ZELLA COMPTON: Dumping grass cuttings in a daring two-piece
I don't want to call myself a nosy neighbour, and I try very hard not to be, but who isn't interested in the comings and goings of their street?
I’m always taken by the smaller things, like who’s parking where (as with many roads, in our street parking is at a premium), who’s extending or building afresh and which bin day it is?
Yes, every Friday morning I cast an eye up the road to check out what’s occurring, safe in the knowledge that everyone else remembers whether it’s main rubbish or recycling, which means I don’t have to. I only have to look.
Imagine my surprise then, to see that several people had brown bins out. I have two colours, green and black. What was going on? As I walked my dog later I stopped by a brown bin to have a read of its sticker, and to discover, to my great joy, that they’re garden recycling bins.
For grass cuttings, and plant snippings. Hooray. Life offers simple pleasures.
I don’t mind a trip to the skip with garden leftovers, but I never quite mobilise myself to get there in time with my detritus. I leave it a couple of days, and then it rains, and before you know it, I’m taking swamps to the skip. With, probably, a crocodile and an alligator festering in the bottom of the bucket.
And always, some slop spills in my car, along with a few spiders, probably a slug, and definitely the stench of composting materials.
One quick phone call later, via Gosport council and I’m now patiently awaiting the delivery of my new brown bin. There are downsides. This is a collection that I have to pay for, but at £50 for the gardening season, I’m not complaining. If I work out my hourly rate, and apply that to the skip run drive, wait, park (that takes a while, those gaps are skinny and I am not) and return home, I think that £50 is more than a fair price. Plus, I don’t have to pretend that I’m not squeamish about lugging buckets of swamp around.
And bonus, it’s perfectly all right to shove clippings in your bin in a bikini – perhaps not the best look for the skip.
INITIATING MY YOUNGEST INTO THE WORLD OF GIG-GOING
As my children get older it becomes easier to return to the things I used to like doing, if I can remember what they are – the ones outside the house.
Going to see bands was a particular favourite, not only at proper concerts in established venues, but also in pubs.
So it was with delight that I realised a friend’s husband’s band was playing in Gosport.
It’s a long time since I’ve been to a sing-along, and it was great, even taking my youngest daughter to be initiated into the world of drunk-gig-chat (learning the art of smiling and nodding when well lubricated strangers express something happily in a slurring voice).
A blend of soul and blues with a whisper of Billy Idol. Lost Star Soul are lots of fun.
THE BLUEBELL HUNT IS WORTH THE MUD
It’s that time of year when one of my favourite walks comes alive in glorious technicolour – with blue bells. It’s a fairly short walk along the banks of the Hamble, but it is high level concentration as the mud on the path takes some acrobatic manoeuvres to step over, around and eventually (without doubt) in.
The walk starts at Burridge (park next to the a play park, on Botley Road) and meanders to the Horse and Jockey which is, when we time it right, open for a beverage.
There’s a lot of up and downs, and roots, but you can let your dog run free through the mud and river and it’s glorious.
I reckon it’s about three miles in total. And though it’s great all year, now it’s superb.