Wednesday mornings somewhere between 7.45am and 9.30am is a peak of bustling excitement in our household as we to and fro from the front sash windows, knees knocking, expectant squeals firing in anticipation of the weekly passing by of The ........... RUBBISH LORRY. Yes, that entire sentence is completely true.
There is the arrival of Helpful Harry as we call him, the sight of that orange tabard causes ripples of excitement as H Bomb climbs on top of his camping stove to adopt a prime vantage point..... The ripples are mine, the toddlers excitement is off the Richter scale. Helpful Harry with his endearing, charming smile (!) and acknowledgement of our stares, goes about his weekly routine of heaving and hurling rubbish sacks into the middle of the street. Conversation is brief and usually revolves around working out how long the lorry will take to catch him up. This week, it was 10 minutes behind but (as always) worth the wait.
The noise of the the huge vehicle turning into our road is unmistakable, the whirring, hissing, clunking and in mid-summer; stenching; is prolific, its tangible. We love it.
We love it for its predictability, for its necessity and for its drama. When will they arrive? Who will it be this week? (perhaps Harry is en vacance in espangol) Will they take all the rubbish? Whose has been rejected? Will their 3.8 minute street record be broken? How many car horns will be sounded in the wake of the clearance?
If we're lucky an agitated driver (it's a one-way road) will sound their horn in utter frustration at the seeming nonchalance and slowness of the team but we merely look down and delight in the 'noise car makes - ohhhhhh beeeeeeeeep'. And revel in the 15 - 30 minutes the whole scene has had everyone ensconced for - marvellous, it's now only 3.5 hours until nap time.