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My Rubbish Day!

On Thursday I added a new qualification to my CV! I am now officially a fully qualified Operator-Loader dustman!

As part of my research for my next Roy Grace novel, I worked an eight hour shift, from 6am to 2pm on a team on a Brighton refuse truck, emptying garbage bins in the Queens Park and Whitehawk areas of the city. I wanted to know firstly, how a bin man might discover a body, or body parts on his (or her) round. And secondly, would it be an effective way to dispose of a body, in the mechanical crusher in the refuse trucks.

But of course, we had to stumble on a real life crime scene….!!! I couldn’t’ believe my eyes when one of the men shouted out, ‘Hey, Peter, look down there, that’s just up your street!’ And it was, literally… There was a scene guard outside a house, crime scene tape, a SOCO van, several police cars and several unmarked cars, as the crime scene literally unfolded in front of me. It turned out to be a man suspected of throwing petrol bombs into his neighbour’s garden…. Then it was back to work.

I’ve come away with some great ideas for the book – and with almost every muscle in my body aching. I never realized what hard physical work it is to be a bin-man. They were all absolutely delightful and very welcoming – and they were particularly pleased with me, because of having an extra man on board, working, they finished nearly an hour early. Respect!!!



  • At 5:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I really admire you getting your hands dirty in the name of research.Not everyone would do that..well done you !

  • At 8:46 PM , Anonymous Ellen said...

    I think we should all have a go at doing someone elses job for a day. Think how much fun that would be! Fair play to you ! I bet your heart was racing when you saw that crime scene! LOL ! I'm reading Dream at the moment and I'm reading one chapter and then putting it away because I'm enjoying it so much that I don't want to finish it :(

  • At 8:48 PM , Anonymous Ellen said...

    I meant Dreamer of course!

  • At 7:15 PM , Blogger val said...

    You mean 6 o'clock happens twice in one day?

    Wouldn't it be funny if someone trying to dispose of a body put it in the recycling bin by mistake!

  • At 3:16 AM , Anonymous lynda said...

    I'm reading it too...

  • At 2:47 PM , Anonymous Ellen said...

    Lynda, let me know what you think of it. I really enjoyed it.

  • At 11:51 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    ive read dead like u and denial, two of the best books ive ever read


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