Tipping Time

It’s that dreaded time of year when the sound of the doorbell of an evening probably means someone wants some money.

First it was the ‘Ebouers’ – dustmen. They haven’t been round for a couple of years,  probably because when a separate charge for refuse collection was introduced people were rather cross, and may not have responded well to a request for money.

Well,  they don’t actually ask for money:  they sell you a calendar. The going  rate for this rather small apology for a calendar is 10 euros, but as they come out twice a week whatever the weather and don’t grumble when we have five dustbin bags full I think they deserve it.

In the same week we had a visit from the ‘Pompiers’ – firemen. They also get 10 euros and their calendar was a series of firefighter related cartoons.

The only calendar worth having is the Post office one, which is full of  useful information – even maps of local towns – and is big enough to put on the wall and use. Our postlady leaves a packet of calendars in the letter box so we can choose which picture we like and then we put the package back in the box with 10 euros in an envelope for her to collect the next day.

Besides these worthy causes we had a visit from the Blood Doners Association yesterday but they only received 5 euros because that’s all we could muster. It’s a shame because they give a small gift instead of a calendar and this year it was a really useful bag, just big enough to carry a phone and a purse, with an adjustable strap.

Someone delivers the newspapers at some unearthly hour every day except Sunday. He or she deserves a reward but I wouldn’t be too pleased if they rang the bell before daylight one morning. I suppose we could stick an envelope  on the letter box one night . . .



9 Responses to “Tipping Time”

  1. tillylil Says:

    Why this time of the nyear? Don’t they leave it until Christmas?

    • sablonneuse Says:

      I suppose they have hundreds of houses to visit and then they have to share out the ‘takings’ in time to spend it before Christmas.
      As for the post lady, if she gives her pack of calendars to each house at the rate of one a day then it’s going to take her a long time – in fact she needs several packs!

  2. tillylil Says:

    and i guess they all want to get in with their calendar first!

  3. Pat Says:

    It seems to have died out over here. In the Dordogne and Poujol we never had the rubbish collected but that’s going back 60’s and 70’s.

    • sablonneuse Says:

      Yes, Pat, things have changed. Even in our village they have a collection for ‘recycled’ on Wednesday and ‘normal’ rubbish on Fridays. If there’s a jour de ferié (Bank Holiday) they will collect on the day before or after. Also, during the gardening season (Spring until middle of November) the commune arranges to collect garden rubbish in strong biodegradable bags provided free.

  4. canisfamiliaris Says:

    When I was a child I remember that my parents gave various people a ‘Christmas box’, but it is a practice that seems to have died out (or perhaps I am just mean????


    • sablonneuse Says:

      Oh yes, I remember Christmas Boxes. I suppose certain people expected something in those days but they wouldn’t knock at the door and actually ask – a (subtle) hint maybe – but nothing blatant like the selling of calendars.

  5. Little old me Says:

    I wouldn’t tip our dustbin men they leave more in the street than they take! and we never get the same postman two days running. On the upside you will always know what day it is with all those calendars.

    • sablonneuse Says:

      Our dustmen are very good. There’s the odd accasion when a wild cat has broken into a bag and there’s a mess to clear up but usually they take everything – including heavy bags of catlitter. Our postlady is a darling and if we catch her she will take our letters to the post office for us as well.

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