By your rubbish, shall you be known

It’s not rubbish, it’s pre-loved

It’s a fascinating weekend in our neighbourhood — the weekend before the council does its once a year pick up of large household rubbish. At this time of year you can put pretty much any thing on the side of the road and the council will pick it up… that is if your neighbours don’t get to it first.

The entire weekend is a marvel of sophisticated social interactions. In fact, I’ve come to the conclusion this isn’t really a council service, it’s more of a council-sponsored swap shop. So this weekend I have contributed to my neighbours’ happiness by donating several large pots and a concrete mini temple (all left over from the previous inhabitants) that I truly despised but someone else was clearly prepared to love. I’ve also helped the bottom line of quite a few tradies who picked up the spare wood and tiles left over from very old rennovations.

And it definitely makes the morning run, or in my case, extremely slow jog, much more interesting. I now know that one of my neighbours has moved up a notch with the cycling, judging by the large cardboard box that his expensive bike came in. I think he’s also finding it pretty hard given that the other large box was for a massage table. Similarly, I can tell you everyone who has recently upgraded their barbecues (we’re in Australia, so that’s a lot!), and who has redone their kids room. I love the idea that there is almost a ritual clean out — when you can get rid of all those things you bought in a fit of enthusiasm.

Mind you, it’s a dangerous weekend to be away. My husband, who my son recently noted perceptively would be happy in a cave provided that it had red wine and wifi, tends to become very keen on disposing of as much as possible. Last year we threw out an unloved leather furniture suite (which almost triggered a fight between rival scavengers — the ones who got it were those who simply left one of their number to sit on it until a big enough truck could be found) but also a few things that I actually quite liked. But a year on, somehow I don’t miss them. So roll on the next clear out. Wonder if the massage table will be up for swapping next year?