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When it snowed the Saturday before Easter, what did you do? Barricade the windows and doors with cashmere blankets and settle in for the weekend? Well you did if you had any sense that’s for sure.

I am often told I have no sense, and therefore it should come as no surprise to learn that I did possibly the polar (gettit?) opposite to the plan I above suggested.

Arriving in the country for the weekend, I was greeted by my father who handed me the weekend’s activities schedule. Instantly I was suspicious; for an ‘activities schedule’ to our house is like a ‘stick-to seasonal timetable’ for the weather. Laughable.

This was said schedule:

Such a dear little note... NAT

Such a dear little note… NAT

Laughing yet?

I did. A hearty laugh indeed. It went like this ‘HAAAA!’ Then I chuckled: ‘What a joker you are!’ (My Dad loves to joke and does so, often).

Turns out, of course, he wasn’t joking…

Yes he was smiling when he saw me dressed, ridiculously, like this:

Yup, that is a dog on my head

It was cold. And yes that is a dog on my head

…he also smiled, when he had to wear a silly jacket which said this:

His name's not Fred

His name’s not Fred

…but when the weather took a turn for the worse, and the village went from this:

IMG-20130323-00220

To this:

IMG-20130323-00227

I can safely say NO ONE was laughing.

I’ve always felt unbelievably sorry for road cleaners. Unbelievably sorry and also unbelievably certain that whilst I’m confident I can put my hand to almost any job, THAT job – and cleaning public lavatories – is one I sha’nt ever put my hand to. Well, until now clearly.

It wasn’t all entirely horrendous. Picking up litter can actually be quite satisfying. Watching the sweet-wrapper-blanketed land turn green once again, is undisputedly gratifying. That and also the feel good factor one gets from doing something unpleasant for a good cause.

‘I might be in for a community badge or something,’ I thought to myself, merrily clipping away with my picker-upper (until I trod in a dog turd, and then I didn’t care about badges).

Read the DAMN sign

Read the DAMN sign

What was also entirely horrendous about it, was that icy easterly wind. Oh and the hail. And later the snow. And yes that Blizzard didn’t help much either.

Like most unhelpful things, this Blizzard had an irritating sense of humour. It demonstrated this by playing a practical joke on me; a game called ‘Out not In’. Heard of it?

It goes like this:

Me: IN the bag with some litter
The Blizzard: Out!
Me: In…
The Blizzard: No, out – watch! *loo paper floats out of bin liner up into the sky*
Me: IN THE BAG with some litter
The Blizzard: Wrong again! Look – whooosh!

One positive was that I did get to know the village a little, which was most interesting. I discovered for example that some people like to throw Tescos bags away in bushes for no reason at all! Walkers Ready Salted are the village’s crisp of choice, whilst bottled beer and lager, appears to be their tipple. Yes, I learnt lots of things … which I won’t mention here, but I’m sure you can imagine some of the OTHER things I found.

If you’re ever asked to Spring Clean for your village, I really do advise you do so. You won’t enjoy it, you won’t get a badge and you won’t want to do it again. But you will get one thing from it…

(I’m still thinking about this…I’ll get back to you)

By Beenie Langley

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