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Out with Old, in with the New

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We’ve just had Council General Clean-Up Day for our street, a biannual event where the council garbos will pick up anything (within reason) that you put out outside your house. It is, in fact, a glorious excuse for a massive clear out, though obviously this has to be done with sensitivity with regard to cherished family possessions. I now have a large biscuit jar with particularly attractive black and white cow markings sitting on my hall table, as having been caught with it en route to the giant pile outside the gate, I attempted to feign innocence by pretending that I was merely moving it to a more prominent position where it could be admired by visitors as they step inside the house.


The best thing about clear-out day, though, is that it offers wonderful trash and treasure opportunities to shoot up the road and pick through all the neighbors’ offerings. As most of their standards of housekeeping and interior decoration are far higher than mine, I happily covet their castoffs, and so far this week I’ve gained a very nice large basket but was beaten to a useful little table by a lady who had sensibly come trailing a trolley to carry off her spoils.  


There is a strange sense of pride at having one’s ex-possessions vanish, though I remain puzzled by the person who wanted one of a pair of mirrored cabinet doors, attractively mottled round the edges. Sadly, the Ikea lampshade was not so successful on the re-homing front and sat like a rejected bridesmaid outside the gate until the garbage truck arrived.


This has been the week of back-to-school information nights. The Oscar for most entertaining evening goes to the primary school one—though in fairness, the standard of this year’s entries was not particularly high. The highlight of the evening was a question about, and subsequent discussion of, the sex education program for the eleven- and twelve-year-olds. No wonder the school get experts in to do the program as based on the level of hysterical giggles from the parents, talking about sex in front of sixth graders must be a toe-curling ordeal. The mirth rose to a crescendo when one of the teachers declared she wasn’t going to go into the “ins and outs” of sex education, which raised the whole thing to the level of “as the actress said to the bishop” style jokes. A heated discussion about girls’ uniform was needed to get the evening back on a suitably serious track.


The prize this week for reducing me to speechless choking noises goes to Drama Queen No.2, who sent me a text mid-afternoon that read, “Having a drink with Izzy, may be late back.” My first reaction was what it is to be a thirteen-year-old chip off the paternal block. However, to stall a flood of outraged emails from my close relatives regarding teenagers imbibing alcohol, I should clarify the drink in question was an innocuous milk shake.

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