Someone quite close to me who shall be nameless, but she knows who she is so she’d better watch her step 😉 was poking fun at me yesterday about boys and their toys and how I wax lyrical in My Trike about my trailers. Well, the smaller one came into its own today, brushing off the way I’ve sadly neglected it for the last year or so to the point that when Fabian and I had to move it when he was putting the stone down around my house, we found that I’d left it to stand with one of its tyres completely flat.
While it’s been standing there for well over 12 months I’ve been gradually adding more and more rubbish to it until the time came, several weeks ago actually, when a trip to the ‘déchetterie’ was unavoidable. Today was that day.
Just about everyone in France, rural France anyway, has a trailer (or two). One of the reasons, possibly the main one, is that there’s no rubbish collection service here. In the UK everyone moans about how the weekly collection has now slipped to being either fortnightly or longer, but here there’s no collection service at all. You have to take your small items yourself to the ‘poubelles’, which for us are only a few hundred metres down the road, but if you live in a sparsely populated area, can be a couple of kilometres or more from your house. And the larger items you have to take yourself to your local ‘déchetterie’, or waste recycling centre.
So that’s when a decent trailer really comes into its own, and if you also need to regularly pick up firewood, or sand, cement and other materials from the builders’ merchants if you’re working on your house or garden a lot, you can see that having a decent trailer is an absolute must. Regular readers will know that I’ve got two – a smaller two-wheeled one that can carry up to around 450kg and a larger four-wheeled one that can carry about twice as much and can also easily transport one of my ULMs with its wings off.
Today it was the turn of the smaller one and after lunch I trundled off with it to Rouffignac to dispose of its contents. There seems to be a difference in attitude between the waste operatives here and those in the UK. The latter appear to be almost overjoyed to see you, at least at my old local recycling centre, and their life is all about living and breathing domestic waste – quite literally on occasions from the pongs that used to rise up from time to time where I used to take my rubbish.
But here it’s different. When you drive up they cast their eyes over it and lazily pull a few bits aside to see what’s underneath and give the definite impression that they’re thinking, ‘Hmmm…. load of old rubbish this, don’t want that here’ and then make you think that they’re doing you a favour taking it off your hands.
That’s what happened again today. I was going to tip the whole lot off the trailer into the general waste bin but I was caught before I’d managed to. After the cursory inspection I was told that I had to put the few bits of dead briar on the top into the ‘green’ bin and the couple of soggy old cardboard boxes into the bin next to that. Next he found a few bits of wire mesh that I’d dug out of the ground and still had lumps of concrete attached to it and ‘my lord and master’ pointed behind him to the metal bin where I had to deposit it.
To his credit, the chap then began to give me a hand to unload the rest into the general waste bin – until the ants that had made a home in it began to get him. That was enough. He airily waved his hand and directed me to take the trailer out of the yard and around the back to deposit the remaining lumps of rock, broken concrete and sandy earth in the ‘beton’ bay, so that’s what I did.
So another job done. On the way back, I bought myself a raffia Panama sun hat in Rouffignac, so on balance, a successful day all round 🙂