Autumn is nature's great clean-out, recycling gone mad, and it happens every year. As fast as I rake leaf-covered lawns, more leaves descend, and I end up with mounds of red and gold leaves. Within days they’ve turned brown, flecked in crimson and gold. A ratatouille of decay. A week or two later they’ll resemble giant horse droppings.
Still, very satisfying as you look out the window. Beneath those dormant piles are oceans of sludge teeming with microbes and bugs, worms and beetles, the occasional hedgehog, a smorgasbord for birds.
We are talking about leaflets from estate agents begging you to sell your home, business cards from several banks, Cancer Research Gift Aid labels, Church newsletters, Tree Surgeons. (There are a lot of trees in Osbaston). And lets not forget Take-Away Menus ranging from the Misbah, the Raduni, and Jewel Balti to a yet to try Thai Bistro.
There are leaflets selling Clay Core storage radiators – ‘the future of heating’, numerous small gardening businesses offering moss-free lawns, taxi cards, Blenheim Palace brochures, ‘Honest quotes’ from Ash Tree Electricals, others promising to satisfy all of my TV and Audio needs. Handymen at reasonable prices, gutter clearance.
I have glossy Internet Provider brochures, Old online supermarket orders, leaflets offering ‘Drive Maintainance and Patio Power Cleaning’. Buried in the pile are old gardening catalogues old postcards thought too good to throw away so instead lost in fruitbowl limbo, old credit cards used to scrape grease from the hob, unopened Home Insurance mail promising me theirs is the cheapest and best, an expensively produced holiday booklet from Citalia, kept for six Italian recipes that looked wonderful but never tried. The only things missing are charity brochures. They would fill an entire kitchen unless binned at once.
The whole thing is horribly expensive because I have to buy tons of fruit to hold the bowl in place. Without such ballast the bowl would teeter and plunge from the worktop.
There are just two more sad confessions:
A pepper pot that no longer works but which every so often I try to fix. That hides behind the knife block waiting for its yearly fumble