Every couple of months our district council distributes 55,000 copies of their expensive glossy PR Magazine entitled "Breckland Voice" which uses up around £60,000 of ratepayers contributions per year . Each issue is packed with heartwarming stories of how good the Council are at spending money and recycling.
The means of distribution is that they are left under the handle of our wheelie bins when they are emptied, ensuring that most people find the shortest possible recycling route by simply opening the lid and depositing the "Breckland Voice" inside. A bit like a ventriloquist act with a dummy and a suitcase which used to be known as "throwing your Voice".
Sadly, I have to confirm to younger readers that the famous "wheelie bin" gene does leech out of the DNA helix at the precise age of 60 - difficult to believe now, but you will suddenly be extremely concerned with all things "wheelie bin" when you reach that grand milestone. What I'm saying is that I have actually started reading the "Breckland Voice".
In mitigation, it was only because they had a competition in the current issue to "Win an Ipod Nano!" and my own trusty Nano is playing up and mixing up my "Start the Week" Podcast with my Richard Thompson "Mock Tudor" album with less than hilarious consequences.
The competition was for "Breckland Noise Week" and invited ideas for logos and catch phrases to publicise the event and promote consideration between Breckland's neighbourhoods over anti-social noise. I got to work immediately as I have always fancied my chances at slogan contests and can't actually afford a new Ipod at the moment.
Here is the result of my labours - I should have been working but thought a new Nano would justify an hour or so investment:The application form to accompany the competition entry was only available from the Council Website, so I downloaded the PDF to send off my winning contribution and started mulling over which additional music and podcasts I will be able to fit on my new 4gig Nano.
Just as I started putting it into an envelope, I glimpsed at the "conditions" which were not mentioned in the original magazine piece:
"Entrants must be between the ages of 11 and 18 on July 31st 2009".
It's OK, I've just binned it.