Tag Archives: Poetic Asides

What A Load Of Rubbish

10 Dec
Trash bins in Regensburg

Image via Wikipedia

I’m as big a fan of recycling as the next man; bigger, if anything: I’ve been doing it since before it was either fashionable or compulsory; but I’m ready to give it all up and dump the contents of my three un-emptied wheelie bins on Stockport town hall’s doorstep.  I’m sure it would be four un-emptied wheelie bins if I had put the last one out with the others.

I have a green bin for garden and food waste; a blue bin for paper; a brown bin for glass, tins, certain plastics; and a smaller black bin for non-recyclables – the black bin is woefully inadequate for anyone’s needs and likely to stay that way until manufacturers are pressured into reducing packaging but that doesn’t excuse the town hall for getting it so badly wrong: they should either have given us all larger black bins, or emptied them weekly instead of whenever the mood take them.

I don’t often get enraged – war?  Seen it all before.  Starving children?  Pass me my gourmet meal and tell them to eat their sticks and stop whining.  But dare to ignore my bins on collection day and I swell to three times my not inconsiderable size and blister the skin of any local government official within a twenty-mile radius.

Here’s what happened:

Tuesday 30/11/10 – Midnight*

* You have to do it the night before because you can bet if it’s a minute past seven in the morning of collection day their little radar detects it and uses it as an excuse to ignore you for a month; but you can’t do it early evening because they’ll fine you for cluttering the pavement    

  • Put out full green, brown, blue bins – ensuring they are placed at the edge of the property, lids fully closed, not blocking public access but visible to blind refuse truck driver, before seven a.m.
  • Snow

Wednesday 01/12/10

  • Binmen ignore blue and brown bins on 300 Stockport streets because of ‘bad weather’ yet, somehow, the green bin truck gets through

Thursday  02/12/10 – Lunchtime

  • Bring in empty green bin, full blue, brown bins
  • Stamp feet in frustration
  • Chat to neighbour, discover neighbour’s daughter-in-law’s contact at town hall has told daughter-in-law who told neighbour who tells you that blue bin will only be emptied on 29 DECEMBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Once breath returns to body, get on phone to council
  • Told by very nice Ros who lets you shout at her until you calm down that you will be collected next Wednesday.  Even though it’s a full week late, accept it as a gift because you won’t have to face a Christmas garden piled high to the top of your six foot fence with detritus

Tuesday 07/12/10 – Midnight

  • Put out full black, brown, blue bins – ensuring they are placed at the edge of the property, lids fully closed, not blocking public access but visible to blind refuse truck driver, before seven a.m.

Wednesday 08/12/10

  • Watch truck sail past with the contents of every black bin on your street – except, of course, yours
  • Yodel on phone to very nice Bev until reassurances are given that full black bin will definitely be collected next Wednesday and blue and brown bins should still be collected that day because you are on the roster and they work until seven at night
  • Bring in full black bin

Thursday  09/12/10 – Lunchtime

  • Bring in full brown, blue bins
  • Get on phone to make an official complaint – politely; you’re too exhausted by the whole process to care any more.  You’d top yourself but as the same people who run the refuse collection, run the cemeteries, you’re not sure how long your smelly body would be standing there bothering your poor grieving family.  Although, as you are the only person who can be bothered to put out the rubbish and even when you do it ends up piled six feet deep in your garden due to non-collection, they might not find you until you begin to stink like your own cooking anyway.
  • Get caught short
  • Hear answer phone message as you are on the loo, telling you brightly that your blue bin will be collected on Saturday (as announced in this week’s Stockport Express – remember those 300 streets?); your brown bin will be collected on next brown bin collection date; and what’s a black bin?
  • Give up

The only good thing to come out of this sorry mess – although ‘good’ is a relative term – is that I got a short poem out of it.  The Poetic Asides prompt was to write about a group of anything:


A Garbage Of Refuse* Collectors

The binmen of Stockport?
They’re rubbish.


*Feel free to pronounce ‘ref-use’ as ‘re-fuse’; I won’t be offended.


