A ‘Hen’s Tooth’!

I have just seen a hen’s tooth in our road.

It was a quintessential expression of a major difference between the USA and the UK.  I don’t know about you all, but I just love “bin men” stories, to me they epitomise what is wrong with the UK, especially England.

This incident went thus.  Our rates out in the County do not include garbage.  The County has nominated private contractors to serve certain areas for garbage, green garden waste  and recycling.  You may have any service weekly, fortnightly or monthly.  We have fortnightly but it is never full but we don’t want smelly garbage hanging around. For which we pay the princely sum of $30 per month.There is a family opposite with 4 children under five! (OK, OK what do they do in their spare time?)  They too have the bins fortnightly, Which is not sufficient for their household.

This morning, bin day, the bins are placed at the kerb in a certain position so that the machine may pick them up on total automatic, the driver does not need to get out of the cab, he just operates an automatic arm that picks it up and takes it to the top of the machine and empties it, there is no access for an operative to just throw anything in, it is all too high.  The neighbours had their bin in the correct position and 4 plastic sacks sitting neatly on the ground next to it.  The bin man emptied the bin, got out of the lorry, carefully put the 4 spare sacks into the bin, squared it up, got into the truck and emptied it for a second time.  He made no note on his schedule and drove off to the next house.  In other words that was a freebee.

Can you imagine that happening in the UK these days?  Not on your life!  They would have refused to collect them, left a minatory complaint that it was unclearable and sent a little man round to re-educate the householder!!!  And charged you a fortune on the rates!  All resulting in a ‘sad faced’ article in the Daily Mail for our delectation! The UK idea of service these days obviously comes from the farmyard, get fucked!  It is the same in shops, ludicrous queues at the tills with operatives standing idly by. I have kicked arse so many times in Sainsbury’s in Brum it isn’t true to get service! Here locally in the village the manager regularly is to be seen on the tills if they are busy, nobody waits more than a few seconds. considering everything is so much cheaper here how come they can still provide good service, yet in the UK customers in so many spheres are treated with contempt.  Nowhere charges for parking except in the heart of downtown, they would lose their custom.  Even downtown Bellingham in the main drag 25pence gets you an hour! Most streets are free. I do have to add Wales is far more relaxed on these things than England which strikes me as a hell hole these days.

When it comes to just living in peace and quiet without stress and aggravation the Pacific North West must come very nearly the top of the heap.  It is about time the population of the UK kicked back some to get some civility back into their dealings with the so called powers that be!

Author: christinaosborne

Landed on one side safely.

14 thoughts on “A ‘Hen’s Tooth’!”

  1. As far as I can see, Christina, it depends where you live in the UK. My daughter seems to have no problems in Milton Keynes, but the collection (ha!) in Brighton and Hove (constituency of the only Green MP ) is appalling. Residents are required to take their rubbish and put it in the huge bins that line the streets. I believe there are now councils that only collect once a month – appalling.

    Here we have weekly collections for ‘normal’ rubbish and fortnightly collections for recycling and garden waste. Our collection time is Monday mornings at around 6.10 am – and that includes public holidays. We can almost set our clocks by their arrival! Every so often there is a kerbside collection – when one can put out anything whatsoever, old fridges etc… and one can also ‘book’ a collection of such items. All ‘on the rates’ but contracted out. No complaints here about disposing of rubbish!

  2. I would be a bit hard pushed to describe Dorset as “a hell hole”, TIna and I can’t say I’ve noticed any problems with rubbish collections. It all seems to work quite well. Pretty much as Boadicea describes hers and they will collect some larger items for free if they are in reasonable condition, and they don’t have to kerbside if you book it. They will collect it from the house or garage.

    As Boadicea rightly points out, it depends where you live. I enjoy shopping in our local market town – service is efficient and friendly and even our puppy is welcome in many of the shops, pubs and restaurants.

  3. I think you have been unlucky with your experience of England, CO. I regularly visit the West Midlands, West Essex, Sussex and Dorset and always get and observe good service, both in shops and with public employees. What’s the opposite of rose-coloured specs?

  4. Moving on, CO, away and boil your head!

    I realise that you are only really happy when you can be utterly miserable and dismissive about the depths to which you believe our benighted island to have sunk (‘sank’ works just as well in Jockanese, by the way).

    I have always admired you for your superb fulminatory ability. You remind me in so many ways of my own dear and departed mother.

    But, with respect, you are slavering utter keech in your latest diatribe. I live in a civilised city where our rubbish is, in the main, picked up timeously and without any fuss. When I shop in our local supermarkets, I am met with unfailing civility and acceptable levels of efficacy. The fast track self scanning facility in my local Sainsbury’s is a total joy and has not failed me once.

