I know, I know, the usual saying is the other way round, ‘The calm before the storm’ but on Monday the day here started beautifully and ended up the opposite. Brilliant sunshine, slight winds for the first half of the day turned later to cooler and a wetter time. It was forecast to pass during the night with a return to brighter though brisker weather to follow for a few days. Well it is the UK! For a short time I sat out on the patio with a book and a cup of coffee but after a while I could hear the sound of an alarm of the type usually fitted to large vehicles to sound when the vehicle is reversing. It sounded as if a large vehicle was slowly reversing down the long cul-de-sac located at the top of our road. It was Monday so it was more than likely the green waste collection crew. I had placed our two wheelie bins out into the road on Sunday evening but I decided to check to see if there was any more green waste I could dispose of before they were emptied. I did find something and I placed it in the bin. I waited for the vehicle to draw up near to the house as by this time they weren’t far off. I collected the empty bins, placing one of them in the rear garden and leaving one in the front. A couple of days ago I mentioned something in my post about the possibility of covering the exposed soil in the two flowerbeds in the front garden with wood chippings. We had a couple of large bags of chippings in the garage and a couple of smaller bags filled with the chippings produced by ourselves a few months ago when I had pruned back two of the apple trees in the rear garden. I thought I might as well get the job done whilst the weather was fine and whilst I had the spare time but before I did that I folded up and placed in the recyclable waste bins some of the large cardboard boxes that we couldn’t fit into the bins when they were last emptied. I then began speading the wood chippings and bark in the flowerbeds. It didn’t take me too long though I had barely enough to do the two beds. I think I will have to buy another small bag of the chippings to finish it but at least everywhere was covered. By the time I had finished the weather had already turned dull and overcast, ready for the heavy rain to follow later.
I woke up well enough but as the day wore on I became more and more listless and tired. It was Thursday and as I had nothing scheduled except for one job and that was to simply install a replacement oven for someone. I had to wait for the call to let me know the oven had been delivered so I thought I could simply rest at home for a while. I got the call late morning and was back home for lunch. E in the meantime had gone out shopping. Later in the afternoon I got another call and went to do that work. By the time I had returned home I was feeling really tired indeed but it wasn’t the work, it was I thought a cold judging by the way I was feeling. I needed rejuvenating!
(The Rejuvenation Cure, 1525, (1949). A print from 1525 showing the oven which transformed women into beautiful young girls. From A Smile Among Friends. [Alb. Cammermeyers Forlag, Norway, 1949] Artist: Unknown)
The weather hadn’t helped for it had been wet and dull most of the day and it was cold. The calls kept coming in the evening though most of them I rejected. It meant though that I had work on Friday morning and I was hoping I would be feeling better by then. I had to arise early anyway as we were expecting the delivery of a new mattress for the small bedroom any time after seven o’clock (it arrived at ten) and Friday is the day for waste collection so the bins had to be taken out. We don’t leave the bins out all night because of others disposing their rubbish in them. That I don’t mind but when they put the wrong waste in them, that I don’t like. There has been a spate of fly tipping over the last couple of months at the top end of our road and our local council don’t appear to have made an effort to catch the people responsible. We have had indiscriminate waste disposal in our own bins once or twice. I don’t mind getting up early to put the bins out and some weeks we don’t put any bins out because there is little in them. Anyway the weekend beckoned and I was hoping things would get better. It did.
After a quiet weekend at home I was expecting to receive requests for my electrical services on Monday but no-one had called. That meant I would be at home on Monday looking for something to do. Our local council issued a new waste collection rota a few weeks ago and Monday was set to be the fortnightly day on which green waste was collected. We have two wheelie bins for this service. Normally only one is given per household but another can be requested for those who may have more green waste than most. We don’t usually have to put out two for emptying except at the height of summer or in autumn when there is a lot of leaves to sweep up so at this time of year it is unusual to have to put out two bins. Nevertheless we had two of them filled with garden waste so they needed to be out in the street to be emptied. I do that first thing in the morning but I had forgotten to do it this time. However, I did remember at around ten o’clock and as the crew hadn’t yet turned up to empty the bins I still had time to put them out. One of them was already in the front garden and the other was out in the rear garden. Both were full. I had to take the bin through the garage in which I park my van for it has a ramp and is the easiest way anyway. I grabbed the remote control for the automatic door and the key for the rear door of the garage but having got inside the garage with the bin I found the automatic door wouldn’t open. I tried the spare control but it made no difference. I returned into the boiler room which is the normal access to the house from the rear garden and I saw that the RCD unit in the panel supplying the external power outlets and lights on the side of the garden behind the garage had tripped. As the garage circuits are fed from this same panel too it meant there was no power in the garage to supply the automatic door. Of course it needed investigating immediately at the very least to enable me to drive the van should I need to. I grabbed my tools from the van and removed the cover on the panel and separated the garage supply from that supplying the outside power units and was able to temporarily reinstate power to the garage. I could now open the door and take out the bins. Fortunately the crew had still not arrived to empty them. I returned to the rear garden and began to remove the covers to the power outlet boxes and found water had managed to get inside one of them. This is what had caused the RCD to trip and remove power to the garage in the process. It was very cold in the garden and by this time I had donned my coat for the half-hour or so it took me to replace a faulty socket and do some remedial work to the boxes. Isn’t it funny that you only feel how cold you are when you return indoors? Going to sit on your backside? Oh no you’re not…….Oh and did the bins get emptied? Well actually no. Most of the residents in the street, like myself, forgot the first day for collection of green waste is scheduled for 2nd March!