Monday 20 February 2023

Cleaning the nest

You only need to clean the nest if somebody or something has fouled it. If you think "🐤" when primed with "nest" then you're probably going to cut the perp some slack . . . because infants are uncoordinated and incontinent. But today we treat of grown-arsed adults who fire Lucozade bottles out of their car-windows because their mammies didn't teach them manners. Every Spring, some of our neighbours are gee'd up to clear trash off the roads and out of ditches and drains. This annual community venture is supported by An Taisce - the national trust for Ireland. Others of our neighbours are busy, so drive all-unseeing past the steadily accumulating detritus of late stage capitalism. Broken Window Theory applies: if the ditches are full of wind-blown and man-tossed shite: it gives licence for passing strangers to contribute more.

Our Colonel of Community Clean CCC declared that the Darwinday weekend would be be clean-up time and ordered up the An Taisce skip. It was a good choice to clean early in the season because you can see the trash and catch fewer nettle-stings and bramble-scratches when the greenery is short. I was anxious about the fine weather breaking, because dry gloves is an important factor in making this chore tolerable. Accordingly, we three donned gloves, seized some empty 25kg feed-sacks, and set forth at 10:00am. "Our" stretch of road, from The 1798 Monument to The Bridge by The Wall, is 1,000m in length and perforce we make two passes - out and back.

That kilometer yielded the fill of 6 sacks: Lucozade, crisp packets, sandwich cases to the fore. Over the years we have dealt with the archaeological stuff: galvanized buckets, baler-twine, glass pop bottles, feed-sacks, old trousers but the soil is dynamic and still throws up the corner of some ancient rubbish which we excavate for land-fill elsewhere. Behind the 1798 monument is a scrubby bit of woodland in a dip below a gravelled place for parking 4-5 cars. Ya may as well hang out a neon sign saying "Leave your trash here" . . . and people do: since last year another 3 bags of misc trash; two beat-up tractor tires; some rusty bed-springs; a tangle of fencing wire; two road-workers signs; and a ten litre bucket of sheep-dip! [see R]

Needless to say, we all felt super-virtuous at noon when we trudged back into the yard after two hours of community service. Bacon sarnies all round!

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