As we said when we were kids in the playground. Well I am no kid now - pretty decrepit in many ways but I try. But I have to admit to two cases in the past week when I have been a coward and I am ashamed to tell you. There was a day when I would have been thought of as that haridan in the bungalow at the top of the road. But not any more.
About a week ago, just as the six o'clock news was starting, I watched a lady across the road with a dog.Dogs like to sniff where other dogs have been so fair enough - it was identifying various dogs, but then quite suddenly it left an identifying poo. Did the lady pick it up in a poobag? No she did not. She just strolled off and left it on the grass at the side of the road. There was a time when I would have been out of the door like a shot and shouted across the road for her to pick it up please. Did I? No I did absolutely nothing. In the first place the effort of getting up, getting the garage door open, getting Priscilla out was all too much effort and secondly I don't wish to be identified in that light when I am old and live alone.
Then yesterday there was another instance. Opposite my bungalow is a building plot which belongs to the builders who built the estate. I presume they may be leaving it until they retire and can build a bungalow for themselves, or maybe they are keeping it as an investment (the way housing has shot up round here it is a very good investment.) Here and there on the site (which is grassy) are clumps of snowdrops and daffodils. Lo and behold yesterday afternoon a grey haired lady in a red anorak turned up with a spade over her shoulder and attacked a large clump of daffodils in full bloom. I watched her in horror as she attempted to steal them. Luckily after about ten minutes of digging, still having not managed to uproot the first clump, she looked around to see if anyone was looking (I was but she didn' t spot me) then, like one of the seven dwarfs, she put her spade over her shoulder and marched off down the road. And I did nothing.
I am ashamed dear bloggers. This is not me. It is still troubling me today but the effort is all too much and I just can't be bothered. Both small incidents but many small incidents make for one large one. When I go on my daily walk - only a round the block short one - I encounter the same by now familiar items of rubbish - the odd beer can, two or three discarded masks, various chocolate wrappers, a quite large piece of white polystyrene-I feel ashamed that I am not either collecting them up in a sack for Priscilla to carry back to my rubbish bin or writing to the council to say they need collecting up. And I look at the gutters at the side of the road - gutters which used to be swept at least fortnightly by the council but are not any longer and are now thick with the detritus of last year's Autumn twigs and leaves and I vow to write to the council and ask why. But then I get home and the sheer effort of getting out the writing pad and envelopes, typing the letter with my shaking hands, walking to my desk with my Zimmer frame to get a stamp from my desk, walking across the road to post the envelope (not I hasten to add in my slippers) is most likely to no avail. So I, like everybody else, lets sleeping dogs lie.
But , the Spring sun is out. the birds are singing, the tete-a-tete daffodils are at the their best, the weather forecast says a few more days of this before it breaks - all we need now is for that wretched war to somehow end, for the "powers" to agree to stop the dreadful suffering and for everyone then to join in a rebuilding programme and get those refugees home. They have no wish to be refugees - they want their homeland. Oh that they could have it.