There is a poem about rubbish people of a different kind on my sapoem blog.


I saw this on ribshackred‘s blog and I thought you might like it:

What’s In A Name?

1 Dec
Screenshot of Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed in ...

Image via Wikipedia

To celebrate the 1st of December, I watched It’s A Wonderful Life again last night.  It’s a wonderful film and the ending still chokes me up; I love it. 

For the first time, I noticed something about the names in the film, one of those tricks of the brain.  There’s nothing scientific about this; it’s just a bit of fun.

  • The cop is called Bert and the cab driver is Ernie.  Bert & Ernie are Muppets who live on Sesame Street.
  • Ernie’s full name is Ernie Bishop.  Ernie Bishop was a character on Coronation Street.  He was gunned down.  It’s the first television murder I remember seeing (they say you never forget your first) (actually, they don’t say that; I just put it in to be funny) (did it work?).
  • There is a bar called Martini’s.  Martini is a drink served in a bar.
  • The young brothers are called George and Harry Bailey.  My Dad’s name was George Harry.  Sadly, his surname wasn’t Bailey.  I did know a Julie Bailey once, if that helps; and there’s a Doctor Bailey on Grey’s Anatomy.  I feel like I know her*.
  • The uncle is William Bailey, or Uncle Billy.  Bill Bailey.  I feel a song coming on.  Sung by a long-haired British comedian, a trilogy by Catherine Cookson, and a scene from The West Wing when the character Will Bailey is hazed by the staff.
  • The villian, Potter, is told he will have a Potter’s field somedayPotter’s Field is associated with the death of Judas Iscariot.
  • Potter’s full name is Henry F. Potter.  ‘Harry’ is a nickname for ‘Henry’ so he is the first fictional Harry Potter.  The latest Harry Potter film is out and I haven’t seen it yet and that puts me in a very bad mood so the first Harry Potter and I have something in common.


This was taken last year; it was thicker than that last night

Last night we finally had a taste of what the country’s been moaning about.  After the film I looked out of the window and the snow was falling thick and fast, like the million clichés in this blog.  It lay untouched on the ground, so I grabbed the Hub and the dogs – having first thrown my long winter coat over my long winter dressing gown, my long winter pyjamas, my long winter socks and my long winter long johns – and we went for an almost-midnight walk.  I adore walking in night snow; it’s magical and muffled and a delicate orange**.


I had been stumped for my final poem for the Poetic Asides Poem A Day Challenge until then: write a lessons learned poem.  I’ll leave you to decide if this is based on bitter experience or imagination.


A Hard-Earned Lesson

Eat yellow
snow at
your peril





*Sad, isn’t it?

**Sad, aren’t I?


There is a new poem on my South Africa blog.

Poetic Asides Day 19

20 Nov

Prompt: write a poem with a hole in it. I did that, then decided to take all the holes out.


The Bullet Bites Back

There’s a hle in the wrld
where the peace shuld be;
where the guns and the knives
and the bmbs decree
that the wrds and the deeds
f hate flw free –
s we kill fr peace.
Such irny.

PAD Day 9

10 Nov

I’m only posting this here because the formatting doesn’t work on Poetic Asides; there’s a real post coming along in a bit.


The Dichotomy of the Modern Working Life

Never slow down.

…………………………………………..Slow down.

Get rich.
Get famous.
Get everything.

…………………………………………..Success sucks.

…………………………………………..Stroke. Stroke. Stroke.

…………………………………………..Rest. Recover. Recuperate.



Rejoice in the life
of the dear
departed drone.




A Poem A Day Keeps The Viewers Away

2 Nov

I’m taking part in the Poetic Asides November Poem A Day Challenge. We can post our poems on the site so I’m not inflicting them on my non-poeting readers. However, I just wrote this one and I’m so pleased with it I wanted to share it with you.

The prompt was ready to start or not ready. A monostich is a one-line poem.


Monostich For The Selfish Lover

Ready or not, here I come…



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