It’s a funny thing; when you’re going through everything that you need to do and learn when you move to a new home, I imagine all of our lists are pretty similar:
- Set up utility suppliers; gas, water, electric, TV licence, or – Mr M’s priority – some sports channel supplier
- Get a parking permit (small diversion – there is so much blimming parking out here. I have a double driveway. A double driveway?! I used to live in a road that was so terrible for parking I actually contemplated buying a bike. Just kidding. However, a car that can drive onto other cars and sit on them…. or under them… is that a thing?)
- Learn the route into town/the train station/the school
- Get the phone numbers of the local taxi company/takeaway
- Switch doctors/dentists/beautician – strike the last one. You find a good beautician, you will travel hours just to keep using them
So, you move in.
You’ve sorted out all of the above and then some.
You know where your local is [US translation – your local pub/watering hole/place of calling on those three sunny days we have in the UK]
You plan on heading there straight after you’ve unpacked everything.
You unpack your boxes.
Heck, you even collapse all of the cardboard down.
You’re on fire!
And then you take all of the rubbish out to the bins, fill them all up until they’re overflowing – especially the black bin with the blue lid [US translation – the recycling bin] – and then you head to the pub.
The next day you’re leaving your house, loving life in your new home and you see your new neighbour. She casts a glance at all of the rubbish you now have piled up in your front garden and recoils in horror.
Slightly embarrassed, you do the whole ‘Oh. OH! Isn’t moving such a pain. Look at all of this rubbish you accrue? *insert posh word, make her think I’m not some scruffy chav* Still, all sorted now. Roll on bin day, hey? When are they?
Yesterday. And it was black-bin-blue-lid-bin this week.
And now you understand the horror face
Bin collection – the silent killer of new-house-smug-feelings. The thing everyone forgets about, but at that time when you’re counting down the days until your overflowing rubbish bins are taken away, it becomes the thing you are most painfully aware of. All that you see when you open your front door. All that you see when you get back home. All that you think about whilst you stir your coffee, staring at the growing pile with crazed eyes. You start trying to create as little rubbish as you can. If you could eat the wrapper of something, you would, just so that you can leave as little waste as possible. You start living on water just to stop the never-ending pile increasing.
To explain this situation to my US friends, in the UK we have two bins; black-bin-blue-lid-bin for recyclables, black bin for everything else. Oh. And a green bin. Which used to be for recyclables but now is for gardening stuff.
They get collected alternate weeks. On the same day of the week. For example, if your black-bin-blue-lid-bin gets collected on the Monday, the following Monday your black bin gets collected, and your black-bin-blue-lid-bin doesn’t get collected again until the Monday after that. And garden rubbish, who knows? I never did any gardening. But it was something random like the fifth Wednesday of every month.
For my UK friends – to explain why I need to explain this to my US friends, this is my weekly bin schedule. Weekly. As in, this happens EVERY week. Not alternate weeks:
- Tuesday; All normal rubbish
- Wednesday; All garden stuff
- Thursday; All recyclables
- Friday; All normal rubbish again. And on the first Friday of every month, they also take small electricals if you book it in first
The silent killer of new-house-smug-feelings is non-existent out here. I love it!
I can revel in my new house love all day long. I can drive off my double driveway in bliss, looking at the neat beauty of my rubbish bin area.
All is well with the world.
What about Christmas? Do the schedules change?