28 Mar 2010

In which I realise that not everyone appreciates a Hestia in their neighbourhood.

I’m a great believer in taking personal responsibility for changing stuff that annoys you.  I would like to think that it is a sign of being fully civilised, but I suspect that it might have something to do with the swiftly approaching menopause.

The little wooded area next to my home is permanently full of rubbish, so once a quarter I get my wellies on and stuff my pockets with bin bags and I clean it up myself.

Something that has been annoying me recently are my neighbours' bins.

There are 10 of them from the Housing Association flats over the road and they are supposed to be put back behind the building after the binmen have emptied them, but only two people do this.  The rest leave their bins out by the pavement.

This has become a problem.

In a moderate wind, the bins are blown over and have even blown on to the road.  Other times, kids (or passing drunken teenagers) cannot resist the lure of human-sized green skittles and send them bowling over onto the grass.

As a result, the contents blow up and down the road.

This gets, frankly, right on my nerves.

This morning, I saw that they had all been knocked over last night.  I watched a young woman pick her way round them on her way into the flats.  I watched a man cart buckets past them to wash his car.

So, I did what any menopausal woman would do: I got my jacket on and moved them myself.

I soon started to feel very vulnerable.  Who the f*ck am I to be telling people what to do with their bins?!  There's more than just me in the street? Why is it always ME?!

Still, I reasoned, I’m doing everyone a favour by putting them back where they belong.

The young woman re-emerged from the flats:

Her: What the f*ck are you doing with my bin?

Me:  (nearly shitting myself with fear) I’m just putting it away for you, is that ok?

Her: Ahm gonnie get the polis onto you – that’s no your bin!

Me:  Look, I’m very sorry to have upset you…..

Her:  That’s my f*cking bin!

Me: (getting somewhat pissed off)  Do you want me to put it back where I got it?

Her:  Aye, ah dae.

I then re-trundled her bin back out to the grass and carefully tipped it over on it’s side and patiently removed the glass bottles that I’d put in it, artfully laying them on the grass in a rough approximation of how I’d found them.

Her:  (nothing)

Me:  (genuinely remorseful) Really sorry to have upset you.

(Exit stage left)

Came home.  Poured self a massive gin and tonic.  I broke Lent with only a week to go, but I like to think God will understand the mitigating circumstances.  Anyway, He’s got his hand’s full with child-abusing priests in Canada just now.

I have just sent an e-mail to my local Councillor (who lives further up the hill) to warn her that she might receive complaints about a mad woman who moved all the fallen bins off the street this morning…..and then put one back.

Sometimes I don’t understand the world.  Most  of those times I’m glad I don’t.

(Note:  the car just in shot has had it's driver's side window put in last night too - were the incidents done at the same time?  BTW - they had still not cleaned up the broken glass by 1pm today, but had moved the car twice - I really have turned into a Grumpy Old Woman.....)


  1. Hi Alison,

    LOL well there's no pleasing some people :)

  2. Annoying, but very funny reading. Grumpy Old Woman: me too!

  3. It's now half seven in the evening and the glass from the broken window is STILL scattered all over the pavement and kerb.

    What about dogs' paws? What about other people's tyres?

    Douglas, as you suggested on Twitter, I might nick out under cover of darkness and just bloody sweep the stuff away in manner of ninja warrior.

    Ali x

  4. Oh dear! You poor thing... though I can't help but wonder how the whole scene might have played out if you'd turned all Bruce Willis on her ass and told her to shut the f*ck up, told her to move her bin off the pavement or she might find herself living in it.

    ...and breathe... sorry, got carried away in a fit of sympathy mixed with artistic Hollywood licence...

    Or, *cue music from Mission Impossible* how bout instead of meeting for lunch, I'll just come over to yours, we'll wait for it to go dark, dress like ninjas and take that bad-ass biatch's bin out (or away :~))

  5. I can laugh about it now, but at the time I was really flustered. I do a lot of swearing myself, but usually for effect, never actually AT someone!

    Re the broken glass from the car side window. The *Council* clean up cart (like a little golf trolly with sweepers) came along today and cleared it up. He even got out with his little dust pan and brush and swept it up.

    Am quite bemused by the fact that the car owner never felt the need to clear up though!

    Ali x

  6. What you need now is a dozen cats and a good line in gibbering, then you can do anything you like and nobody will bother you :D

  7. The local kids already think I'm a bit mad, which is fine because I think most of them are destined for borstal.

    Contemplated a cat - purely so that it will go and poop in other people's gardens. Is there anything more unpleasant than weeding your veg and getting......that unmistakable whiff of cat shit?

    I've got to garden with gloves now, the alternatives are too unspeakable to speak.

  8. It's foxes I have trouble with. Used to blame the local cats, but it turned out it was foxes all the time. Their doings really smell bad and they are indiscriminate about when they go, so usually on the lawn :(

  9. The island has foxes now. Some ejit thought it would be a good idea to set a couple free here (not indigenous to here and against Wildlife Relocation bill or something).

    Farmers are shooting them, but they breed like rabbits. Poor choice of simile, but you know what I mean.

    The foxes have really made inroads to a lot of wild animals here - as well as the smaller farmyard animals. Actually, pets have been taken as well. But we won't go into that in case Blair is reading this at some point.

  10. The people actually in my close are very good. We kind of work on the basis that whoever is down first after the bin man has been puts the bins back.

    However, there are wee delinquents who leave all of their lunch rubbish in the close. I go out and shout at them if they leave stuff now. I think they are actually afraid of me!

    You should get a cat to poo everywhere!


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