The incomparable Mr Burns did remark that it would be interesting if we could see ourselves as others see us.
It would, and, also, quite alarming.
This morning, being Friday, is recycling day at the edge of the pavement. Round here, by order, you are not allowed to put your rubbish out on the borders of your curtilage, (which you probably never knew you had until you read the legal document that says which is yours and which is next door) until six of the clock in the PM. Otherwise, continues this jolly directive from the council, you can be hauled up before the beak and fined for littering even though your assorted rubbish has not laid bag upon the public highway but is still constrained within the confines of the borders of your property including adjoining land.
So, naturally, everyone puts their stuff out round about five, until we get to the summer, when it will appear about eleven at night because the neighbour who you take the clue from that it is recycling day, has gone on holiday for a fortnight.
I always try to get every last tin, newspaper, bit of cardboard and so on, out, so I can begin a new fortnight with nice empty bags.
It’s practically a recipe for a happy life in my book, beginning a fortnight with empty bags. So, late on Thursday I am to be found scuttling round the house collecting rubbish. I like to go to bed knowing all is clear, and sleep soundly.
Would that the OH did the same. On a different page entirely, he manages to secrete the recyclable and leave it for me to find early in the AM in little piles all over the kitchen. One pile beside the stove of a squished egg box and some tin wrappers. On the sink a baked bean tin and its lid. On the washing machine a beer can and a low alcohol beer can and assorted bits of paper.
It was really frosty this morning; the minute I got out of bed my hair stood on end. So I popped my work-out leggings, which have seen better days, on top of my pyjama shorts and my scruffy, quite small, bed jacket on top.
In the kitchen, faced with the non-arrival of the bin men yet, piles of recyclable rubbish and a very frosty drive I methought me (because I can wake up quite posh) of dear old Ted next door. Ted remembered it was recycling day just as he had got into bed and then went on to his drive with the big red box, tripped and spent most of the night on the drive fallen over in his pyjamas in the cold. I never knew and still feel guilty that I did not somehow know he was lying on his drive a few feet away. So accordingly, I got the first jacket out of the cupboard, the one with the overtight sleeves and the slightly overtight body which nearly zips up if you breathe out, collected the rubbish and headed for the end of my curtilage.
Which is when, in a barrage of cheery ‘good mornings’ I discovered passers-by, the lady walking her dog and the folk at the bus stop, see me as the endlessly cheerful lady who does the books.
So I smiled (thank goodness I had brushed my teeth) said ‘Good morning,’ back. Recycled and scuttled off indoors with my genuine bed hair, fat arms sticking out sideways, ankle gap between the slippers and the ancient leggings and a bed jacket sticking out under the zipped-up stomach.
I believe I still have sufficient glamour to require make-up, working out, new clothes and all the rest of it. Thanks to the giftie. all I now need is pyjama trousers that actually cover my legs. Though I should have known, I had to provide a driving licence photograph earlier this week. The OH kept taking a photograph of this old lady. Horrors! ’Twas I, apparently, bag lady on the kerb, smiling at the nice humans.
The only saving grace in all of this is that old people (like me) wake up early and have poor memories, so with any luck the shame and notoriety will have worn off by this afternoon.