Wow. Even when I say 'don't hold back' and to say whether you're coming back all people say is hi. I had exactly the same thing going on last time I had a blog - noone ever commented. I'd love to know why that is. Am I boring? Am I somehow intimidating? Is there some other reason that I can't think of? I'm not really expecting an answer to that question, but if anyone can tell me? Go for your life.
We have a recycling scheme, round here. It runs through both Newcastle and North Tyneside. Most items go into a black plastic box; tins, plastic bottles, glass, clothing. Not cardboard, which annoys me every time I throw cardboard away. Grass cuttings, plant waste (not food waste) go into a brown wheelie bin. They are both collected fortnightly on different days. The rest goes into a green-black wheelie bin; still collected weekly, although who knows for how long.
Since we moved here, we've had the black box stolen with varying degrees of regularity; it's very frustrating, especially since it takes at least six weeks to get a replacement. The first time I phoned up, they told me that people are going round after the recycling is collected and stealing the boxes to sell at car boot sales. Even as I was asking 'what?!' I was impressed at their nerve.
The last thievery was sometime in the autumn, maybe October. I phoned the council, reported it MIA and requested a new one. I put the recycling out in carrier bags, duly separated; I kind of forgot that we were waiting for a new box, after a while.
I don't know what reminded me that we'd been waiting far longer than usual. But a few weeks ago I phoned up again, asked where on earth my box was. They put me back on the list. I promptly forgot about the whole thing again.
Until last night. As I walked up the drive to the front door, I noticed a brand new sparkling clean black box behind the gate. About time, I thought.
I got into the house, kissed D. 'Did you see the recycling boxes?' he asked.
I nodded, wandered into the kitchen to put the kettle on before I really heard what he'd said. I stuck my head back into the lounge. 'Boxes?' I enquired.
'Go and have a look,' he suggested.
Intrigued, I went back outside. I saw the box behind the gate. Then I noticed what I'd completely missed the first time. Between our brown bin and our green-black bin that we have for everything else was a stack of four new black boxes.
I have no idea what we're going to do with four spare black boxes. It seems a bit miserable to just store them until the next time they're stolen, although it'll be nice not have have to phone the council the next four times a box is stolen. Any suggestions as to what we can use them for in the meantime gratefully accepted in the comments box. Modern art sculpture? Stepper for a new exercise routine? The more creative, the better....