From the worry-free wonderland of our Greek holiday island, where these words are being written, we greet troubles at home with a nonchalant shrug, in the smug satisfaction that these problems aren’t ours – at least for the present.

From The Oxford Times’s website – and sometimes from Osney Island Resident Association’s email forum – comes news of cheerless impositions from authority we are very glad to be avoiding.

Oxford City Council, for example – and this is a matter for Island fury – is enforcing tough new rules about waste collection that recently resulted in half my neighbours having their bins left unemptied.

Among regulations relating to recyclable matter that are both trying and trivial is one concerning till receipts, which can apparently only be collected from our blue bins if longer than 4cms. Out with the rulers everyone! Or perhaps not – life’s too short.

Meanwhile, it is Oxfordshire County Council we must blame – in good measure – for the nightmare resulting from SGN’s gas main repairs in Botley Road.

The council deserves our disapproval, too. for the tolerant attitude of its education department to the hundreds of kids bunking off from their lessons in a strike against climate change.

Tough penalties are imposed on parents who take children out of school for holidays – one reason why Naxos is so pleasingly brat-free at present. Action in these cases is taken in consequence of a complaint from the school head.

I don’t see why similar fines should not be imposed on parents complicit in their offspring’s foolish climate posturings.

But, of course, some absences are judged acceptable to a profession – the teachers – and an authority that largely go for the liberal consensus. It would have been a different story had little Milly and Olly skived off for a Brexit march.

‘Bus good, car bad’ is the maxim observed by OCC in transport matters, as may be seen in the latest joint proposals with the city to try to curb the chaos across Oxford.

High Street-style barriers are proposed in various locations to the east of the city centre, to the benefit the bus companies’ coffers, while motorists seek other routes as they head to work and their £500 quid-a-year parking spaces paid for by their bosses. (Those that can afford it, that is; others may go broke.)

The county’s love affair with the bus therefore makes very strange the disgraceful situation for us Osneyites arising from the gas repair.

Since the start of the work in late July – actually, from a few days after it began – we have been without our two bus stops: one for services towards the city centre and the other for those heading west.

The seven-week timetable for the work suggested it would be comfortably over by now. Alas, it seems likely to go on till Christmas and possibly beyond.

So, through the cold and wet of the coming months – indeed, the cold and wet of the present week – Osney’s bus passengers, and the old people of Tumbling Bay Court on the other side of Botley Road, are faced with a trudge in one direction as far as the railway station and in the other all the way to Waitrose.

The second is a journey that many old people – those principally affected – make by bus in normal circumstances, especially when they return laden with shopping.

But the trudge I refer to is not generally being made at present. It’s just too far for oldies, who are stranded at home till Christmas.

But need they be? In attributing blame to the county council in this matter, I do so in part through its officers’ defence of the bus stop closures. They say that allowing buses to set down and pick up passengers would hold up traffic.

I maintain this is a false argument. Heading west there is a dedicated bus lane at the stop which other traffic can easily pass. And in the early days of the work, when the stops were still open, I watched vehicles passing stationary buses in the other direction.

But suppose I am wrong? Must authority be so uncompromising on this? Why not permit one service – the S1 to Witney, for instance – to call at the Osney stops, or perhaps – with no risk of obstruction – just at the one for westbound services with its dedicated bus lane. This would give locals a ‘shuttle’ to stops where they could pick up (if not the S1) the bus they really wanted.

The perception that the gas works are proceeding at a snail’s pace, with desultory effort over short periods by the work force, is a source of anger to many.

But county officers stick up for SGN, one explaining (in a message to our ever-helpful local councillor Susanna Pressel) that men absent from the site are in fact waiting for foam concrete to set. A layman might ask: why not get on with something else while it does?

One neighbour challenged a workman, saying how much better these jobs are handled in Germany and showing him a photograph illustrating this. “Why not live in Germany then?” he asked her.

So, even if they’re not indolent, they can certainly be insolent.