The Anonymous Widower

Recycling In Islington

I took these pictures by the bus stop round the corner from my house.

It is often as bad as this and it is regularly cleaned up by the street cleaners.

There are people for whatever reason, put their rubbish by the litter and then the foxes sort through it looking for scraps of food.

Someone said on the radio, that it is caused by illegal sub-lets, as these tenants are told not to use the normal rubbish system, as it draws attention.

So their idea of recycling, is to get others to sort it!

March 16, 2021 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Plastic Bag Fee ‘To Double To 10p’ And Include Every Shop

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the guts of the story.

The 5p fee for plastic carrier bags in England will be doubled to 10p, and extended to all shops, under plans set out by the environment secretary.

The change is contained in a government consultation aimed at further reducing the plastic used by consumers and could come into effect in January 2020.

Smaller retailers, who are exempt from the current levy, supply an estimated 3.6 billion single-use bags annually.

I’m all for this, if it cuts down the amount of plastic, that blows around the country, before ending up in the seas.

This is the bag I use.


  1. It folds up, so that it first into my man-bag.
  2. It easily holds two days of my food shopping.
  3. The handles re very comfortable, even when carrying eight bottles of beer.
  4. I’ve had it over a year now and it is finally showing the odd sign of wear.
  5. It is big enough to hold a copy of the Sunday Times without folding.

It did cost be five pounds from M & S, but how much have I saved on five pence bags?

It is not a perfect bag, but it is a good start.

Other things, in the same vein, that I’d like to see.

  • A charge on takeaway food, especially pizza boxes, which seem to end up in front of my house.
  • A fine for piling household and commercial waste around litter bins, which is very prevalent in this area, despite council camnpaigns to stop it.
  • Remove the foxes back to the countryside, so they don’t spread the rubbish all over the street.

As to the latter, foxes seem to have eaten most of the cats, hedgehogs and birds, so it is their only way to get food.

December 27, 2018 Posted by | World | , , , | 1 Comment

Does Talk Radio Make Telephone Fraudsters Go Away?

At the moment, I’m being plagued by telephone fraudsters. What they are up to, I don’t know, but I get around five a day, if I’m sitting by my computer writing.

I usually have my television switched to Radio 5 or something like the News on BBC1, when they call and I find it strange that if I don’t switch the sound on the television off, by the time I get the phone to my ear, the line is dead.

The fraudster seems to hear the noise of the talking and feels they may be wasting their time.

But it never seems to fail!

It reminds me of a story told me by a farmer, who was breeding free-range organic chickens for one of the major supermarket groups.

The local foxes were a problem, until someone suggested that he wire an old radio up to a car battery and put it on Radio 5 all night at a lowish level. It appeared the calm voices of Doton Adebayo and Rhod Sharp convinced the foxes there were people around and he was losing fewer chickens to the foxes.


May 11, 2018 Posted by | World | , , , , , | 3 Comments

After Too Many Foxes And Badgers, Now Too Many Rabbits

This is actually quite an old story from the BBC, but it turned up in today’s Times.

At least though, when compared to foxes and badgers, you can make the buggers work, as after they’ve been strangled and skinned, they make an excellent supper.

The best rabbit I’ve eaten was on the island of Salina, where they are one of the few sources of local fresh meat. In one case, I had rabbit, with the other local delicacy; capers.

I’m sure if foxes and badgers were a source of food, they wouldn’t be such a pest to so many.

October 21, 2013 Posted by | Food, News | , , | Leave a comment

Why Can’t Basil Stick To The Countryside?

I went out this morning to get my paper and collect my laundry and there was mess all over the street.

Why Can't Basil Stick To The Countryside?

Why Can’t Basil Stick To The Countryside?

But by the distinct smell, I could identify the culprit.  He’d probably dragged the rubbish from somewhere up the street. It certainly isn’t mine, as I don’t use black bags and I have a fox-proof wheelie-bin.

June 29, 2013 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Badgers, Foxes and Deer

As I write this, there is a debate going on about the badger cull on Radio 5. Living in Hackney, I have no vested interest, as what happens won’t effect me directly.

