Katy Guest: Rant & Rave (26/06/11)

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The Independent Online


Even aside from the obvious doubts regarding Eric Pickles and what he knows about throwing away food, I am perplexed by the outrage caused by the Government's failure to enforce weekly bin collections.

According to Pickles, it is a "basic right for every English man and woman to be able to put the remnants of their chicken tikka masala in their bin without having to wait two weeks for it to be collected". But here's the thing: you could put a whole chicken tikka masala in a wheelie bin every day for a month, exuberantly chucking onion bhajis in on top, and you'd still only fill up the first eight inches. Either Pickles is bonkers, or people are ordering much too much curry.

For eight years I lived in a small one-bedroom flat, and never once did mountains of waste overwhelm me. It is not mentally taxing to distinguish between paper and aluminium and to put each one in a separate receptacle. Obviously, leftover food goes in the freezer for next time.

Clearly it is different for a family of six, but my "general waste" bin remained empty for whole fortnights at a time. I might start renting out bin space to Mr Pickles and his profligate ilk, but not if they're going to be throwing away curry – that's a criminal waste.


A Woman's Hour discussion last week focused on the topic of crying in the workplace, after a contestant on The Apprentice ruined everything when she openly shed tears on a task. But, as someone who weeps at the drop of a hat (poor little hat!), I'd like to rehabilitate the public blub.

I've worked with colleagues who dealt with pressure by yelling at their neighbours, or who sulked for days when something went wrong. And yet, many people (mostly men) are visibly frightened by a few little tears.

People's emotions and stress leak out in different ways, and mine happen to leak out of the corners of my eyes. It's nothing to be afraid of; it's just salt water. So if I offend you, just go and have a little cry, and then I am sure that we can all move on.