Emma says I am turning into an old man. Granted, I am inexorably getting older, minute by minute, but it’s an attitudinal thing she was referring to.
I love the countryside around Hebden Bridge. It is beautiful. What I don’t like is the litter messing it up.
The larger element is food and booze related – sweetwrappers, pop bottles, crisp packets, beer cans, kebab containers. Part of this problem is due to the topography of the region. Most settlement here is crammed into narrow valleys, and the footpaths there are traversed by – among other people – thoughtless, litter dropping wankers. The moors have little dreck spoiling them, but the valley sides, floor, and easily accessible beauty spots are heavily trafficed and so peppered with rubbish. A lot of it ends up in the River Calder. The banks are brightly decorated with chunks of crud. The trees along each side are festooned with swags of tattered plastic. It looks like a perpetual armageddon mardi gras.
What particularly incenses me are dog poo bags. Poo. In a bag. In a forest. In an urban setting a bag of poo left behind is annoying. In a rural setting it beggars belief. It’s not pleasant to let dogs foul footpaths. It’s bad to let them foul fields. Poo germs go on grass. Grass goes in cows. Germs go with it. Fair enough. But letting your pooch take a crap on some inaccessible crag where it can rot away, that isn’t such a bad thing – the woods are full of all kinds of other animal shit. After all, badgers don’t bag. Taking it home? Why, perhaps the best option. But to bag it up and leave it lingering on a footpath? Idiocy! Non-biodegradeable bags keep diseases and parasites alive for months. When finally the plastic photodegrades to allow the poo to die, the bag ends up in the soil in tiny fragments, or blows into the river with the rest of the trash. There’s one person around here in particular who uses a brand of green bags who is going to get an earful if I catch them…
So, old man. Grumbling. Young people today, etc. I even shouted at some kid breaking windows a couple of weeks ago.
What with Putin threatening World War III and the collapse of the Middle East offering viable options for number four, the world’s a bit depressing at the moment. There’s not much I can do about that, but I can do something about the crap choking up the local environment. When I go out for a walk I take a plastic bag with me, and fill it up with rubbish. Including other people’s noisome dog crap plague packets.
It’s a big job. Today, within ten metres of my house I sourced a carrier bag out of a bush, within fifty I’d filled it up.
Perhaps this is what Cameron meant by the big society. But that always seemed like a Tory wheeze to justify cuts, so screw him and his banker buddies. I’m picking up other people’s rubbish because tutting at it isn’t going to make it go away.