posted on May, 22 2014 @ 10:28 AM
A few weeks, to a month or so ago, I stepped out of the store in which I am to be found during business hours, for a cup of tea and a cigarette. This
is not at all unusual. It was about twenty past ten, the sun was hidden behind a grey veil of cloud, and all was right with the world. That is, of
course, until I peered across the road, to find that one of the planting tubs that the local traders and community association had installed, had been
deprived of its central feature, this being one Buxus plant.
Evidence of the vigour with which it was removed, lay scattered around the edges of the planter and on the floor beside it. I put out my cigarette,
walked back in side the store, placed my mug down on the counter, and took up my iPad. I proceeded across the street, with my iPad recording video
(which came out upside down, and therefore has not been included in this thread).
Upon further investigation, it became apparent that not only had the Buxus from the tub across the street been stolen, but a trail had been left, of
discarded soil.This trail lead me to discover that the Buxus from a tub on the corner of the street, on the opposite side of the road, had also been
purloined! A further trail of soil debris had been shed from that tub, all the way down the road which intersects with my road, and came to a stop at
the next corner, where a ring of soil marked a place where one of the plants had been rested upon the ground.
It seemed clear that someone had put one plant down, opened a car boot, or van door, and then placed both plants inside and driven away. Police were
called, an officer showed up, asked for some of the media I had taken, including photographs, to be sent to their email address, and so on. Time
passed, the plants were replaced where possible, and the normal run of events resumed.
Snap forward to the thirteenth of this month. I am standing outside my store, lighting up a cigarette, and drinking a cup of tea, when bugger me, the
flipping bastards have been at it again! I called the police, again. I was visited later on in the week by the same policewoman, and again I shared
the details that I had, and the photographs I had taken. At the same time, I alerted her to some graffiti that had been daubed across one side of one
of the planters.
Today, I received a telephone call from the local press, asking if I would not mind being interviewed. They had gotten my name from the policewoman
who is dealing with the matter at hand, and had been asked by her, if they would not mind running a public awareness report on the situation. I feel
pretty strongly about the efforts that local people have made to improve the environment in which residents and traders in this road, live and work.
The planters and their contents were installed by the local community, from donations made to the West Road Community and Traders Association, from
members of the public who live in, shop in, or work in this street. As such, although my mother and I are not members of that association, we look
after these plants. We water them, we prune them, and trim them to make the most of them that we can, and keep the place looking a little more lively.
Needless to say, I had a fair bit of commentary on the matter to give to the reporter who telephoned me. Also, they sent a staff photographer down to
our road, to take photographs of the planters in question. What I did not initially realise, is that the photographer was there to get my picture too!
Well, more fool her. Her camera, is now officially broken, due to the affect my mug has on all such devices.
The long and short of it is, that I am going to be in our local paper, looking royally pissed off. Now, I do not necessarily mind being pissed off.
There are some things, that I almost ENJOY being angry about. The state of peoples general knowledge, for example. The fact that many Britons from my
region can barely speak the language that they grew up with, the fact that people around here rarely pronounce the letter T correctly, if at all.
However, when people make an effort to do something nice for their community, when the entire community comes together to brighten peoples day with
flowers, and plants, and good wholesome things that remind people that there is more to life than the 1960s prefabricated BS that many residents,
including myself, call home, and someone ruins that?
That does not make me angry. That makes me want to force my fist through someones face, and slowly, ever so slowly through the back of their head. I
am talking so slow, that I can feel each and every fold of their grey matter, part and tear under the inexorable increase of pressure. The reason for
my volcanic response to this sort of thing, is that there are many problems which I can do nothing about, which even an organisation of hundreds
cannot change for the better, problems which require the concerted efforts of thousands upon thousands of people, just to hold at bay for a time.
But the issue of having a slightly nicer environment in which to live and work, the idea of helping people enjoy shopping on our road, and making
people smile with plants and flowers, these are things we CAN do, things which we can involve ourselves with. When someone decides that all our effort
can be disrupted and that we can be deprived of the results of our hard work, that our efforts are worth so little... that makes me very angry. It is
bad enough that council property is often treated with such poor manners, but this was not council property. These were plants paid for by local
people, and installed by a community group.
Vandals and thieves who involve themselves in local affairs in this way, show a callous lack of regard for the greater good, for their neighbours,
for their community as a whole, and that is intolerable to me. I feel a little better now. Goodness... a rant really is good for the soul!