annanotbob2's Diaryland Diary


What do you think of it so far? Rubbish

Yesterday was mainly shite, with a flurry of achievement at the end that I can't quite heave my brain round to recognising because it's clinging on to catastrophising (it's all awful, always has been, always will be, that kind of cheery tomfoolery). I did text the landlord about the broken tap, mirror and fences (with support from S), I did make it to acupuncture and to an allotment trustees meeting and to the kebab shop for a decent, salad-laden meal. So it wasn't a write-off, though it felt like it because I didn't get into town for the various camping essentials I'm fretting about forgetting (batteries for the air-bed inflator and a decent waterproof, for starters).

So I tried again today.

Not good.

Day five of a bin-men's strike. I knew this - we've discussed it and I've driven past evidence of it. I support the bin-men in their action - they're going without a week's pay, so they're not doing it for a laugh in these straightened times. The council are behaving like a bunch of Tory bastards when in fact they are Green bastards - trying to make these low-paid workers take a big wage cut whilst giving higher earners 1% rise. Admittedly with soaring inflation in the cost of food and other basics, 1% is effectively a cut, but the bin-men are expected to take an actual cut on an already skimpy wage, a wage that already has to be topped up with benefits. I knew the Greens were dodgy on everything but the environment from their canvassing leaflets - they haven't thought anything else through properly, it seems to me... Etc etc.

Anyway, I felt OK at first, walking out in the street. I mean, I go to Glasto and stay a day after ticket-holders have left, so I've seen piles of rubbish spread as far as the eye can see and not freaked out, but after a while, half a mile or so of this:

and this:

I gradually started to unravel. The sensible choice at this point would have been to go home, but having 'failed' yesterday I couldn't even contemplate failing again today, although of course I did, but not before crying my way round Milletts and god knows where else, interspersed with finding something solid to hold onto, shutting my eyes and doing breathing exercises, then freaking again etc etc before sitting on a low wall in the town centre to 'steel myself' and realising it couldn't be done and that I needed someone else to tell me that it/I was OK. So I called S and asked if I could rest up at hers and of course she said yes - I took pictures all the way to hers to keep it a bit removed. None that captured it as I experienced it - too many buses and people on the move.

But I tell you, it felt like the end of days - I mean a lot of stuff that's going on in the world makes me feel like that - how can it be possible that we know so much and choose such a bad way to carry on? How can it be? It was like walking through some vile post-apocalyptic film, the sheer quantity of rubbish that's accumulated everywhere, so quickly, the smell of rot, the sounds all echoey and distant (which is one of the things that accompanies my freak-outs).

And of course there wasn't just the symbolism-induced fear and dread but also the very real prospect of rats. Fucking rats. I grew up on The Pied Piper of Hamelin, so I know about them:

They fought the dogs and killed the cats,
And bit the babies in the cradles,
And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
And licked the soup from the cooks' own ladles,
Split open the kegs of salted sprats,
Made nests inside men's Sunday hats,
And even spoiled the women's chats,
By drowning their speaking
With shrieking and squeaking
In fifty different sharps and flats.

(Should anybody still be reading and not know this fabulous cautionary tale, you can find it here. Recommended.)

Both S and M have seen rats but not me, not so far and I hope not at all.

But I steadied up a bit round at theirs, made it to the supermarket long enough to get a pie and some broccoli and home in time for the landlord's plumber to spend all afternoon struggling to remove and replace the broken tap. All done, all good.

So another day with little to recommend it really, but I do feel quite undisturbed right now, so it's ended well.

There are very few acts I've even heard of on the Glasto line-up and only three, apart from the Stones, that I really want to see - the Proclaimers, Alabama Shakes and the comedian Marcus Brigstocke. The programme is out today - all three of them are on, on different stages, in different fields, between 6 and 7 on Saturday night. Ah well. I know I have to see at least a bit of the Proclaimers, possibly the last twenty minutes... I'm excited and relieved and a bit fearful that this time next week I'll be there, mostly relieved at the prospect of being out of this daily struggle.

Grateful for: S; the work the bin-men usually do, unnoticed and underpaid, to keep our city clean; my landlord, straight on it; the easy availability of pies; hot water

Sleep well, if anyone's still there xxx

12:10 a.m. - 19.06.13


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