    Our parking charges are driven by the market. People pay the going rate to get a space. I have no problem with that and I am, frankly, surprised that you do.

    It is still my opinion that I could do worse than to be living in this country at this time.

  5. Absolutely no problem in Hertfordshire with bin collections and no lack of helpfulness in shops. You seem to base a lot of your criticism of the UK on Birmingham, Christina. Perhaps it is a hell-hole, with an incompetent Labour council ruled by an ethnic minority.

  6. Well Brum is the absolute pits all round, needs nuking! But queues in supermarkets are ghastly all over the UK plus the parking charges are extortionate. Considering the food is nearly twice the price of here and considering you have to pay road tax and hideous taxes on petrol the parking ought to be free!
    Trouble is you have all got used to being gouged! I admit small towns etc are better than the cities but the problems are there just a bit more polite.

    And as for using auto check outs, over my dead body! And put some other poor slob out of a job? Here they check and pack your shopping for you and load it back in the trolley asking your choice of paper or plastic bags.

  7. An example, avocados in Tesco are 79p each today, have just bought 6 at two for 79p exactly, ie 2 for $1.00.
    This is not a rare occurrence. One would expect them to be a bit dearer after all they are air freighted into the UK but double the price?…….

  8. Not exactly a staple commodity in Caledonia (stern and wild), CO.

    How much are they charging in Washington for haggis at the moment? We can pick it up at less than 50p each in the post-Burns glut of late January.

  9. Not to be had at all in Whatcom County but cross the border, ten mikes up the road in suburban Vancouver to the British shop and you can buy it, kippers and smoked haddock too! All sorts of goodies up there, so many British people in Vancouver. We go up regularly to buy Yorkshire tea, half the price of locally, literally..

  10. CO, your extreme prejudice against B’ham must be personal. Yes the city struggles to turn its industrial blight into suburban utopia; its population, bolstered after WWII with newcomers from the Empire, will never match your WASP paradigm; its local brogue will always offend the ears of snooty hypocrites. If you want to provide examples of urban degradation, stick to places you have some small chance of understanding.

  11. To be honest, I do find the check-out-chicks in UK supermarkets to be a surly bunch – and I’ve yet to find any supermarket in the UK where my bags are always packed, as they are here – extremely quickly and efficiently. I’m always asked if I want my meat / fish to go in bags separate from general groceries, and cleaning items are always put in a separate bag – not even with tinned goods which I do find a bit over the top!

    But, in general (even in Brighton!) I’ve found staff in other shops to be pretty helpful.

    On parking fees:

    Waitrose’s car park in Brighton is very convenient for the centre – they charge anyone who has not used their shop a large parking fee, Why not?

    I remember when there were no parking fees at Central Milton Keynes Station or in the Shopping centre, Those in the shopping centre are now, to me, pretty horrendous – although to be fair they are more expensive the nearer one gets to the actual centre. But, it’s supply and demand. And that’s the way the world is in areas where the demand outstrips the supply.

    Here in Brisbane, most shopping centres provide free parking. One very large mall, not too far from us started charging and lost custom. They changed the system so that the first three hours are now free, The problem was that the mall is also a major bus station, and people were using it (and filling it up) to park their cars for free all day and then travel into the CBD on public transport. Clearly not what a shopping mall’s car park is designed for – and so the system now gives shoppers what they want (free parking to do their shopping) and deters or charges those who are not buying goods from the retailers whose livelihood is dependent on shoppers.

    Space is not at the same sort of premium here, or I would imagine in the US, as it is in most UK cities, many of which are still based on the road patterns, many medieval, of a time when most people walked to where they wanted to go. Cost of food, cost of petrol, road and other taxes notwithstanding – those businesses which provide parking for their customers in urban areas with a shortage of land are entitled to get a fair return on their property.

  12. It sounds like Australia is far more like the USA on these matters Bo. When the UK is so crowded it is a total mystery to me why they keep packing more in and paying people to breed! The parking costs a fortune in Seattle too. I just don’t go! Ghastly city full of liberals and queers and everything costs an arm and a leg. A once a year foray to the Garden Show and that is it. I much prefer to live somewhere less crowded, more polite and where most know each other to chat to. Upper Carmarthenshire and Whatcom County will have to do!

  13. I was thinking of you this afternoon, Christina, while picking up a few items in the supermarket. An elderly, rather frail looking lady in front of me in the check-out queue had picked up a damaged apple pie without noticing, or else it had got damaged in her trolley. Immediately the check-out girl summoned another member of staff to fetch an undanaged pie, with apologies to the rest of us in the queue. There were no objections. And while waiting the cashier packed the elderly customer’s shopping for her. How civilised.

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