Out Now!

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Mellow fruitfulness...and stuff

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.

I wish my recycling were as efficient. My downfall is what comes through the letterbox: those things you look at and think—‘Ummm, could be useful one day.’  They go behind the fruit bowl in the kitchen and by the end of the year they’re pushing bowl and fruit to the edge of the worktop.

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

                                  A five year old tube of 1% fat when I foolishly went on a diet.

Back to the window....and staring at leaves


Maria Zannini said...

Ha! You remind me of Greg. Only his fetish is for hardware and electronics that he hoards for that one day when he'll need them.

What usually happens is that he forgets where he put it and the day he needs it, we either spend hours looking for it or we have to buy a new one. Drives me insane!

I used to be the same way about mail, magazines, and books. Our last move cured me of hoarding books. 40+ boxes! Never again. I donated most of them. (Wish I had done that BEFORE I moved.)

I've become far better at trashing paper mail, though it insidiously keeps growing in my email box.

Mike Keyton said...

...his fetish is for hardware and electronics that he hoards for that one day when he'll need them. Hmm, perhaps I'll keep that pepper pot for when you come visit —allow Greg to have a quick fumble of the pepper pot. If anyone can fix it, I bet he can :) But I promise you a paper free fruit bowl

Maria Zannini said...

Don't you dare! You throw out that pepper pot right now and buy a new one. I'm surprised Bernadette has let you keep it this long.