89 Not Out: Day 81, The Joys of Rubbish Day

S&C contributor and Pompey Politics Podcast host Ian Morris shares his experience of the lockdown, as someone with diabetes. It’s Day 81 and Ian ends the week with a whimsical reflection on a truly domestic sport…

Friday 5th June, Day 81 0f 89.


Thursday evenings during lockdown have been witness to the Clap for Carers and my weekly ‘bin-nastics’ session. Yesterday the Clap for Carers was over. I feel sad about it for two reasons: firstly, it was very much a community act and secondly, it worries me that there is a perception that ‘It’s over, all sorted’, which it very much is not.

But let me guide you through the world of bin-nastics.

In Portsmouth, about 18 months ago, we were presented with our first ever wheelie bin for domestic waste. We already had one for recycling but with the new bin, there was no longer the joy of piling bin bags at the end of the drive, being serenaded by the foxes tearing them apart, and the mental rush of guiding your dog through the rancid pavement buffet en route to the station Friday morning.

Our bin arrived and it was the size of a crab’s eye socket. How in the name of god were we ever going to get a family’s weekly detritus into that? We did have the option of asking the council for a larger bin, but they would send round someone called Campbell or Portia to educate you on recycling better first. I wasn’t having that so the first of the bin-nastics disciplines was born: The Cram.

If you have ever seen the pommel horse at the Olympics, then it’s similar. I take the final sweep from the bathroom and kitchen bin and place these atop the already full bin. In bin-nastics, the bin men are the judges: if the lid is open even a crack then your efforts will be rejected, so you lever yourself atop the bin using your full bodyweight to finish The Cram. The jeopardy of the bag bursting is always in play as you force it into every corner, and clunk goes the lid and it is on.

Now on to Rhythmic Bin-nastics.

Despite no visit from Campbell or Portia, the Morris household upped the ante – recycling to the point where we needed to ask for a second recycling bin. Any sensible man would make three trips down the drive, one for each bin, but no! Bin-nastics dictates that you have to display balletic prowess with a bin in each hand, and as one has a dodgy wheel this is where the spectator element comes into play.

The Double Drag approach risks the bins becoming entwined, and I assure you it’s a bad thing when you drop one and the coke cans go whirling about the drive in a heady aluminium crescendo. The best tactic is to push the good one, and pull the one with the wobbly wheel and you snake down the drive beautifully.

The final discipline is Bin Wars.

This is one the bins play on their own when empty. When the wind gets up, they rocket and career about the drive until you find yourself out there in a storm trying to interlock them all so they can’t tip over.

Think of it as a Bin Jigsaw: you have to bring the ‘brown bin’ into the mix to make a four-bin block.

As I describe my antics in today’s diary, I am struck as to why I – the elder statesman of the house, with a less than perfect set of visual acuities – am the designated bin man. I have two perfectly capable but idle teenage sons.

I think it might be time to bring on the next generation of bin-nasts. But then will I be giving away my dream of the Tokyo Paralympics in 2021? I had heard bin-nastics was going to be a demonstration sport.


Don’t miss Ian’s diary each day, keep an eye out for new entries here, along with past editions of the Pompey Politics Podcast. How are you managing the lockdown at the moment? Get in touch with us over on Facebook or Twitter and let us know your experiences and any hints and tips you’re finding helpful right now.

Image by Hans from Pixabay.

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