We have been cleaning out the kitchen cupboards, getting rid of (nearly) all those bits of kitchen equipment which have built up over the years: the blender, the bread-slicer, the coffee grinder, the excess of mugs and baking equipment and ceramic dishes. My husband wouldn’t let me throw out the deep-fat fryer, though we haven’t used it in years and are not likely to. We sorted through all our jarred things and disposed of everything that’s expired including that jar of wax beans that dated back to 2014 and I was sure we would use one day. The only cupboard that was spared was my collection of teaware and crockery, though I will have to sort that all too one day. But the best thing about having a clear out is this: it necessitated a trip to the tip.
I love the tip. The tip is the pleasantest and happiest place in the world. It is all neatly laid out and labelled like a well-used rolodex: electrical goods here, clothes and textiles there, inert waste on the other side, plastics, wood, metals. There’s even a place for asbestos, though I’ve never seen that used (thankfully). The staff are present and friendly, they love to help you find the right home for your waste and will take things for you if it’s quiet or they’re passing. Everyone is happy at the tip. I guess throwing things out has a sense of liberation to it. Where else can you toss your crockery so hard that it shatters into a multitude of pieces (except, perhaps, a Greek restaurant)? Where else can you legitimately take out all your pent-up frustration on the colander that’s been sitting on a shelf for 10 years collected dust in its holes? We toss things with flair into the far corner of the giant-sized skip, run back to the car and get more.
On the way home I was thinking up schemes that would enable us to visit the tip every week without being compelled to reduce our home to a few meagre sticks of furniture. Or maybe it would be worth it just to experience the daily pleasure of throwing things out and sharing that knowing wink with the person tossing their footspa into the small electronics bin, and the way they clap their hands together afterwards tells you that you know exactly what they’re feeling.