The idea of dressing up for the rubbish collectors who visit my house every Wednesday started its life as a joke with friends on Facebook. I was often lovingly teased for wearing ridiculously inappropriate clothing for a work-at-home person. I took it on the chin because I do indeed wear inappropriate clothing. I’ve given myself tendonitis of the big toe by wearing sillily high and torturous heels, and I can always be relied upon to have a long and colourful story behind my clothes choice of the day. Because all life is a story and every day is dress-up day, some days I feel like being Robin Hood – green tights, brown robe and cincher belt; some days I’m thinking roaring twenties – I have far too many beads; some days I just want to be busy – black and yellow, like a bee; some days I’m just all over Dora Carrington or Audrey Hepburn or Dorothy Parker; some days, I just want to call myself Hortense even though my name is really Tracy and I was born in the 1970s and not the 1790s.

Hortense is French. She's torn between being a harlot and a housemaid. She knows at least one compte.

Hortense is French. She’s torn between being a harlot and a housemaid. She knows at least one compte.

And so it was, a few months ago, that I found myself waking on a Wednesday morning and putting on a dress more suited to a dinner-dance in a glitzy ballroom than the distinctly middle-class road in Johannesburg, South Africa in which I live. I took a photograph of my orange wonder-dress and announced to Facebook that I was ready for the rubbish collectors to come calling; it was, after all, Black Tie Wednesday. So, that is where it started and now, well, now I have my poor benighted, blogger husband standing on the streets in the early mornings snapping away while I dance on the tarmac. Sometimes, the children even get involved. At this stage, the neighbours only stare slack-jawed through very slightly parted curtains as I prance about the place in dress-ups.

Not content with merely peeking neighbours, our cleaner who comes into work 3 times a week including Wednesdays, our gardener who only ever sees me on Wednesdays, my ever-patient two children who think their mother is crackers, the long-suffering, perfectly sensible husband, and my Facebook friends, I have now decided to take the Rubbish Collection Day Collection worldwide. It has been such a fun and off-the-wall adventure for my me and my friends – I certainly giggle all Wednesday. I hope you’ll giggle a little too. If all life is a story, most of it is far too serious to live with and in my book we could all do with a lot more silliness. John Irving was right when he said that “it is hard work and great art to make life not so serious.”


About tracyloveshistory

I have an inordinate fondness for a long time ago. I write about history and my family's place in it; clothes, shoes, war, memory, loss and whatever else takes my fancy. I wear red lipstick every second day and I dress up. A lot. Photograph by the extraordinary Ben Skinner at Arwen Garnentry.

12 responses to “About

  1. Pingback: Audrey Hepburn takes out the trash | The Rubbish Collection Day Collection

  2. Pingback: ‘Carmen Miranda Fiesta Day’ Rubbish Day | The Rubbish Collection Day Collection

  3. So glad you posted a link to this blog today on the other blog. I am in need of a bit of silly.

  4. Love it! I’m glad you put this on your other blog, I will enjoy following your weekly choice of dress up for garbage day.

  5. Debbie

    What a delight. D

  6. Eish! I am so, so sad that I don’t live in your street. I imagine we’re in the same general suburban proximity as my rubbish collection is also on Wednesday. Seeing that my neighbours already suspect that I run an illicit mental institution from my home (which is partially true), I would love to have you pop over for a visit next rubbish day. If you’re keen, let me know and I’ll rustle up some inmates (those that don’t require restraint by straight jacket) for a photo shoot.
    P.S. I’ll warn CAP in advance!

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