When I first moved back to Suffolk at the start of the 1970s, I never saw a badger until perhaps 2006, and then on one night coming back from a restaurant I saw several in the lanes north of Haverhill. Over the last twenty years, I started to see dead badgers increasingly on the road.

Foxes too, were very rare in East Suffolk, where I lived until about the mid-1990s. I had never seen one alive, but I had smelt the odd fox. In West Suffolk, we had foxes everywhere and now in Hackney, I saw one cross the road in front of me, as I walked with a friend to the local church.

Deer too, have shown a remarkable rise in numbers. In fact, the only claim, I ever made on my car insurance in recent years, was when a deer jumped in front of my car, when C was driving.

All of these animals have no natural predator in the UK, and they are rapidly increasing in numbers.

There will come a time, when we will need to cull badgers, foxes and deer, very strongly, as otherwise we’ll be overrun with them. As it is foxes and badgers are carnivores, so what effect will unsustainable high levels have on our other native birds and animals? As it is already, some believe that foxes are feeding aggressively on our hedgehog population, as I reported here.

If we don’t keep our large mammals to a healthy level, we will be seeing a lot of other problems.



May 31, 2013 Posted by | News | , , | Leave a comment

Mother Knows Best

Yesterday, Slummy Mummy in The Times had two interesting thoughts courtesy of her mother.

The first was an absolute gem.

Since it’s people in towns who like badgers, we should exchange them for urban foxes.

Now that’s an idea! But it might get rid of the last few urban hedgehogs. The second was a sensible aside on the subject of horsemeat.

You’ll be glad to know that everything is shop-bought,” she says, opening the fridge door with a flourish. It is full of Findus lasagnes.

“They were on offer. I got them before they were withdrawn

I bet she’s not the only one who took advantage.

February 24, 2013 Posted by | Food, World | , , | 1 Comment

Someone’s Feeding the McFoxes

I took this picture at the scruffy end of Oxford Street, whilst waiting for the bus home.

Someone's Feeding the McFoxes

Someone’s Feeding the McFoxes

No wonder we have foxes everywhere, with customers of McDonalds putting their litter everywhere!

February 14, 2013 Posted by | Health, World | , , | Leave a comment

More On Hedgehogs and Foxes

In this post I mused on the decline of hedgehogs and felt that foxes were to blame.

I’ve just found this article on the web from the Epping Forest Hedgehog Rescue.  They are in no doubt, that foxes are cutting the number of hedgehogs.

I can also think back to the 1980s and 1990s, when I used to live in East Suffolk, just north of Ipswich.  In that area, foxes were not a common sight, and I never actually saw one, although I did smell them, just as I smell them on my doorstep here in Hackney.

When I moved to Newmarket, foxes were much more numerous and hardly a day passed, without seeing one on the stud.

So what is the difference between East and West Suffolk.  In the east, they used to hunt hares with hounds, whereas in the west, they hunted foxes.  So I suspect that any fox in East Suffolk, got short shrift from farmers and gamekeepers, as they knew the hunt wouldn’t do anything about them.

As I said in the previous post, I never saw a hedgehog in West Suffolk, but in the East, I at least saw the occasional one.

Thinking about the problem more, you don’t see much traditional fox food in London.  There are no rabbits or hares, so that just leaves hedgehogs and squirrels. Even scavenging round here isn’t a good idea, as we all have wheely bins.

So I suppose, once the foxes learned to kill hedgehogs, it was just passed on through the generations.

I believe, that must do something about foxes, if we want to save the hedgehog.

January 30, 2013 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Hedgehog Decline

A few years ago, when we owned the stud, I remarked that I hadn’t seen a hedgehog in years. when I lived in London as a child, they were always about and you used to see quite a few squashed ones on the road.

Now it would appear they are in serious decline according to this article in the Mail.

I’ve never seen one here in Hackney, although given the number of gardens, parks and cemeteries, there must be a few.  On the other hand, we do have lots of foxes.

I did type “Hackney hedgehog” into Google and found this article. The writer suggests that foxes could have predated on the dead hedgehogs found.

So is Basil Brush one of the reasons for the decline.

January 29, 2013 Posted by | World | , , , | 2 Comments