"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."



('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)




Monday, August 29, 2016

The power of Twitter

Since early June, the playing field at the back of our house has been sadly neglected. Rumour has it that the Council suddenly discovered that there was no longer enough money to cut the grass - anywhere. Twitter was full of tweets from locals complaining that grass verges, playing fields and other public spaces were growing wild, which in some cases, was potentially dangerous, as there were places where pulling out from a side road onto a main road was akin to playing Russian roulette, because it was impossible to see oncoming traffic over the grass on the verges.
Having tweeted myself to the Council about the parlous state of the playing field near us, and received no response, I decided to phone them instead. 
"If you were to put a small child down in that field," I said in my best deputy head voice, "You would have difficulty finding it again!"
The man on the other end of the phone remained unmoved and unconcerned.
"Well, I expect it's because of the cut-backs," he said. "I'll pass on your concern, but I don't know if it will do any good."
He was right. It didn't. Since then, the grass has been cut  just once, by a machine so small that it had a similar effect to cutting a lawn with a pair of nail scissors.  Even Toby got tired of having to jump around the field instead of charging round in circles, as he normally does.
At the same time, someone had decided that the only remaining refuse bin on the field could no longer be used to deposit bags of dog poo. They had already removed another bin some time ago, and according to one of the council workmen, they wanted to 'encourage' people to take their little plastic bags home with them. I don't think so, mate!
Back to Twitter, where someone had tweeted that the special dog fouling bins in another part of the area had not been emptied for some time and were now overflowing. My question to the Council was, why did that area have special bins and we didn't? The reply was that they no longer supply dog fouling bins, so the general bins can be used instead.
As far as I was concerned, that was permission to do what I had continued to do anyway, and use the general bin for Toby and Paddy's little plastic bags.
And the grass has been cut again. Success!

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