Swine flu or a 2nd-hand bonanza?

Did the early morning walk today – early to bed, early to rise and all that guff.

Someone had kindly parked a shopping trolley outside my house. A teenager walked past as I came out of the front door, his music tinny through the headphones and audible from 50ft away. I contemplated tying him into the shopping trolley with his own headphone wire and pushing it down a hill. Perhaps I’m not a morning person…

As I walked through town I realised that, at the risk of being mistaken for a reasonably well-dressed homeless chap, if I’d brought the trolley with me I could have half filled it with the number of dumped pub glasswear lying in doorways and on window ledges. Perhaps I could sell them back to the pubs. Actually, given that my lazy workmanship recently resulted in almost every single glass I own being smashed, I could have restocked my own kitchen several times over. Then I saw a girl’s cardigan draped across a bench. Then a pair of sunglasses. Not for the first time, an assortment of beads strewn across the pavement from some cheap and flimsy costume jewellery. A flip-flop. That struck me as odd. Who loses one item of footwear and strolls on nonchalantly?

Is that more or less odd than leaving BOTH shoes in a corner?! Which is what I saw next. Bizarre. I could’ve opened an admittedly completely rubbish second-hand store from the discarded items on the streets.

In picking up innumerable pennies from one section of roadside (I think that someone had quite literally just thrown their small change up on the air “This is just too heavy and I must be rid of it!” – there was about 30p in pennies), I remembered a comment made by a good friend of mine a week or so back. She said I should really take a bag or something to collect the coins because they might be covered in all sorts of germs – perhaps even swine flu. True…true. But on the other hand life is fraught with risk anyway, and the very reason we have a generation of kids suffering with asthma and so on is because we’ve created this monumental fear of bacteria. We need to encounter bacteria, germs etc in order to build our immune systems. Kids need to handle crap, and so do we. Not ACTUAL crap; I’m not recommending encouraging your child to juggle dog turds while you nod approvingly and tell your partner the boy won’t get a cold THIS year.

And talking of kids – they’re the worst litterers. Bizarrely, on these early morning strolls, I’ve seen a huge quantity of kids’ stuff cast aside: dummies, those cups with the lids that stop children spilling drinks, bibs, baby booties, tiny sunhats, Kinder Egg toys and more. Can’t blame them for the Kinder Egg toys I have to say… But there are clearly dozens of babies toddling the streets late at night, rejecting the gifts of doting grandparents and well-meaning friends of their parents. They’ve evidently recorded their own breathing to fool the baby monitors so mum and dad watch TV blissfully unaware that their 1yr-old is currently on the rampage, hurling teats from artificial milk feeders into doorways and emptying the contents of their tiny sock drawer into the gutter. One day one had even lobbed his or her nappy at a car. Honestly, something needs to be done about these toddlers – they DO say each generation is getting worse…

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One response to “Swine flu or a 2nd-hand bonanza?

  1. Just to say after departng our rendevous yesterday, we passed a group of young med type tourists on the tube sporting hygiene face masks, presumably in a bid not to get swine flu from the heavily germ infested Londoners. Bring on the germs I say. And yes, we are still going to Mexico – famous last words.

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