) and I stopped to look at myself. Why do I get myself involved in these things? Why doesn't anyone else step up and sometimes DO SOMETHING? It gets really tiring always having to try to do the right thing by people, all the time.
My reflection showed thatmy flirtation with nice clothes was currently over and I was back wearing a fleece and padded waistcoat (very Country Living), hair scraped back into a clip (very SAGA magazine), roots needing done, face like an Afghan hound chewing a wasp....... I examined my forehead. Just the usual 'character lines.' Not a trace of an 'Interfering Busybody' tattoo. Not yet.