As Madonna once sang: ‘Life is a mystery’, and she was right and perhaps one of the biggest mysteries of all is what those blokes with blowers are actually achieving by blowing leaves about from one gutter to another. I passed one today moving his blowing machine from side to side and making the leaves move about busily but not disappear which would have been a far better solution. Maybe a flame thrower would have been more effective.
Of course, back in the old days, so fondly remembered by anyone over… let’s call it fifty, a chap in council overalls with a push-cart, a broom and a shovel would have collected the leaves and them burnt them in the nearest available council owned space. Private citizens would have spent the weekends sweeping up their own leaves and then burning them in piles in their gardens. Of course this, in this world of smoke free zones, is no longer acceptable behaviour so instead we have hordes of paid by the hour ‘gardeners’ pretending to sort things out but really just moving the leaves to next door’s drive or gutter.
Of course this is an excellent business model as they can then get paid all over again by blowing the leaves somewhere else and charging again, and so on, and so on. It’s kind of a leafy perpetual motion machine or at the very least a way of printing their own money. But I miss the romance of the smell of those piles of burning autumn leaves and the smoke hanging in the air.
Suddenly it struck me that the autumn leaves – because surely this is what they were – should have been long gone as it’s very nearly spring. Had this chap with the blower imported the leaves so that he could continue making money out of old rope? (Well old leaves if not old rope). And then it struck me further: where did the old leaves go anyway? Nobody bothers to sweep them up anymore, preferring instead to employ young men with blowers to idle away their time achieving nothing by blowing them about for months.
Just where do all those old leaves go?
Yes, life really is a mystery.