Trip to the tip is just the ticket

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - OPINION - by Paul Francis

The calm­ing aura of the rub­bish tip ex­erted a strangely tran­quil­lis­ing in­flu­ence and I trudged home in an in­ex­pli­ca­ble good hu­mour, which rapidly dis­ap­peared dur­ing Eng­land’s bat­ter­ing at the hands of Ire­land in the rugby

NOW there are peo­ple whose sense of spir­i­tual well­be­ing can only be en­hanced by a lengthy yo­gic re­treat in some des­o­late moun­tain-top lo­ca­tion but, per­son­ally, I find a trip to the lo­cal rub­bish tip a re­fresh­ing, and less com­pli­cated, men­tal pick-me-up. I sup­pose the psy­chol­o­gists would main­tain that it is some­thing to do with the sense of or­der that comes from a bout of de-clut­ter­ing your home and get­ting rid of stuff that has been gath­er­ing dust lan­guish­ing in cup­boards un­der the stairs or rot­ting in the gar­den be­cause it won’t fit into a black bin bag. It cer­tainly ap­peals to that male trait of need­ing to see some kind of in­stant re­sult from a long-over­due chore. My pil­grim­age at the week­end to seek nour­ish­ment for the soul and, at the same time, get rid of a rather grubby com­puter chair, a bro­ken lawn­mower and some in­ter­est­ing bags of gar­den waste that ap­peared to be spawn­ing new species of in­sects did, how­ever, be­gin rather badly. Get­ting all this stuff into my car took rather longer than ex­pected and I ended up ar­riv­ing only to find the gates be­ing pulled shut and an of­fi­cious man in a high­vis­i­bil­ity vest (but, sadly, no clip­board) tak­ing a rather sus­pi­cious plea­sure in telling me that as I had come six min­utes af­ter clos­ing time, I wouldn’t be let in.

Mean­ing­less

Per­son­ally, I put this zeal­ous ad­her­ence to the rules down to the fact that in­stead of rub­bish tips, we now have “civic amenity sites,” an en­tirely mean­ing­less bu­reau­cratic ti­tle. When did you ever hear any­one say: “Good­ness, we must get rid of those civic ameni­ties in the gar­den?” In other cir­cum­stances, I might have em­barked on a lengthy rant about coun­cil bu­reau­cracy. But the calm­ing aura of the rub­bish tip ex­erted a strangely tran­quil­lis­ing in­flu­ence and I trudged home in an in­ex­pli­ca­ble good hu­mour, which rapidly dis­ap­peared dur­ing Eng­land’s bat­ter­ing at the hands of Ire­land in the rugby. On Sun­day, with the car en­veloped in a pun­gent aroma of rot­ting plant cut­tings, I re­turned well be­fore clos­ing time for my cathar­tic spring clean. I’m not sure why clam­ber­ing up steps to throw stuff into mas­sive skips is such a grat­i­fy­ing ex­pe­ri­ence whereas putting the weekly rub­bish out is a chore. Per­haps it is bet­ter that it re­mains an un­ex­plained phe­nom­e­non; if we knew why, it would prob­a­bly lose its ap­peal. But if you’re feel­ing a bit down, a trip to the tip is guar­an­teed to put a spring in your step. Just make sure you know what time it closes.

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